“Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!”

The first time I saw this quote it was on a Maxine greeting card but the idea originally came from a passage by the one and only Hunter S. Thompson. Either way, it has always had a barn battle cry feel to me -with the vehicle being a horse.

So many images of beauty in our culture seem to be about being weak; teetering in high heels, wearing restrictive clothing that limits our movement, spending hours primping and still never quite measuring up to the celebrity-survivors of plastic surgery and air brushing, who are our cultural icons of beauty.

It’s a no-win situation -eventually we all get old. But what if we had a different standard and instead beauty was a reflection of strength and confidence, made more valuable with years of polish?

What if it was obvious to everyone that a woman moving in unison with a thousand pound horse was more beautiful than a woman wearing Versace on a red carpet? (Wiki definition: The experience of “beauty” often involves the interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being.)

Or a big smile under a riding helmet was considered sexy?

Or men were wildly attracted to women that horses and dogs liked?

What if the guilty pleasure was watching a TV show about four Amazon equestrians who didn’t live in NYC and wore dirty Ariats instead of Manolo Blahniks?

Would it be the worst thing if riding instructors where universally respected and cosmetic plastic surgeons were shunned as fringe-dwellers?

And since this is obviously MY fantasy -old legs could still dance. Every day older we became, the sum of our beauty would continue to grow. Pasty teenagers would look at us with awe and respect as (did I mention this is a fantasy?) we arrive loud and proud, skidding in sideways -wrinkled, used up and howling!

“I want to grow old without facelifts. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I have made.”         -Marilyn Monroe.

Anna Blake, Infinity Farm.

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Comment by Jackie Cochran on April 8, 2011 at 11:34am

Way to go Anne!

Maybe, just maybe, if horsewomen felt allowed to be their natural selves they would be more likely to let their horses be their natural selves.

Considering I had to give up things like shoes, "hot" dresses and clothes, perms, make-up and all the other expensive junk that women are expected to do, JUST so I could afford a horse, I fully agree with your blog!  Why would I ever want to have plastic surgery, for the cost of one procedure I could get a few custom-made saddles?  No contest.  I would get the saddles.

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