In the middle of February, just when winter is starting to look like it will never end and that we’re trapped in an endless cycle of freezing and thawing with mud on every single surface (including, somehow, the INSIDE of your horse’s blanket) a little ray of sunshine comes to help cheer us up: the Girl Scout cookie, those little brightly-colored boxes (that seem to grow somehow smaller every year) containing rows of addictive little pastries with cute names. Science* proves that Girl Scout cookies don’t have any calories at all. (*alternative science)
You can’t avoid them this year — even if you’re like me and have somehow successfully dodged every adorable wee Scout with her sign-up sheet so you too can mainline cookies right to your face (the perks of working from home with the horses at the family farm), there is in fact an APP this year that lets you order them direct. I’m going to do you a favor and not link it right now.
Okay, we’ve established that we’re all woefully addicted. But what does our favorite Girl Scout cookie variety say about us as equestrians?
(This list is 100% fiction and based on the same “science” as described above. Read this with a grain of salt.)
Thin Mints: “Crisp wafers covered in chocolaty coating. Made with natural oil of peppermint.” You like to pretend that you have expensive taste, as evidenced by your love for the darkest and most decadent cardboard box cookie that good money can buy, even though deep down you know you’re just as horse-poor as the rest of us, as evidenced by your filthy car and duct-taped paddock boot. All of your horse equipment is in your “colors” and despite the fact that your horse has only one lead and spooks at his own shadow, he is arguably the best dressed, best turned out and most matchy-match horse in the ring.
Samoas: “Crisp cookies, coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut, and striped with dark chocolaty coating.” NOT to be confused with samosa, a delicious fried dumpling filled with spiced potato and lentil. Your love for exotic, tropical fruits like the rare and hard-to-find toasted coconut mirrors your appreciation for experimenting with new disciplines, much to the chagrin of your fellow boarders at your exclusive hunter-jumper barn. In a given week, you and your horse might dabble in dressage, western trail, pleasure driving and liberty work. The lesson kids still gossip about the time you brought in a live goat so you could practice heel catches like a real cowboy.
Tagalongs: “Crispy cookies layered with peanut butter and covered with a chocolaty coating.” You binge-eat an entire box of these that one of your lesson moms brought in to share with everyone and chased it with another cup of bottom-of-the-pot jet fuel coffee, because you are the overworked riding instructor or working student who secretly wishes that these cookies would grow a pair and finally turn into the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups they’re trying so hard to emulate. Here, please take another box. You deserve them.
Trefoils: “Delicate-tasting shortbread that is delightfully simple and satisfying.” No one actually likes these. Move along.
Do-si-dos: “Crunchy oatmeal sandwich cookie with creamy peanut butter filling.” You genuinely enjoy volunteering at horse shows, helping pick up around the barn, horse-sitting for other boarders out of town on vacation and all the nasty chores like scrubbing out the field waterers on a 40-degree day. People who don’t know you might call you a brown-noser but you also make wickedly-good guacamole and bring plenty of wine to barn parties to ensure that you’ve bought everyone’s loyalty.
Savannah Smiles: “Crisp, zesty lemon wedge cookies dusted with powdered sugar.” The only kind of equestrian who could possibly call a lemon cookie their favorite has to be the kind of rider who is all business at the barn, keeping their personal areas tidy and well-organized. Your horse is a nondescript bay who, rumor has it, you paid a good five figures for, and he is every inch the professional under saddle or on the ground. You’re not all that engaging, but when you got into some of Do-si-do’s wine at the last barn party you did tell some pretty hilarious stories that got everyone’s attention.
Toffee-tastic: “Indulgently rich, buttery cookies with sweet, crunchy golden toffee bits.” (Also, gluten-free.) You are retired or semi-retired from some incredibly high-stress job like air traffic control, riot police or heart surgeon, and to relax and unwind in your newfound down time you bought a hot-headed Thoroughbred or auction rescue with a dubious past and ride circles around all the young folk on their well-broke animals, egging them on with just the appropriate level of friendly trash-talk and sassy older-person banter as your horse does gymnastic tricks in the corner because he’s “feeling a little fresh today.”
Girl Scout S’mores: “Our new crunchy graham sandwich cookies with creamy chocolate and marshmallowy filling (YUM!) are one more delicious way to support her next adventure!” These cookies are apparently brand new for this year, so the only way that they could be your favorite already is if you are always trying the next new thing, from fancy bits to magical saddle pads, air-ride horse boots and holistic remedies. You still haven’t found the particular combination of bit, saddle pad, boot and supplement that works well for your horse, but you’ve certainly accumulated a wealth of knowledge as well as half a tack shop overflowing out of your locker. You’re a favorite in the barn because you’re happy to lend any of this stuff out or sell it at cost before you head out to try something new.
Go cookies. Go riding.