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  • Writer's picturejshannon727


The Oxford Dictionary describes the word superstitious as “a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief.”

Well, absolutely no one at my barn believes that horse manure! In fact, superstitions are both developed and reinforced among equestrian riders. They are prevalent among riders who pride themselves on possessing a certain amount of sophistication and those with enough experience to have seen everything twice. New riders may not possess a superstitious mind at first, however this will change when they decide they want to fit in, or when they begin to see a link between wearing blue breeches on Thursdays and their horse refusing a jump.

As in most environments, there is inevitably someone who rises from the crowd and decides to test accepted theories. Even the superstition theory. Recently, three riders and I were debating the pain relief of Advil versus Tylenol for sprains, breaks, and headaches. Suddenly, Marjorie challenged the "never say never" rule when she declared, “I’ve never fallen off my new horse, Biff.”

We all stared at our boots. No one wanted to stare the superstition denier in the face. Meanwhile Marjorie donned her helmet and strode out to join Biff at the mounting block.

It was one of those perfect days with a blue sky, no wind. But as often happens in empty parking lots when two cars manage to collide with each other, Biff managed to run into his own shadow. With a herculean effort to escape himself, Biff bolted left. Marjorie went right.

The Merriam Webster dictionary has this to say about superstitions: “a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.”

We all know that’s horse manure.

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