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Warmblood

By Scot Tolman

categories assigned to the horses: S, M, L, and XL. Hmm. Just as if one were shopping for t-shirts or sweatpants… of course, if I were in the market for new t-shirts or sweatpants, I’d be in need of a catalogue with the option, 2XL. The recommended maximum weight ratio of rider to horse is one to five—the rider should be no more than 20% of the horse’s weight. Considering that most Warmbloods average close to 1200 pounds, this is not a consideration for most people. In my case, I should probably be looking at the online draft horse catalogue. This particular riding-horse catalogue didn’t contain any 2XL riding horses. This being said, I am currently on what I am calling, my

R

“Scottish Tragedy” diet. (I’m telling people that it consists of all the Haggis and fermented mead I can consume.) You see, in January, I am slated to undertake the role of Macbeth. It’s a role I’ve always wanted to play, so I am bound and determined not to be the first Scottish warrior- king who looks as if his name were derived from a popular fast-food franchise rather than from the prolific cerebrum

of Mr. Will Shakespeare. (“He’s here in double trust: First as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed; then as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not ask him if he wants a side of fries with

that.”) Well, here’s a fact: Being on a diet ticks me off. The smallest of perceived incursions can set me off…hence, the exclusion of horses for fat people in the riding-horse catalogue. Not that this is a good thing, but isn’t the world’s

population becoming more and more obese? Doesn’t it follow that the average rider/buyer weighs in heavier than his or her predecessor? Why then is the modern Warmblood becoming leggier, more elegant, and lighter than his predecessor? Wouldn’t it make sense that we breed wider, short-legged animals with extremely good balance and enhanced weight-bearing capabilities? Seriously, in the very near future, this isn’t going to be an issue for me; the Haggis and mead have already begun their magic. I’m just thinking of my fellow overweight riders out there who aren’t looking at standing on stage in a kilt and speaking the poetry of Shakespeare in the next few months. If we’re going to breed for the amateur market, let’s really breed for the amateur market and produce the Warmblood that needs an extra, extra wide tree—an added bonus, then, there might be room for a drink holder in the

74 November/December 2009

ecently, while perusing an online European riding- horse auction catalogue, I was perplexed by the

pommel or a fold-out snack tray in the knee roll. I’ve always said that I have to have a horse with a butt bigger than my own. Perhaps, we should start including more than the height measurement in advertisements— perhaps, we need to list the width as well. At the farm, we frequently get calls from horse shoppers stating, “I’m nearly six feet tall, so I need a horse that is at least 16.3 hands…” I think I’m going to start answering this way: “Why, yes, if you’re that tall you will need a tall horse. Now, so that I can make sure we find you the right horse, how wide is the widest point of your rear end when it’s spread out on a flat surface?” (You see how evil I become when I’m dieting?) Better yet, I think I’ll buy a scale for the barn. You

come looking at my horses, you best be prepared to get weighed in before we discuss the options. Or, even better still, we start yet another Warmblood registry in North America! Yes! The International Couchbloods Association. In order to be considered as breeding stock, each horse must be able to comfortably fit a half-dozen throw pillows on its back, have a rudimentary understanding of football, and demonstrate extreme dexterity with a remote. And, for all you female enthusiasts out there who would love to see your spouses more involved with horses, this could be your answer. It gives a whole new meaning to “perfect husband horse.” Now that I’ve led you through a diet-induced rant against the exclusion of fat people from the sizes of horses in an online catalogue, allow me to express my chagrin. Upon further exploration of this catalogue, I found that the sizes listed only apply to the height of the horse. Silly me. This is a Dutch catalogue…silly me, again. For one thing, all Dutch people are nearly seven feet tall, so, of course, they need to know how tall these horses are.

Secondly, it’s Holland! There are no fat people—let alone

fat people who ride.

WT

About Scot Tolman:

Scot has been breeding Dutch Warmbloods for the past 19 years at Shooting Star Farm in Southwestern New Hampshire. Read more of Scot’s writing at www.shootingstarfarm.com. Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77
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