No Shame In Our Game: Horse Loving Signs

Photo © Heather N. Photography


If there’s one thing the internet is good for, it’s a solid viral sensation. First, there was dog shaming. You know, those hilarious hand-written signs photographed next to an innocent looking dog… who turned out to not be that innocent at all.

Equestrians didn’t want to feel out of the trend, so we created our own meme version — horse shaming. I’ve seen the posts, and think they’re funny. After all, horses do completely ridiculous things. Mine goes into a full on panic hours after a horse fly has left, because he realizes that he lives in a world where horse flies exist and that means there could be horse flies AT ANY TIME!

Quirks like this can make him frustrating, but they’re also endearing to me. They’re endearing, because when I look at my horse I don’t see the list of eccentricities that make him extremely high maintenance (aka expensive). Instead, when I look at him… I see my heart.

So today, I wanted to flip “horse shaming” on its head. Instead of writing up all the ways our animals give us ulcers (anyone know if GastroGard is appropriate for human consumption? asking for a friend…), I wanted to showcase the ways that they’re special. I wanted to highlight the things they do for us, because at the end of the day — they’re our best friends.

And there’s no shame in that game.

“I make muffins from my mom’s chocolate chips!” – submitted by McClain Suelthaus
“Mom was so nervous before starting our course, so I helped her out. We won the class too!” – submitted by Dana White
“I run to her in the pasture & make her feel like a Disney princess.” -submitted by Eden Irving
“I have been teaching kids how to trot for 13+ years!” -submitted by Kelsey Allen
“I find the distance for her when she can’t.” – submitted by Hatte Hamilton
“I always jump flowers even when they’re scary!” – submitted by Rebecca Kaplan
“I am both of their favorite siblings!” – submitted by Carly Phoon
“She hesitated at the last jump, but I went ahead and took the long one so we would win.” – submitted by Ashley Shaw
“I try to be friends with all the cats, even the mean ones!” – submitted by Carly Phoon
“I stick my tongue out on command!” – submitted by Tori Weed
“My first ever jumping show was AQHA championships, and I won!” – submitted by Tori Weed
“I carried my mom when she was too sad to go on alone.” – submitted by Lauren Mauldin

I love looking at all of these “horse-loving” signs. Whether they’re athletes who have won a ton of blue ribbons for their owners or quiet friends after a hard day, horses bring out the best in us. Without them, I don’t know where I’d be today… and there aren’t enough signs in the world to show my appreciation for that.

If you have a special horse in your life you’d love to shower with affection, submit your own “horse-loving” sign to The Plaid Horse. We’d love to feature it on social media and/or the blog, and keep the trend of happiness going!

About the Author: Lauren holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of California Riverside, and is a lifelong rider and writer. Beyond equestrian journalism, she explores body positivity, mental health and addiction through personal narrative. She enjoys showing on the local hunter/jumper circuit in Austin, Texas.

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