Last night I saw a wonderful sight: my non horsey husband was leafing through the latest wish book (otherwise known as the Dover catalog).
I smiled encouragingly at him. He was in the saddle section.
No. He was almost through it. He was in the blankets section, always the last part. My hopes were lowered, but not dashed.
“I’ve noticed something about this catalog.” he said.
“Yes?” I said, in my most seductive voice, telling him he was the very best husband a woman could ever hope to have.
“There’s no men in it.”
Um. He is certainly perceptive. Considering that, for thousands of years, the vast majority of riders were male, men are now severely underrepresented in the horse world.
“There’s usually a man in the britches section.”
“It’s pronounced ‘britches’, but it’s spelled breeches.”
“Oh. You mean ‘tights’.”
I bit my lip. After all, they do look like tights.
He looked up ‘breeches’ in the index and flipped to it. I was amazed to see that pages 91 and 92 had several pictures of manly looking men wearing britches. It was a change from the normal photo, that usually being a photo of a man from the waist down, wearing the only style and color of breeches they sell for men.
He riffled through the catalog again, then handed it to me.
“You want to know how I can tell the horse world is dominated by women?”
“There’s no electronic gadgets.”
I flipped through the catalog, and with the exception of horse clippers, he was right.
“No toys. Nothing electronic. No radios, no GPS, nothing.”
“Uhhhhh, the endurance folks use heart rate monitors.”
“So do marathon runners, but that’s not a ‘gadget’.”
“You women could get us men on the back of a horse if you just added gadgets. How can you ride without a GPS? How can you tell how fast he’s going without a digital speedometer? Put LEDs on the front feet to light the way. Put brake lights and turn signals on him. Put a video camera between his ears. Put an RFID on him and you could instantly tell who the horse is, his breed, his age, registration number, even how many shows you’ve been to. Pressure sensors could read out how much weight each hoof bears when he’s galloping. Radar could tell how high the jump is. A guy would have a ball with horses if you just added gadgets.”
I’ll be damned. He’s right ( as usual).
He also has a PhD AND a Masters in engineering. He is handy with his hands and his mind. Everything in my house works. An electrical or mechanical thing doesn’t DARE break down…if it does, he dissects it, fixes it, and puts it back together. He could easily adapt these things to fit on a horse and tack.
This could be the start of an entire new industry. I can see it now: “Horse Toys”. I can see the glitzy catalog, with covers featuring muscled, bare-chested men riding dapple grey Andalusians, festooned with every gadget you can think of. The horseshows will have to feature a tech booth, where batteries, chargers, wires, and all sorts of gadgets are sold, staffed by pencil necked geeks, muttering in C+++, who will be able to reformat your suddenly misbehaving digitized dilithium crystals…at a cost. Your scores will be posted on your phone, will instantly go viral, with your performance and show results immediately compared to the rest of the world.
Oh my god. On the one hand I can see myself making a ton of money.
Maybe Bill Gates will ask to be my business partner.
On the other hand, I can see that I will never be able to show my face in public. The women in the horse world will hunt me down and kill me.
And I’ll deserve it.