Illustration by Dallin Orr.

Mike Brown (Still) Hates Horses


This is the pet issue, and I’ve already written shitloads about my pets over the years, so I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing about them. By the way, the fish and the cat (Princess Ramona) are all doing fine, so instead I decided to do a quick interview with my friend Helen Wade-Joice about her pet horse. If you know me, you know I really hate horses—but I’ve already written about that, too. 

“If you know me, you know I really hate horses.”

Anyway, Helen runs The Stockist clothing shop in the 9th and 9th district, and I’ve bought many awesome pairs of pants there over the years, and some cool shoes too. I didn’t know she was into horses, so we talked about it.  

Helen has been jumping on the backs of horses since she was seven years old.  Her horse is named Gatsby and it’s big and red. To me, horses have always been big, scary dogs that can smell your fear. Helen explained to me that yes, they are complex animals that you need to figure out before you get one as a pet.  

Since Helen runs a clothing store, I asked her why she didn’t sell spurs. She was not impressed. So then I bought some shoes and asked her what Gatsby likes to eat. Turns out it’s peppermints.  Who would have thought? Also, Helen feeds her horse a shitload of grains and said that she spends more money on his health than her own and also her child’s. I can completely understand that. My pets have better healthcare than I do, too.

An interesting thing that Helen taught me is that the size of horses is measured in hand jobs. You spread your hand out and hold it against the horse to measure it with your hand. Helen does show riding—where the horses jump over shit and trot backward and stuff—so I was wondering if there was a horse hand job restriction, like different weight classes in boxing, you know? If one horse measures more hand jobs, is it fair to compete against another horse? She said no, not really. But her horse is 17 hand jobs tall.

“If one horse measures more hand jobs, is it fair to compete against another horse?”

I was also curious about how Helen felt about other farm animals. She thinks donkeys are fine, and I’m personally on the fence about the animals, although I think the word donkey is funny. She said mules are cool too, which is what happens when a horse fucks a donkey. That’s also pretty funny to me.  

I asked her how old Gatsby is, but at the time of this writing I forgot. She told me that horses can live up to 30 years, but after about 20 years, we send them out to the pasture and quit riding them. Then we decide if we turn the horse into dog food or glue, which Helen did not like.  

Since this is the pet issue, I wanted to know if Helen’s horse gets along with other pets.  She said he does, and that he has a horse best friend named Cash who he hangs out with at the stable. I didn’t ask if they horse-hump, but I’m curious.  

Overall, I still hate horses and they still scare me. But Helen is my friend, and if that’s her thing I’ll support it. I also asked her about cows, and we both agreed they are cool, although she said that she won’t drink their milk. More cereal for me!

Read more from Mike Brown:
Mike Brown: It’s My Birthday
Mike Brown: My First Tattoo