Beginning Training

1. You’re going to love riding. Because when I was a little girl I loved it, and you don’t know anything about it, that’s why.

2. You can’t decide you don’t want to ride anymore. I bought you those $500 boots, so you’re going to ride until they fall off your feet, you understand?

3. You must get back on the horse after you fall off, even if we have to strap your dead body into the saddle.

4. When INS comes around, don’t tell them Eduardo’s hiding in a stall. Yes, you should lie, or do you want to shovel shit yourself? … I never called him a "wetback"—at least not to his face—so don’t say I did.

Intermediate Training

1. I’m not giving anything to your horse; it’s just a vitamin shot, don’t be so paranoid.

2. Look, he won’t get hurt when Twigs throws the fence pole at his legs; he’ll just stop being lazy and pick up his feet more over the taller fences.

3. No, that didn’t hurt him … Just keep walking him, he’ll walk it off.

4. You are so paranoid—this shot is just going to make his leg feel better … He can’t feel this, it’s just a pinprick … Well, maybe it tickles a little … Stay still, you goddamn fucker! Jesus Christ, he’s bolting—grab him!

Advanced Training

1. Dedicated riders always want to jump higher fences; they aren’t cowards (like you).

2. Look, I got you this horse instead of getting myself a fur coat and a Mercedes-Benz. So you are going to listen to your trainer and jump that fence, or I am selling the son of a bitch for dog food right now!

3. If you don’t stop being lazy and get your ankles down, you’re going to do a Chris Reeve the first time the horse refuses a fence. And if you think I’m going to take care of you when you’re a quadriplegic, think again.


1. That little girl with the gray horse—Eileen? She couldn’t get her heels down in the stirrups, either, and she begged her parents, and they got her this operation where they broke her ankles and reset them. So now she gets her heels down and she wins all the time. (Cigarette-smoke sigh.) She’s just dedicated, I guess.

1.5. You know, if you begged me really hard for an operation like—OK, OK! God, I can’t believe I’m bleeding this much money and you’re such a brat about every little suggestion. You’re never going to win with heels like that, is all I’m saying.

Rules for Winning

1. Don’t say you won. Did you get first place? Then you didn’t win. What’s that—third place? Phft. You know what Eileen’s sister Amy does? She throws anything lower than second place in the garbage can.

2. Kiddo, if I had been able to afford to buy Eileen’s $35,000 horse, instead of old Alpo here, I would have. Eileen fell off when she was riding that last course—horse didn’t even notice for the next three fences.

Rules for Winning: Supplemental

1. Parents need strawberry daiquiris to prevent dehydration. Don’t say all parents are alcoholics; it’s exhausting to watch your kid show-jumping—to mentally lift horse and child over each fence. Here’s five bucks, go get me another one.

Additional Training Preparation at Home

1. If you don’t … (Pick one of the following.)

a. … stop whining and eat your eggs …
b. … clean your room this minute …
c. … fetch my cigarettes …

… I’m going to sell your horse today! I’m putting the horse dealer’s number on speed dial—

Don’t say, “Go ahead, do it.” I am doing it! I’m dialing right now … It’s ringing … Don’t even love your own horse … Oh, stop crying.