Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

I Like Horses

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/09/10

I have always liked horses. I would love to learn how to ride a horse and even possibly own one. I think I have always liked all animals, some more than others, and some living or cooked (but not cooked horses). And all manner of animals have liked me.

As an adult, I’ve had these pets:
snakes (a 6-foot boa constrictor my then pre-teen daughter wore like a feather boa and a 3-foot king)
a rabbit
a ferret

I used to go to the pet store to buy 4 rats per month at a cost of five bucks per, then I changed over to breeding rats. I had one poppa rat and three momma rats who all enjoyed being handled. And I got to the point where I was selling about 25 rats per month to that same pet store for one buck each. And it cost me less than five bucks a month in cat food to feed the rats, so I went from spending 20 a month to feed my boa to making a net profit of 20 a month breeding my own snake food.

So I like all manner of animals and enjoy their company, and they enjoy mine. And I prefer larger animals. Boa over garter. Great Dane over chihuahua. Etc, etc. If they have fur, I very much prefer fawn-colored animals, although any color or combination of colors is fine with me. But I have a problem.

When I was a mere youth of pre-teen age, I went to the allergist. I found out I was allergic to four things:
anything with feathers
anything with fur
anything with pollen
dust mites
So I got allergy shots, first by our pediatrician then by our father because it was much cheaper for him to do it than for a doctor’s visit. It started out twice a week, went to once a week, then to twice a month, then ended prematurely due to money.

I still have hay fever, but it’s much less prominent. I still have issues (springing forth out my nose) with hay and straw, but it’s much less severe. I still have minor problems with dog dander and cat dander and likely the dust mites, but not like I used to. Then come the horses (and to a lesser extent, the llamas).

If I so much as touch a horse, my arms and the back of my neck welt up. My whole body itches severely. My eyes puff up so badly they nearly close, but that doesn’t matter because my eyes water so badly I cannot see anyway. And even if I could see, it wouldn’t matter due to my continuous snot-filled sneezing. And all this lasts for hours after a brief 3-minute period of physical contact with a horse. If a horse is nearby and the wind is right, I can have the aforementioned respiratory type issues from the horse dander flying through the air, but it doesn’t last nearly as long.

I love horses and they like me. I just cannot be around them and maintain any semblance of functionality. Having gone through the gas chamber in USMC bootcamp, I have to say I prefer the effects of the gas chamber over the effects of minimal contact with horses.

That was a gas!

(My daughter coming out of the gas chamber 5 years ago.)


4 Responses to “I Like Horses”

  1. Dana Pico said

    I took horseback riding as a class when I was at the University of Kentucky, a class which persuaded me more than anything else that horses are just plain stupid! But I’m the only one of my family who was never involved in the horsey business. My mother had some sort of involvement concerning Greyhound, the greatest trotter of all, while the older of my two younger sisters is a farm manager on a thoroughbred farm in Kentucky. Her husband is an independent, who trains racehorses, and my younger sister used to live on a horse farm in Kentucky, and still (occasionally) works the Keeneland sales. Her son owns an equine transport business.

    SGT Hitchcock (though I see she was a fuzzy then) doesn’t really look all that bad from the gas chamber; a lot of people look worse. PFC Pico has said that she’d rather break her leg again, ten times over, than go through the gas chamber again.


  2. Heh, SGT Hitchcock said she’d rather live in the gas chamber than go through the pepper spray course again. She said the gas chamber was nuttin compared to the pepper spray.


  3. Dana Pico said

    Yeah, I guess that’s right: she’s an MP, isn’t she?

    PFC Pico is attached to a military police unit, but she’s not an MP.


  4. Nah, she’s not an MP. She’s chem. But everyone in her unit, chem or not, did the pepper spray thing as part of their training before deployment.

    And I was thinking more about PFC Pico’s crazy in my eyes statement. I broke my hand twice (once severely), both clavicles, had stitches in my head twice, my hand twice, my wrist, directly below my knee, had a boil on my neck (cat scratch fever) lanced as I awoke on the operating table at the age of 10, and I can safely say I’d rather do the gas chamber multiple times than go through another broken-bone-type event.


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