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Sep 17 2010

What I did on my summer vacation

Got a new horse. I’m not gonna lie. She’s more fun than patriarchy blaming. Her name is Iz. For those who give a fig about equine particulars, she’s a bloomy 10-year-old chestnut 15.3 Thoroughbred/Oldenburg cross who never puts a foot wrong. We’ll be doing the low hunters, Spinster Aunt Division. In this award-nominated video Iz demonstrates her delightful disposition.

Will this blog ever be its old self again? Well, the racket of the crickets has tapered off such that I can now hear the toads, which make a noise like a game show buzzer only louder and more interminable. I know of no sound more likely to hurl me into a frogicidal mania. The other night, dripping with sweat and sleep deprivation, I completely lost it and actually tried to brain one with a shovel (no need to call PETA; I missed). I’m on 2 hours of sleep right now. Something’s gotta give. It doesn’t look like the toads are gonna give, so I’ll probably just claw my own face off soon.

But blaming will resume nevertheless. I’ve recently seen some shit on TV that blew my entire lobe, and I can’t wait to complain about it on the Internet!

74 comments

1 ping

  1. Linda Atkins

    Welcome to Iz, and nice to see a new post!

  2. MPMR

    Thank you thank you thank you for posting again! I’m so glad you’re back.

    I was worried I was going to have to get my own damn blog.

  3. Awhirlinlondon

    Thank god. That you’re intending to write again, certainly, but more importantly, that some fucking death-threatening Chad didn’t kill you and stuff you somewhere where you would not be found. Or, granting the fact that one obviously doesn’t know your domestic arrangements, that you’d gone missing and no-one knew. What a great, honking relief. Look forward to the blame and/but sorry for being a paranoid urban ass, just fucking glad you’re alive – the blame be damned.

    Your new love sounds like a perfect pleasure. Hope you continue to enjoy each other hugely.

  4. Mel

    I find that earplugs and loud fans work wonders for drowning out interminable & grating noises of all sorts. If they’re in for too long, they do make my ears itch a bit, but it’s still preferable to clawing my face off.

  5. Ayla

    Woo!

    –does the Jill-is-back* dance and sparks up the vape–

    *similar to the butt dance

  6. Citizen Taqueau

    Yay, horses and complaining about TV!

  7. Comrade PhysioProf

    That’s a big fucken horsie!

  8. Mortisha

    Ha! Iz likes her personal space and ain’t afraid to show it.
    Good horsey

  9. Ayla

    Do you ride your horses, and if so, do you ride that one?

  10. Yatima

    Chestnut mare beware! She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Me, I am training for the low jumpers, PTA-mom-of-two division, so I feel your butt pain.

    Less patriarchy, more ponies!

  11. Sarah

    Have you tried filling your ear canals with cement? I used to live by a freeway, which was by a light rail, which was by train tracks. The only thing that helped me to fall asleep through all the racket involved a regiment of working myself to exhaustion and a self-prescribed nightcaps. That wasn’t sustainable, so I moved.

  12. BadKitty

    That is one pissed off horse. She’s perfect for you!

  13. Laurie

    Wow! You’re back! What a relief; this paranoid rural ass was concerned, too. Happy to see your new, high-spirited friend, too.

  14. Ron Sullivan

    Ooooooo, pretty!

    Also grouchy. I like that in somebody else’s horse.

  15. Pinko Punko

    Iz is.

  16. humanbein

    It’s a beautiful dream come true to think of you riding your horses over your lovely little ranch chewing over some ideas of something to complain about on the internet to entertain and instruct your many friends. This is what I wanted so much for you just a few short years ago when I was so worried about you. Enjoy!

  17. shopstewardess

    That is a very beautiful horse with a very interesting disposition.

  18. Tehomet

    Aw, Iz is beautiful.

  19. schatze

    What does she do when she gets some space?

  20. deja pseu

    Gotta love those alpha mares. My dad had one like that; she used to lunge ears-back/teeth-bared when I came to collect her empty oats bucket. But she was a great trail horse.

  21. Satchel

    Katydid is gone!
    Jill is back and I’m joyful
    Welcome gorgeous Iz

  22. yttik

    Welcome back, Jill.

    In the other thread we were talking about origins of patriarchy and wondering what role strength and brute force played in setting up a hierarchy. If women had been the larger ones, would women have been the ones creating a dominating cultural system like the patriarchy? I don’t think so, I think humans, especially patriarchal ones, over estimate the importance of strength. Horses are a good example, they’re much bigger and badder than we are. Heck, a pissed off house cat can take me down. If might made right, if superior strength equaled domination, humans would be somewhere towards the bottom of the food chain right now.

    I don’t feel comfortable with arguments about superior intelligence as a key to domination, either. I don’t think I’ve ever outsmarted a horse. I’m pretty good at outsmarting my flock of chickens, but most other animals are simply not impressed with my superior intelligence. The cats simply tolerate me and the dogs sigh a lot in a rather patronizing way. The best I’ve ever managed with horses is mutually agreed upon cooperation.

  23. niki

    Most of my past year was spent in youth hostels and I will attest to the functionality of the large and squishy construction orange earplugs. I sleep like I’m in the military during wartime, and I did my 8 hours with those puppies.

    Also, nice horse. I’m terrified of horses but dang they shor is purdy. However, unlike the P, this doesn’t compel me to oppress them.

  24. FemmeForever

    Whoo! Whoooo!

    WELCOME BACK JILL! What a relief. I see some of us thought you were murdered and deposited in a ditch somewhere. Not me. I speculated you might be in the throws of chemo. Sooooooo happy all us worriers were wrong. Not only still alive but enjoying life. Good on you and happy, happy.

  25. Schnee

    Iz looks like a right proper blamer and arse-kicker into the bargain, howevs, she also makes me feel a little bit shifty, guilty and exploitative, since I have a feeling that horse pee helps to curb my 50-something womanly woes. On t’other hand, if my pee could help stop horsey night-sweats etc., I’d gladly give it, which is no empty offer, since I wouldn’t piss on some patriarchy enablers if they were on fire.

  26. thebewilderness

    She’s a charmer all right. I like her very much.

  27. JRoth

    The other day I saw some wretched bit of patriarchy-fluffing on the internets somewhere, and I almost emailed it to you in hopes of drawing you out. But that didn’t seem nice at all. Glad that you’ve checked in without being baited (by us, anyway).

  28. Kelly

    Congratulations on your new horse! That is wonderful.

  29. RKMK

    Welcome back, Twisty. Your new pony is so pretty!

    If your stomach is feeling strong enough, googlenews “Pitt Meadows.” It’s the story that’s made me nauseous for most of the week.

  30. Prose Hack

    She’s a beaut! Personally, I like a little “uppiti-tude.” Gives her some spark.

    And yes, the 10 millionth, “glad you’re back.”

  31. joy

    Damn it. Here I was about to offer you my laid-back, super-chill 10-year-old, 16-hand-ish chestnut Thoroughbred gelding who does low jumpers.

    I’m serious. I really was toying with the idea of someday asking if you’d like my horse. The woman I’d given him to when I moved away has developed money problems related to a chaddish ex-husband (number one cause of money problems among otherwise healthy hetero women), and had to give him back.

  32. TwissB

    I hesitate to ask, but what has become of old love Stanley and whoever the dream horse was before that?

  33. lawbitch

    A beautiful horse! That’s fabulous news.

  34. Bizzie Lizzie

    Iz is a feisty wee dancer. Beautiful. I reckoned you’d gone with the wildlife willingly. I wish I’d put money on it now.

  35. wiggles

    How do you pronounce “lz?” Or is that initials to protect her identity?
    I figured you were happily frolicking among the heart-warming nature crap too.

  36. Andrea

    This didn’t show up in my RSS feed, so I just worried for two extra days. Oops. Feelin’ foolish.

  37. Andrea

    Also, I can’t watch videos on my computer machine, but maybe I can borrow someone’s. Or maybe you will take a picture. Just last night I, um, read the entirety of Fugly Horse of the Day. So I’m certainly in the mood to see your Iz.

    Will I be kicked off the Island for liking draft crosses? That is the question.

  38. minervaK

    I notice that you discreetly truncated the video just as Iz was getting’ busy with that stall wall…

  39. Intransigentia

    What a beauty Iz is! (And if this becomes a horse blog, with occasional blaming, I, for one, will forgive you. As long as there are visuals!)

  40. sargassosea

    Patience, apparently, iz a virtue!

  41. speedbudget

    My Pandora application just played every internet spinster aunt’s Number One Jam.

    Now, my disturbing question is, how does Pandora know that I am an inspiring spinster aunt, and thus should be given the joy of hearing the Number One Jam on occasion?

    P.S. “Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti” is about as awesome a lyric to get into a song as “nautical-themed pashmina afghan,” and I salute you, Toto.

  42. speedbudget

    *aspiring

    I’ve been spending all day proofreading. I can understand how I missed that, and I forgive myself.

  43. hero

    Wow, beautiful. How’s Iz getting on with Stanley, Maypearl, Fran and Bert?

  44. tinfoil hattie

    P.S. “Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti” is about as awesome a lyric to get into a song as “nautical-themed pashmina afghan,” and I salute you, Toto.

    Y’know, I always thought this was “Kilimanjaro rises like an empress above the Serengeti.” Since the entire song is one big bag of incoherence, I figured it made as much sense as anything else. But I like “rises like Olympus” better, becuase I get a bigger cognitive dissonance. I think.

  45. Val

    Love that Bad Mare Attitude! Pretty is as pretty does, that’s what I say.
    [Owner of a couple of Bad Mares myself]

  46. Zwarte

    Whoever that horse is in the next stall, Iz plans to kick him hard with both hinds when they are out in the same space.

    She’s the Mare.

  47. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    An irate mare seems the ideal companion for you. You two are simpatica.

  48. Chai Latte

    Aww, what a pretty horsie! Fir nt birthgday, right> ;) (Kidding, anyway that’s the 18th.)

    It’s funny that you posted this. I hadn’t visited the blog in ages, and then just last night I had a dream that I visited your farm! It was a sign from the Ceiling Cat! :D

  49. Chai Latte

    Crap. FOR MY BIRTHDAY is what I meant to write. Stupid sticky keys. :P

  50. AileenWuornos

    Huzzuh! Jill lives.

  51. Triste

    Welcome back!

    Two things:

    1. That is a fucking beautiful horse. It looked a bit pissed off, but I suppose in general horses have reasons to be pissed off, like sometimes people just climb on them and make them run in directions they don’t wanna run, which makes them almost as degraded as ladies.

    2. Saw an article from the Masters of the Obvious Department this morning and thought of you: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/09/23/health.breast.cancer.problems/

  52. gwyllion

    oooooooooooooohooooooooooooooooooooo!!!
    what a BEEEEEAAAAAUUUUUUUTTTTTIIIIIFFFFUUUULLLL sassy wicked girl is IZ!

  53. Aunti Disestablishmentarian

    Whell, welcome back, Ms. Psmith. We have sorely missed you, indeed, but are thrilled to hear of the new addition to your farmily.

    May I present you with a small amuse bouche to cushion your reentry; A Kitchen of One’s Own: a blog about feminism and professional chefdom:

    http://onesownkitchen.wordpress.com/

    (Hat tip: Zuska)

    Blame on!

  54. Ruby Lou

    What a beauty, a gorgeous babe, my favorite is the part where she sails past with her ears laid back, sleek and gifted with ornery intentions. Thank you one million times for posting this video.

  55. Ruby Lou

    Oh yeah, and I’m eagerly anticipating the upcoming internet blaming you spoke about. There’s been a dearth lately. Glad you’re back.

  56. joy

    Oh, I just watched the video! She’s delightful.

    Love the tail rub. My gelding does that too, and always has, since the time he leapt long-leggedly from his mother’s womb. I wormed and wormed to no avail, had the vet check him, then finally decided he was just doing it for fun and let it be.

    He is currently stabled next to a stallion. Oh, the squealing and gnashing of teeth. Apparently also all in fun, as well, as long as there’s a wall between.

    The stallion, though he is the nicest and least ‘studly’ stallion I’ve ever met, apparently enjoys beating his meat at horse shows. Once he did it beneath his cooling sheet, directly after winning some special Trakhener award for dressage proficiency, and his rider says it looked like “a puppet show under a tent.”

    At least he’s a horse, and really doesn’t know any better.

  57. SomeoneElse

    HA! This reminds me of two persnickity ponies at my last barn. They were stalled next to each other (and, mind you, complained BITTERLY if they were not), but spent their entire time En Stalle bickering and threatening each other. My favorite moment was when Pony 1 found a way to get under the teeny tiny wall space to put his snout near Pony 2′s food. This made Pony 2 insane, and was clearly the real motivation for Pony 1, since he couldn’t possibly get any significant amount of free food this way.

    They’re not so different from us.

    Also, unless the ceiling is really low in that barn, I can’t believe that horse is only 15 hands!

  58. Bizzie Lizzie

    So, even the unstudly stallions are up to shameless horndoggery? Who’d a thunkit?

    I just read the vintage ‘corset tightens’ post and most of the commentary and got to thinking about horses. If sadomasochism “glorifies like no other -ism the dominance/submission dynamic… epitome of patriarchal ideology,” what about the taste of the whip in equestrianism? I have ethical quandaries around issues of consent and human/ equine partnerships.

    As a kid I rode western style, and never needed a whip in my hand. It would have been unthinkable with the sensitivity of these beasts, and they always seemed eager to play anyway. If the horse was spooked you could calm it by doing something peaceful and centred in the pit of your stomach. That’s how I remember it.

    This summer I decided I needed to be on horseback with immediate effect and sought out a local stable. English style riding is a slightly different discipline, and I applied myself to learning it. It was strange indeed, like suddenly having to turn the wheel left to go right, but it won’t work unless you roll your tongue and pat your tummy at the same time. The horse I was working with insisted on veering off the corners and would not keep up a pace. I figured I must be holding my pinkie wrong or something and felt dreadfully incompetent, although committed to getting a grasp of it. I accepted the crop offered to me the third time I was asked, but could not bring myself to lash her belly as the instructor told me to. She responded to the slightest tickle on the shoulder, but still didn’t like the corners. Dammit, I didn’t even like those corners. Both of us were fed up with the paddock. They’d given me a ‘beginner’s horse’ to start with, but apparently I wasn’t kicking hard enough.

    Next time I arrived I was offered an inelegantly shaped highland pony who had outgrown his breed’s standard height and was found abandoned and emaciated. He had serious, wise eyes that looked right at my soul. They warned me that he was grumpy, would greet only one of the stable hands, would refuse to move for me or listen, but would keep up a steady pace for practising the mis-named rising trot if worked on a lunge with a whip to hand. I got up on this boy, ready to experience the cathartic anticlimax I have experienced every time I’ve been on horseback in this country, and gave him a little tap like I used to with the Spanish horses. He just went. He was listening to the pit of my belly! The person teaching me said ‘oh’. Not ‘Oh! Just ‘oh’. Within minutes I was experiencing rising glee, waves of adoration for my trusty steed, and my trot was flying. The whip was abandoned by the gate.

    Why the frog am I bothering y’allses with this on an MIA radical internet feminist’s blog? Firstly, because there are people here who know their horses and are sensitive to the ethics of dominance/ submission dynamics. The mare didn’t move for anyone without a whip, and she didn’t like the damn corners. I felt incompetent for not being forced into forcing her. It should have been easy to force her. She was a ‘beginner’s horse’. The highland wiseling had a reputation for being a slow witted cantankerous git, but was extraordinarily sensitive, and a joy for me to ride. So do I just let the reluctant mare do her thing and cut the corners or be forced by someone else? I don’t want to do all that kicking, whipping stuff. Do I need to force myself to in order to get a proper grip of what I’m doing?

    Just to link this in before I get red notes in the margin, the rise of patriarchy and its bloody raging for dominance over souls and resources would never have got past a wet dream without the forced labour of horses. That’s my thus far unsupported thesis anyway, and I’ll run with it for now.

  59. Shell Goddamnit

    Man, those are some palatial horse digs there. I thought they stopped building ‘em like that in the 30s. But then I’ve been out of horse world for about 30 years, so.

  60. Mar Iguana

    For those not in the horsey set, how the hell does a stallion beat his meat?

  61. Cactus Sally

    Damn you, Twisty. You and yer damn horse, havin’ a damn life. And after I pushed virtual green jello (your favorite) toward you with a virtual broom after you virtually flipped out in a virtual video – this is how i imagine you thank me? I didn’t want it to go down like this but you have pushed me, well you never actually pushed me, or met me, ok, or heard of me but nevermind all that. I’ve had enough. Out by the dumpster, sister. I am gonna beat you like a cactus headed stepchild…what the? Is that cupcakes you have there? I really like cupcakes. Oooh-sprinkles! Where are you going with my barbecue tongs and cheez whiz? Wait – can I have the one with blue frosting? Hmmm. Fhanks oof re est! Iz want a bite too?

  62. Helen

    Went riding the other day – I’m limited to the trailriding outfit and only get it together to go twice a year, plus I have knee and other issues so, OW, OW, OW, OW, OW. Why do I do this to myself? Because the riding bug never leaves you.

  63. Helen

    Have to say “my” horse, Milo, was a trooper, and far too good for me in my present state of unfit.

  64. Bizzie Lizzie

    With Jill MIA I am going to split a very very long post into several pieces in a brazen attempt to bypass the moderation requirement for very very long posts.

    I just read the vintage ‘corset tightens’ post and most of the commentary and got to thinking about horses. If sadomasochism “glorifies like no other -ism the dominance/submission dynamic… epitome of patriarchal ideology,” what about the taste of the whip in equestrianism? I have ethical quandaries around issues of consent and human/ equine partnerships.

    As a kid I rode western style, and never needed a whip in my hand. It would have been unthinkable with the sensitivity of these beasts, and they always seemed eager to play anyway. If the horse was spooked you could calm it by doing something peaceful and centred in the pit of your stomach. That’s how I remember it.

  65. Bizzie Lizzie

    Next time I arrived I was offered an inelegantly shaped highland pony who had outgrown his breed’s standard height and was found abandoned and emaciated. He had serious, wise eyes that looked right at my soul. They warned me that he was grumpy, would greet only one of the stable hands, would refuse to move for me or listen, but would keep up a steady pace for practising the mis-named rising trot if worked on a lunge with a whip to hand. I got up on this boy, ready to experience the cathartic anticlimax I have experienced every time I’ve been on horseback in this country, and gave him a little tap like I used to with the Spanish horses. He just went. He was listening to the pit of my belly! The person teaching me said ‘oh’. Not ‘Oh! Just ‘oh’. Within minutes I was experiencing rising glee, waves of adoration for my trusty steed, and my trot was flying. The whip was abandoned by the gate.

    Why the frog am I bothering y’allses with this on an MIA radical internet feminist’s blog? Firstly, because there are people here who know their horses and are sensitive to the ethics of dominance/ submission dynamics. The mare didn’t move for anyone without a whip, and she didn’t like the damn corners. I felt incompetent for not being forced into forcing her. It should have been easy to force her. She was a ‘beginner’s horse’. The highland wiseling had a reputation for being a slow witted cantankerous git, but was extraordinarily sensitive, and a joy for me to ride. So do I just let the reluctant mare do her thing and cut the corners or be forced by someone else? I don’t want to do all that kicking, whipping stuff. Do I need to force myself to in order to get a proper grip of what I’m doing?

    Just to link this in before I get red notes in the margin, the rise of patriarchy and its bloody raging for dominance over souls and resources would never have got past a wet dream without the forced labour of horses. That’s my thus far unsupported thesis anyway, and I’ll run with it for now.

  66. MPMR

    RhymeswithwitchPhd has officially ended.

    IBTP is on hiatus/in limbo/gone to the horses.

    So, does anyone want to start a blog with me? I don’t have the time or energy to do a whole blog by myself, but there’s a hole in my heart that can only be filled by feminist blogs, so if anyone else feels the same, let’s make it happen!

    Our first post could be about the how the big P has made some women think that titillating men with double entendres is somehow going to stop cancer.

  67. joy

    Bizzie –

    I’ve considered the oppression of riding horses a lot, too. And I’ve been riding for a decade and a half (I’m young).

    English isn’t all whips, of course — and horses definitely know what’s going on inside of you. I was the first person ever to get on my Thoroughbred gelding, and I’ve always, always ridden him off of the center of my belly. He was always a free and eager fellow.

    For a while, when I was gone, he wound up with a cowboy, Natural Horseman style dude who wanted to make my boy a cow horse (horse loves chasing cows, he does it on his spare time like he does jumping, what can I say). This dude (pro’ly being a dude, with all the inherent control and domination issues) seriously fucked my poor baby up.

    But when I ride him from the belly, he goes nicely forward and it’s like we have wings.

  68. joy

    Addendum –

    Point is, you’re right.

    I do wish we (my horsey and I) could ride bareback and without a bit, too. He’s just a mite on the tall and slippery side. I can’t get up there without a lot of squirming, and being a ticklish Thoroughbred he tends to look at me as if to say, “WTF, woman,” when I try to hop on without a saddle.

    Recently I’ve just been hanging out with him in the pasture while he grazes, or taking him for walks on the lead line. He swats bugs off me with his tail and offers me handfuls of grass. He wears his heart on his sleeve, such that it is, so I know he’s happy.

    If only it could always be like that.

  69. redpeachmoon

    I miss you terribly Jill! learned about this ‘blaming’ business only last spring. Must I content myself with the archives? They are pretty great, and there are lots to go through, but I wish you’d get back to blaming!

  70. Helen

    Bizzie, Joy etc – I recommend this book highly, a middle aged woman returning to riding and being more aware of the ethical conundrums involved. I think that most of us can say that when we were small we were just thinking in terms of hopping on and riding – this is more bigger picture.

    http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Horses-Black-Beauties-Animals/dp/0393049477

    It’s really well written, too.

  71. Helen

    This is also effin’ awesome – the cover art as well.

    http://www.amazon.com/Animals-Translation-Catherine-Johnson/dp/0747566690/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1286676863&sr=1-2

  72. joy

    Helen — thanks for the recommendation!

    Many times, when I was a wee Joy, I can remember irking adults by saying, “I can’t ride in my lesson today, it’s too hot for horseys.” Or, “I won’t get on, his back looks sore.” As a teen, I really pissed off an A-circuit hunter show barn by refusing to ride any of their lesson horses, who were all some degree of lame. (That’s bad for reputation, you know. Can’t have some brat from the wrong side of the tracks, in hand-me-down Ariats and pull-on britches, potentially throw a wrench into their sweet sweet $$$ spokes.)

    Still won’t ride if the animal is looking uneasy, or unsettled in some way. Hardass trainers will say I’m spoiling my horse, but I haven’t been bucked off since he was a rank high-spirited four-year-old, and we almost always have a good ride. He seems to learn concepts better when he’s feeling good, anyway.

    It’s easy, if you’re used to watching body language as opposed to relying on the meaning of words, to figure out more or less what an animal is feeling. At least in terms of “angry”, “sad”. “uncomfortable”, “hurting”, etc. It’s always puzzled me how so many people fail to take the time, either with animals or other people — or maybe most of them don’t care.

  73. skeptifem

    I can’t think of a more outrageously expensive hobby. I mean, wow. I didn’t think so many people here could afford it.

  74. Hattie

    Nice hoss. You have my permission to plug noisy varmits. We have horrid imported coqui frogs that shriek all night, and we plug ‘em with BBs shot from an air pistol. Shovels are not efficient. But a BB to the brain stops them cold.

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