On Horses, Getting Back On Them (Mmm… Marginalia #113)

If my recent experience is representative–and we’re going to pretend for the sake of this post that it is–* whenever something’s gone all rotten in your personal or professional life, trust that you will soon be flush with horse enthusiasts bent on getting you “back on”.

Were the next panel of the marginal monkey below’s life extant, it’d almost certainly feature his monkey pals assuring him that, really, recent setbacks** notwithstanding, horsetop is the way to go:



As the old saying goes, when life gives you lemons, you don’t even think about making lemonade until you’ve gotten a good horse ride in, mister.*** But my recent (representative by authorial fiat) experience has given me reason to suspect that the standard equine-mounting advice leaves a couple of important things out. Most importantly, horses are jerks. Sometimes they don’t want you back on them. Medieval manuscript illuminators knew this:

And again:

And once more, with feeling:

Fortunately, medieval illuminators provide us with a third option.

Sometimes, it’s best to forgo the horse entirely, sever your head, attach it to the tail of a fire-breathing dragon, and go wreak fiery vengeance on the horse-obsessed. Let them see how easy it is to get back on the horse when both they and the horse have been reduced to smoldering piles of ash!


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  1. * Em Dash–when you’re too lazy to format a footnote. []
  2. ** And that he’s still being drug behind said horse by the stirrup. []
  3. *** Also, never run after buses, because there are plenty of fish in the sea, but you can only catch them from horseback with lemons as bait. []

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