The first step is admitting you have a problem.

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I have wasted gigabytes of space on iphones trying to take the perfect “selfie” with ears forward and a full shot of both my face and that of the poor horse.

My name is Jorna Taylor and I am a horse addict.  I first realized this when I was three years old. It has been six hours since I left the barn and I’m considering going back for an evening trail ride. I’m not sure how I will survive the next three days without a Jorge fix because I have to be in DC for work.

You think I’m kidding?

Outside of the hours spent working or sleeping, I am usually engaged in something horse-y. I might be at the barn or at a horse show. When I get home I eat dinner while surfing horse websites. And often, while on a boring conference call, I stream Upperville, Washington International or whatever might be on equestrian.tv.

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Fraggle Rock, a pony I showed back in the late 80’s. She was so cool and so much fun to ride. I wonder what happened to her.

While I devote some time to internet stalking – hey, if facebook isn’t for tracking former classmates or colleagues without actually having to talk to them, then what is it for? –  I primarily dedicate my efforts to all things equestrian. I can spend hours and hours trolling horse websites. Looking for a new saddle? I’ll let you know which sites have the best deals, or whether that Pessoa on Craigslist has been dropped to a reasonable price. I shop for horses I could never afford, thanks to the hunter/jumper exchange. I compare how much the Toulouse girth I covet costs on Smartpak versus Dover and when there might be a tent sale within a 150 mile radius of my house.  I set videos I took of my friends riding to music and upload them to my youtube channel. I also relive my “glory days” as a pony rider stalking ponies I owned, rode or showed against in the late 80’s to early 90’s. And, I do admit, I seek out any potential opportunity to ride with Nick Karazissis, a h/j trainer from California, because I am absolutely dying to do one of his clinics.

Every surface in my house has some horse knick-knack, picture or piece of tack on it. I own a Jack Russell, the quintessential dog of choice of the equestrian set. Bumper stickers adorn my car stating that I would “rather be riding my horse” and indicating that yes, I am a cowgirl. My home office doubles as a tack room and show prep area, while the railing around my porch is home to freshly laundered damp saddle pads and polo wraps on any given sunny day.

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I take “hipstapics” of the barn quite a bit, often while pretending I’m on a trail ride. I don’t know what I’ll ever do with them except let them take up space on my computer.

I speak “horse.” If you don’t know what that is, well, then clearly you don’t ride. I cluck at my dog, cars in front of me, and my father (that makes him really mad!). Cracks on the sidewalk are an excuse to leave long or short, as if on course. If I am the passenger in a car, I mentally jump the shadows on the side of the road and count my strides between them. And speaking of cars, both of mine are always full of barn dirt and sand, hair-covered baby pads and girths, barn boots, bags of grain, peppermint wrappers (Jorge’s favorite treat), and muddy dog prints from being at the barn. I’ve given up being embarrassed when I realize during a meeting I’m coated in dark bay and white hair.

I like to say that I have clothes I wear to the barn and clothes I haven’t worn to the barn – yet.

I don’t think I smell bad after a good solid ride in the middle of summer. I’ll go to the grocery store wearing breeches and rain boots to do a full shopping trip. I once rode the Metro back to downtown DC after riding with Hillary wearing my breeches, half chaps and paddocks while carrying my helmet. A man recently asked me if I had been at a barn while in line at Chipotle. I thought perhaps maybe he wasn’t enjoying “eau de wet stall” but he indicated my hair was hosting about a flake of hay. All summer long people will marvel at how tan I am – as long as I’m wearing pants!

My dad once said it was good I kept a day job otherwise I’d never have a reason to dress up or shower.

I could go on and on and on about my obsession with any and all activities involving horses. Like getting in a car with Charlotte last Sunday to go see yet another potential new lesson horse for her that was more than two hours away. Or planning my summer trips around the show schedule. And being so excited that my mom is visiting soon and she finally gets to meet her “grandhorse.”

This all makes me happy, so who really cares! I’m not hurting anyone, I’m not addicted to heroin, and I only go to therapy every so often. I do have other interests, like politics and music, so its not like I spend every single moment thinking about horses.

But if I could take Jorge to Bonnaroo, that would be pretty amazing! 🙂

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A Sunday Funday once involved Drag Queen Bingo at Fluid in Milwaukee. Everyone else thought it was a bad thing to win the ponies – not me!

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