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Mary Hollis Baird

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Off Topic Tuesday: 5 Random and/or Ridiculous Equine Pop Culture References

One of my favorite things when I’m watching a TV show or movie, reading a book, or listening to music is the sometimes random occurrence of a horse. Now, I’m not talking about Mr. Ed, War Horse, The Saddle Club TV show, or one of numerous equine-focused book series. I’m talking about the random pop-up of equines in otherwise-unrelated pop culture.

Usually these instances of random equine stories are a romantic horse and carriage ride and/or a horse poop joke. Yet, there are some pieces of pop culture that feature our favorite animal in utterly odd ways.

Bojack Horseman

Bojack Horseman is a Netflix, animated, dark comedy about an aging sitcom star, who is an anthropomorphized horse. His hit show in the ’90s was Horsin’ Around, a Full House-esque show about a horseman who adopts three orphans … shenanigans ensue. As this review of Horsin’ Around illustrates, there’s nothing this show likes better than puns.

We all know there's no such things as too many horse puns

Photo credit: Netflix.

“Not to be a neigh-sayer but this family sitcom is so saddled with lame horse-themed puns it might have to be put out to pasture. Ratings remain stable despite the unbridled mediocrity of the acting and hackneyed, half-assed writing. The syrupy plots should be sent straight to the glue factory. If wishes were horses, beggars would beg to watch a different show. Frankly the pony gags tend to yield diminishing returns and the mane attraction of this rodeo is the talented young actress Sarah Lynn, who performance might shine if she were given better material. Skip this season and change the channel to a horse of a different color.”

In a recent season 5 episode, “Bojack the Feminist,” Bojack is going along with a PR strategy for his new show that includes being a ‘male feminist’ wearing a shirt with the slogan “Feminism is Bay” [here’s a primer on the bae meme, for anyone who is behind the internet times].

Photo credit: Netflix.

For being a show that’s literally about a horse, his equine nature doesn’t come up very often. However, there is a whole subplot about him being cast as the eponymous role in the Secretariat biopic.

Chestnut (2 Broke Girls)

Photo credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS.

Bringing up another bay that should be a chestnut … there is a horse character in the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls. The premise of the show is obvious in the title. One of the broke girls used to be a rich Manhattan socialite, so obviously she had a horse: a champion jumper named Chestnut (yes, even though he’s bay).

Photo credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS.

Chestnut lives in the middle of Brooklyn, in an apartment courtyard, no matter the weather. The plausibility of the storyline aside (Where does all the manure go? Who is their hay provider? Does he need wormer in the city?), the broke girls love Chestnut and end up finding a more responsible living situation for him later in the series.

Full House finale episode: “Michelle Rides Again”

Over the years there were a few equine stories on Full House, but who could forget the finale episode. For those who weren’t children in the ’90s. the Full House finale featured the youngest Tanner, Michelle (played alternately by the Olsen twins), falling off her pony in the woods instead of competing in the hunter show with her friend.

Michelle ends up having amnesia from the concussion (don’t worry, in true Full House fashion, she regains her memories and everyone is happy).

It’s a bit of a stretch as far as horse storylines go, however, the episode does portray some of the pressure of a horse show well.

Beyoncé

A rule I live by is that any pop-culture list must include Beyoncé. She is the ruling queen of American media and must be treated as such. My personal favorite equine-and-Beyoncé moment is the money shot in her “Who Run the World (Girls)” music video…

via GIPHY

A gorgeous, rearing, black Friesian … I mean, what little horse-obsessed kid can’t relate to this image of empowerment.

Honorable mention: Science also named a horsefly after Beyonce because of its “spectacular gold color.” Now I know horseflies are not friends of our actual horses, but they are extremely important pollinators for the environment!

Honorable Honorable mention: Bojack Horseman featured a Beyonce and Jay-Zebra pun

Lil Sebastian (Parks and Recreation)

Screenshot: Netflix.

No equine pop culture list would be complete without a mention of Li’l Sebastian. Anyone who has watched the tv show Parks and Recreation will appreciate the grand importance of this miniature horse to the residents of Pawnee, Indiana.

Most of the shows Li’l Sebastian related humor is how everyone absolutely loves him except for the town transplant, Ben Wyatt (played by Adam Scott).

Li’l Sebastian also gets a song written about him by Andy (played by everyone’s favorite dinosaur wrangler, Chris Pratt).

While this is not a comprehensive list, it’s a few of my favorites. Let me know what random equine occurrences I missed and that you love!
Go Eventing.

Weekend Winners: Twin Rivers, Aspen, Marlborough, Flora Lea, Sundance, Meadowcreek, Cedar Ridge, Loch Moy

Fall eventing has officially begun! Temperatures are starting to slightly drop and days are getting a bit shorter. There were a few Championship divisions and Young and Future Event Horses showing off this weekend — we’ve highlighted those results with asterisks.

Shout out to Courtney Cooper and Caia Z for having the lowest finishing score in the country of 21.9 in the Open Training at Flora Lea H.T.

The next thing you know, the dreaded winter coats will start growing in earnest. Until then, we all can appreciate a lack of intense summer heat and slightly fresher horses in the morning.

Aspen Farms Fall Horse Trials [Results]
Tin Men Supply Advanced: Sabrina Glaser & Rembrandt (45.2)
Intermediate: Marc Grandia & Campari FFF (41)
*Intermediate Championship: Leah Breakey & Master Class (40.1)
Open Preliminary A: Molly Gibbons & Calico (29.6)
Open Preliminary B: Lilly Linder & Tucker Too (28.5)
*Preliminary Championship: Jordan Linstedt & Staccato (28.5)
*Jr. Training Championship: Makenna Henry & Hungarian Villian (31.4)
Open Training A: Tracey Trewin & Film Noir (34.4)
Open Training B: Sara Mackenzie & Cowboy Casanova (32.1)
*Open Training Championship: Erin Grandia & Indio BMW (24.3)
*Training Rider Championship: Madison Langerak & Normandy’s Kivalo (30.9)
*Jr. Novice Championship: Dane Padgett & Little Sure Shot (27.1)
Novice Rider Championship: Jackie Wich & Master Miller (31.9)
Open Novice A: Julia Ellison & Grady (30.7)
Open Novice B: Emilie Everett & Yankee Bay (29.3)
*Open Novice Championship: Lindsey Scharmach & Killswitch (25)
*Jr. Beginner Novice Championship: Makayla Watterson & Foxwood Belle (31.3)
Open Beginner Novice A: Anni Grandia-Dodson & Mr. Fluffy (27.3)
Open Beginner Novice B: Kate Suggs & Dragon Fly (31.8)
*Open Beginner Novice Championship: Sabine Prince & Donnerwein (28.8)

Twin Rivers Fall Horse Trials [Results]
Advanced: Frankie Thieriot Stutes & Chatwin (35.6)
Intermediate: James Alliston & Kilmountain Oreo (38.9)
Jr. Preliminary: Madison Temkin & Dr. Hart (37.4)
Open Preliminary: Alexis Helffrich & M Creme De La Creme SE (31.5)
Preliminary Rider: Kate Lathrop & Worth The Wait (36.5)
Jr. Training Rider A: Maya Clarkson & Snappy Comeback (28.2)
Jr. Training Rider B: Lauren Gillis & Under the Spotlight (23.6)
Open Training: Alexis Helffrich & Dexter (28.5)
Sr. Training Amateur: Camille Brewer & Cooley Rock Star (22.1)
Sr. Training Rider: Debbie Davis & Real Genius (25.2)
Jr. Novice Rider A: Sarah Ross & Murcielago (32.6)
Jr. Novice Rider B: Sloan Bryson & Red Cloud’s War (26.5)
Open Novice: Hannah Warner & Viva Apollo (31)
Sr. Novice Amateur: McKenzie Miller & Another Saturday Night (28.6)
Sr. Novice Rider: Cat Dubbs & Ballynoe Castleross (30.5)
Jr. Beginner Novice A: Halina Thole & Roma (23)
Jr. Beginner Novice B: Mia Boillot & Phoenix Belissima (26)
Open Beginner Novice: Olivia Loiacono & Eloquence (22)
Sr. Beginner Novice Rider: Debbie Fosmark & Larapin II (23.8)
Intro A: Pryce Chrisman & Tahoe Blue (31.7)
Intro B: Reagan Hammond & My Golden Ticket (34.7)
YEH-5: Madison Temkin & MVP Madbum (81.4)
YEH-4: Andrea Baxter & Melkenna (85.6)
FEH-4: Andrea Baxter & Coronado (85)
FEH-3: Michlynn Sterling & Kosmic Twist S (84.3)
FEH-2: Dede McCoy & Iconic (77.0)
FEH-Yr: Earl McFall & High Five DF (84.4)
*West Coast FEH-4 Championship: Andrea Baxter & Coronado (165.5)
*West Coast FEH-3 Championship: Jennifer McFall & Hallelujah DF (180.4)
*West Coast FEH-2 Championship: Earl McFall & Iluminada (88.4)
*West Coast FEH-Yr Championship: Earl McFall & Twain’s Fireflight DF (81.6)

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I am over the moon this weekend was incredible 💙🌙 Roma and I finished on our dressage score of 23% we were tied for 1st the whole show until we broke the tie when it came down to cross country. Our dressage and showjumping felt super good, and she was very trusting in my decisions on cross country today. Thank you tomato for giving me your all this weekend I’m so proud of you💓 – – – Thanks @kk_tasha for the vids🌈 ——————————————————— – – #horse #horsesofinstagram #3dayeventing #eventing #c4belts #areavi #jumping #crosscountry #mare #maresofinstagram #equestrian #dressage #c4equestrian #chestnut #twinrivers #oldenburg #xc #showjumping #tholefarms #kerritsrootd #kerrits #showjumping #jumpers #kasteldenmark #firstplace #beginnernovice #kerritsambassador #jump #showjumper #ariatequestrian #ogilvyequestrian

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Marlborough Horse Trials [Results]
Open Preliminary: Jan Byyny & Volcan de Caverie (27.2)
Preliminary Rider: Morgan Cillo & Benevolence (39.2)
Open Training: Jan Byyny & Kortina (29.3)
Training Rider A: Gabriella Rogers & Epona’s Mighty Warrior (32.6)
Training Rider B: Sofie Harangozo & Rain Dancer (29.5)
Novice Horse: Mary Clare & Furl The Main (35.9)
Novice Rider A: Francoise Marshall & Luray (32.4)
Novice Rider B: Sarah Crocker & Liberty River (26.9)
Open Novice: Ariana Freeman & Piper Saratoga (26.1)
Beginner Novice Horse: Suzy Gehris & Watch Me (31.7)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Hillary Marnane & Diablo Guapo (31.1)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Logan Yff & Mosey On Over (29.7)
Open Beginner Novice: Carley Taylor & Buck Naked (36.8)
Starter A: Lily Wyatt & Bento Box (34.4)
Starter B: Hana Hawthorne & Sonny (31.9)

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#mancrusheveryday

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Flora Lea Fall Horse Trials [Results]
Open Preliminary: Macee Morgan & Maldini (30.9)
Open Training: Courtney Cooper & Caia Z (21.9)
Training Rider: Amanda Monahan & Slow Heart Break (39.1)
Novice Rider: Stephanie Swites & Clonshire Le Roy (33.6)
Open Novice: Avonlea Mitchell & Red and White (25.2)
Open Beginner Novice: Avery Cascarino & Marine Hymn (28.3)

Sundance Farm Horse Trials [Results]
Preliminary/Training: Brynna Gang & Wise Guy (80.6)
Open Training: Kristin Kubsch & CMF Royal Diamond (30.4)
Jr. Novice Rider: Lily Allen & Cherry On Top (31.9)
Sr. Novice Rider: Jessica Doering & Jax (28.1)
Open Novice: Bernard Morauw & VC ATTILA D’ALLOU (27.6)
Open Beginner Novice: Bonnie Bowman & Steel Driven Dreams (33.2)
Beginner Novice Rider: Rebecca Roth & Brazilian Tommy (33.1)
Starter: Jessie Ackley & Ghost (37.2)

Meadowcreek Park – The Fall Social Event [Results]
Open Preliminary: Lauren Lambert & Cooley Renaissance Man (39.8)
Preliminary/Training: Stephanie Reimers & That’s What She Said (48.3)
Open Training: Camdyn Rahe & Orange Crush (36.6)
Training Rider: Katie Grace Bond & High Class (30.5)
*Novice Championship: Kimberly Stafford & Pik Coeur D’Or (28.0)
Novice Rider: Lawsyn Clements & Russell’s Reserve (23.9)
Open Novice: Jennifer Biles & Bad as Bandini (40.2)
*Beginner Novice Championship: Taylor Tiberg & Valedictorian (28.0)
Jr. Beginner Novice: Grace Thompson & Excessive Assault (34.4)
Sr. Beginner Novice: Julianne Foody & Step Right Up (37.5)
Open Beginner Novice: Rick Urban & Morally Flexible (35.5)
Starter: Aynsleigh Fettig & Aisling Dugan (28.6)

Cedar Ridge Horse Trials [Results]
Open Training: Alicia Harbin & Crowd Signal (35.2)
Open Novice: Kate Coleman & Tallawah (31.9)
Open Beginner Novice A: Harper Holland & Chips Ahoy (37.1)
Open Beginner Novice B: Mary Clare Owdziej & Deal Me In (35.6)
Starter: Aubrey Whalen & Gold Snatcher (40.8)

Loch Moy – Future Event Horse [Results]
FEH-4: Ashley Beheler & Jubilee (75)
FEH-3C: Lauren Welsh & Solo Hit (78.3)
FEH-3F: MaryAnn Luke & SF Rama (74.25)
FEH-2: Jordan LaPlaca & J-Low (77.2)
FEH-Yr: Emeraude Sharer & Knuit d’Emeraude (79.95)

Congrats to all. Go Eventing!

Out of the ‘Horse World’ and Into the ‘Real World’

Mary Hollis Baird galloping racehorses at the track in Ocala. Photo courtesy of Mary Hollis Baird.

Applying for jobs is not fun. It’s even less fun when the only references on your resumé are non-verbal, 1,200-pound quadrupeds.

I recently have made the transition out of the professional “horse world.” I went back to college after riding and working in Ocala for five years. Making the decision to get out of Florida and the professional equine industry for me was scary because all my past experiences and hard work might not matter to anyone else.

The thing about eventing employment, like managing barns and working student gigs, is that you work hard and build a very specific skill-set. Besides being an ace stall-mucker and barn-aisle blower, I gained valuable expertise, like: working in a team environment; training and managing new employees; making clients feel heard and happy. Translating your roster of equine abilities into a resume is not an entirely effortless endeavor.

Photo courtesy of Mary Hollis Baird.

So here are some hopefully useful resumé tips that might help:

1. Use numbers. People don’t always understand equine jargon, but if you can say something like, “Implemented a 30% more efficient daily routine, allowing our team to maximize the time in our day,” that’s just a fancy way of saying I saved time by keeping the horses in for the morning while we rode and then turning them out in the afternoon. It’s all about utilizing your vocabulary to get noticed.

Another way to use numbers is by assessing a value to the horses to help future employers understand the responsibility that you were tasked with everyday. For example, an ex-working student for a high performance barn in Ocala could say, “Provided daily care for 10 sport horses ranging in value from $10,000-$80,000.”

2. Brag! Don’t be shy about trying to impress people; for example, if you worked for an Olympic athlete, mention that! It connotes a level of competency into a context that non-equine professionals can understand.

3. Skills are skills are skills are skills. You can highlight soft skills on your resumé. Sometimes these will get you more traction with an employer than specific industry experience. For instance:

  • Any good horse show groom is a whiz at time management.
  • Managing an eventing barn makes you adopt effective organizational practices.
  • Motivating and directing your fellow barn workers is the same as working with any employees at other organizations.

4. References! You will need them, but definitely give people you are asking for references from a heads up. Horse people can be wonderful and charismatic; however, they might not quite realize what your future employer needs or wants to hear about you. Brief your references on the types of positions you are applying for and what you’d prefer them to convey — this way they are more prepared for the nature of questions that might be asked of them about you.

Having an out of the box resumé can be so helpful. Employers will notice you, it’s your job to make sure they notice the right things.

Good luck and Go Eventing (on the weekends because you have a real job now)!

Photo courtesy of Mary Hollis Baird.