Equinophobia. AKA Hippophobia. The fear of horses.
Okay, so maybe the answer to the question, “Who’s afraid of horses?” is “Almost nobody.” But if horses were as commonly kept as dogs, this phobia would skyrocket. Horses are big scary herbivores. And they bite.
I know this because once I was at a petting zoo and a little wide-eyed kid standing beside me asked, “Do they bite?” at which I laughed and said, “No, no, they don’t bite. You can pet them.” Well, turns out they bite. Sorry, kid. What did I know? I was just a random animal lover at a petting zoo. It’s not like asking an expert. Sheesh.
I’m sure that kid became equinophobic.
When I was a teenager I went to a shoddy stable for the one and only riding experience of my life. My horse threw me off in half a minute flat, which would have been upsetting enough but, since my foot was caught in the stirrup, it also dragged me around for a few dozen metres. My sister’s horse rode into the trees — literally, it kept smashing her legs into the trees. Like take a hint, human.
They are awfully beautiful animals, but let’s be honest: they throw people to their deaths. People ought not to ride them or touch them or even approach them. The cure for equinophobia is to move the horses to the other side of the farm fence.
No. Really, the cure is exposure therapy. But why bother? It’s not like we’re in 1870. You can avoid horses for your entire life without the slightest compromise. Seriously, pick your battles, people.
Actually, I like horses. But they make me terribly sad. I was deeply affected by the book Animal Farm. I can’t look at a horse without thinking of Boxer and imagining betrayal and doom. Even just typing his name makes me sad. It’s going to take a few episodes of My Little Pony to cheer me up. I’d better get watching.
BTW, there are no horses or equinophobics in 28 Tricks for a Fearless Grade 6. But you could win a copy if you leave a comment on this blog during Fearless February.
I’ve grown to be more wary of horses since my fairly fearless childhood (back before it occurred to me that, if ever one were to turn on me, there wouldn’t be much I could do about it but suffer), but I’ve yet to undergo an experience bad enough that I’m officially scared of them. It might actually be nice to go for a ride again, some time; it’s been years.
People who ride well are a wonder to watch. I really do like horses; I’m just not sure the feeling is reciprocated. 🙂