You know what the most common response people have to my saying that I spent my summer working at a barn?
Clearly, my concerned friends wonder what I must have done besides dump wheelbarrow and throw hay, and probably equally question the sanity of a person willing to stomp around in horse manure for weeks on end. Yes, there are certainly some tell-tale signs of equine-induced insanity, and here I have gathered together the top 20.
1. You used exactly three pairs of shoes for the entire summer, and two of those sets were riding boots.2. The wearing of makeup ceases to exist, because whoever invented it clearly didn’t understand bathing horses, drinking out of hoses, slathering on sunscreen, and sweating like crazy.
3. Talking for five hours straight with friends about horses is considered to be perfectly normal.
4. You stare in awe when in the grocery store you see a group of not two, not three, but FOUR young adults all together at once. You forgot that there were so many people your age living in the world.
5. Your tan lines are a wonder to behold. They actually don’t even look human.
6. The only thing you bought for yourself the entire summer was food. Everything else was horse equipment.
7. You need sunglasses to look at the skin on your legs.
8. It doesn’t bother you in the least if your clothes are dirty and sweaty and full of bits of hay. And they are. All of the time.
9. You categorize people by the ones who will touch the electric fence to see if it’s on, and the ones who won’t.
10. You didn’t wear shorts once all summer (and you try to remember if you even own any).
11. You permanently unplugged the fancy TV in your room so you could plug in your sewing machine so you could start doing CPR on your poor tanktops which are going into cardiac arrest from being worn 24/7.
12. With one exception, you didn’t watch a single minute of non-horse television for the entire summer.13. You don’t consider it odd to climb ankle-deep in horse manure when trying to get the full wheelbarrow “just a little bit further” up onto the manure pile (because it’s ALMOST there!).
14. You judge the feasibility of hairstyles by whether or not they can fit under a helmet.
15. “Suppertime” is no longer a meal, but just a window of time from after lunch to midnight where you might finally eat something, sometime, in some sort of quantity, when you get done with feeding horses and riding horses and talking about horses.
16. Your idea of a wild Friday night is to stay up until 2 a.m. watching horse training DVDs with friends.
17. You’ve used twine for a belt and you’ve considered wearing nail polish to church, not because of fashion factor, but because it might better cover up all the dirt under your fingernails.
18. The funniest part of your day is when you try to dump the ridiculously overloaded manure bucket into the ridiculously overloaded Gator and spill manure absolutely all over yourself. This is not gross. It is funny.
19. You get hit on not at the mall or the dance floor, but when driving a horse and carriage around town.
20. You use one of those prehistoric things called watches, because you can’t get a cell phone out of your pocket when you’re sitting on a horse and wearing chaps to boot.
If you could identify with more than 5 of these statements, even if you didn't work at a barn, congratulations -- you are one of the equine obsessed.
But now you must excuse me, because I have to go wash hay out of my hair.