DEEP HORSE ENCOUNTERS: A Series of Responsive Fiction Inspired by DEEP HORSE TEXTS1 December 2023
By Maeve Hanna
Deep Horse Encounter #1: M Meets her First Horse Girl
SYNOPSIS: In this pulp fiction fantasy from the series “Cuntry Lavender Menace” M, your typical futch-leaning dyke writes undelivered letters to J, pondering whether or not she’s a “Horse Girl.”
I’ve seen you ‘round town recently, and gotta admit I’m intrigued by you: are you new in these parts? Just a handful of times I’ve run into you in different places, and it’s as if your eyes are reigning me in. I’m so intrigued by you; I find myself thinkin’ bout you a lot, like très a lot. I’m thinkin, maybe, that I’ve got a crush on you! Or a made-up crush based on who I think you are. Yeah, pretty sure I like you like you.
Ya know that moment when you figure out why you’re thinking bout someone so much and in a certain way? Well, that happened. I put it together recently. I was thinkin bout the time I ran into you on the beach with your dog. He was loose and came runnin over to me but was friendly and my dog actually liked him (bonus points!). Then I realized the human chasin after him apologizin’ was you. You had a tiny puppy with you, you’d just rescued her. You were there with a guy. My hopes were dashed until you said he’s your cousin. That doesn’t mean anything, my gaydar is notoriously nonfunctional but I also don’t trust the gaydar theory, and is it really a thing, like really? (Lez be real.) Anyway, all this is to say that I’ve been wonderin’ about who you are and thinkin about you an awful lot.
I hope I run into you at the beach again soon.
I want to ask you somethin.
Are you a horse girl?
I await your response with bated breath.
I now know you are a horse girl whether you yeehaw or neigh, whinny or nicker, squeal, snort, blow, grunt, or groan.
I remember when you first arrived in town. My girl Leanne was tellin’ me about you, bout where you studied at and what you love, and your pastimes. This is a seaside-farmin-community-fishin-village-shire-towne; it makes sense. There are a lot of horses ‘round. One of my friends, Carmen, her husband’s a scallop fisherman. They live up the street around the block. Their dog Henry wanders the neighbourhood—“taking himself for a walk”—visitin’ people, barkin at the front door to be let in for a snack and nap. Anyway, Carmen owns horses (she’s a horse girl!) that she stables further up the road. Sometimes she and her daughter ride them around the neighbourhood.
And then I googled you. *creep alert* You have virtually no digital footprint, somethin’ that is virtually unheard of for millennials and gen z’s, given that we grew up with computers, we’re children of the internet. I found a photo of you, one of almost none. It’s pretty professional. You look almost giddy-happy, wearin a red-plaid button-down and the perfect pair of jeans: the right hue, the right fade, the right fit, the right tightness. Plus, of course, scuffed up Blundstones. The perfect Canadian Horse Girl uniform—not “uniform” in a restrictive or enforced sense, but an inclination towards classic horse girl couture. Let’s call it “A Dress Code for Horse Girls.”
Of course, in the photo, you are standing with a beautiful horse, all glossy and auburn like, the coat the colour of Jolene’s hair, like your hair when it’s not blue! I think it’s safe to say that you do at least like horses, maybe even love them. And maybe I have a bit more than a bit of a thing for you and the horse girl type. Maybe horse girls are my type…
Anyway, the point here is that image of you has stuck with me, like, it became your avatar for me. When I think of you J, I see you standin’ giddy with your eyes closed and one hand on this beautiful auburn mare glistenin’ in the sun.
Is that your horse? What’s its name?
I’ve never really been into horses in the classic/traditional way girls of a certain age often are. I grew up in a big city and then moved to a small town in the country. We lived by the lake, the countryside full of cherry, peach, and apple orchards. Rows upon rows of vineyards. Huge luxurious squash for sale at the side of the highway on the honour system, $2 each. We never camped. I didn’t go to Girl Guides. I was a weird kid. I loved vampires, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Edward Gorey, and Dracula. I loved playing with Playmobile and drawing mermaids, unicorns, and vampires on my bedroom wall at night. If there was an animal I was drawn to, it was first and foremost the cat, and then maybe the seal. But never the horse. By the time I lived in the countryside where horses made sense, I was already a tweeny-teen, angsty and not yet aware of how very gay I am. Horses still didn’t fit into that picture.
It must have been the growin’ up in the city.
Maybe it’s that horses are so big, kind of scary, overbearing. Like, what happens if one falls on you? That isn’t a problem with a cat.
Horses just didn’t cross my periphery for a long, long time. They never made up a part of my psychic geography. So to speak. Like, when I sing Doja Cat, I sing “Bitch I’m a CAT.” I do love cows though too.
I’m starting to lean into this horse thing, and I want to know how you came to love horses, J.
I figured out which car is yours at your office when my dog was draggin me over there the other day as usual. She loves your staff, and you. One car stood out, unmistakably. I’d call it “off-centre-dyke-ride.” Like, not your classic “Oh yes, lesbian behind the wheel” car but adjacent; not a Subaru—that’s the true Lezmobile or so I hear—instead it’s a Honda CRV (East Coast lesbian-core?). I see a lot of Honda’s around so maybe that or, it’s ‘cuz there’s a dealership in town.
Here are the two things that gave it away for me that it’s your car: One, the horse-shaped stickers all over the back windows, different colours, and each one with the name of one of your horses, and two, was your riding gear. How many horses do you have? Are those names only the names of your horses? Walking closer to your car full of your horse gear felt kind of like walkin up to my ex’s car findin it full of her tree planting, forestry, and road biking attire. We were not a good match.
Am I drawn to athletic women whose names start with J?
More specifically, athletic short women whose names start with J? Or is this just coincidence?
More to the point: ALL of the leather in your back seat was a dead giveaway. And really hot ngl! And it made me wonder: do you wear all that only on your horse? 😉
Findin’ that treasure trove in your backseat was more exciting than walkin’ up to my ex’s vehicle because it was in that moment when I saw a glimpse of you outside the office.
Warm brown leather chaps and a long ridin’ crop swirled around blankets and boots back there. I wonder, do your seats fold flat like mine? Your windows aren’t tinted tinted, like mine… I know all that gear would fit in my back seat too.
I wonder if you will take me ridin’ one day.
What’s your favourite horse gear item?
I write this to you in May, the birth month of my niece, the crossover between Taurus and Gemini, early summer when the fresh new blossoms are opening. I’ve been thinking a lot about horses and my proximity to them.
I remember one sort of version of horseplay—it involves a ‘My Little Pony’ I had as a kid. I was maybe five- or six-years old and I lived in the Annex neighbourhood in downtown Toronto. My parents were divorced but they both lived in different apartments on the same damn street. Convenient or weird? I have a memory of the first time I met my Dutch cousin Marita and a My Little Pony toy. I had never met her before and she spoke no English yet, and we were virtually the same age, born one or two years apart. I didn’t speak Dutch, our family isn’t even Dutch to begin with. While the adults caught up and we were left to play together, we had virtually no way of communicating, just our My Little Ponies to play with. All I recall is her blond hair, Dutch-speaking foreign-sounding voice, and my toy—my My Little Pony—it was pink and purple: super gay colours! I had drawn stars on her ass, little butt tats for my horsey—she was sassy, and assy! And a bit of a tart, my first little pony.
That was the one and only time I ever met that cousin. She speaks English now but still lives in Europe, in Berlin now, and works in TV news.
Did you play with My Little Pony too? Or were you more of a Pee Wee Herman fan?
I ran into you at the country store the other day. I was buying cattle panelin’—not for cows—and you were buyin’ grass feed for your horses. I found out for sure you have horses! In fact, you have five, and two of them are minis! I almost asked if I could come over and meet your ponies right then and there, but thought better of it. Maybe too keen? You looked cute all casual in sweats, those perfectly scuffed Blundstones and a blue and white plaid button-down: another perfect horse girl ensemble.
My horse girl dress code ensemble would be totally different though. I already have it planned out from top to bottom:
- Rhinestone cowboy hat modeled after Lady Gaga’s from her Joanne world tour—I attended the opening show in Vancouver in August 2017.
- Black & white polka dot bikini top—it’s modeled after the style of swimsuit Esther Williams wore.
- Jean jacket covered in queer regalia and patches.
- Black leggings from Iceland/LA that are mostly mesh, emphasizes my cakes.
- Cowboy boots from Saskatoon, SK. The ones from Texas I had to get rid of because the grip was gone, and I kept falling over. Alternatively though, I could wear my really slick Boulet boots I got in Terrace, BC. For an extra gay twist, they were originally made and sold in St-Tite, QC.
Can I meet your horses one day? I’d like to pony around with you and them.
These days I’m going back in time, revisiting reasons behind this newfound fascination with horsies, horse girls, all things horse. I opened DEEP HORSE TEXTS again and decided to revisit the very very beginning, waaaay back when this whole horse thing started for me. I found myself on my knees before Hazel and her peers pondering all things horse. As Hazel puts it herself with all that luminous visionary weird insight she has, that here we’ll find “… sweaty, tender, revisionist, political and kinky … ways of being with, on, and alongside horses.” (No matter your proximity, that last point is très important!).
I remember when this all started, and I was adjacent to horses, and I hadn’t even thought of what my interest in horses might be, or if I have a penchant for horse girl types, and I didn’t know you then either. It was 2018 and I lived in Calgary, where this project of Hazel’s all started and there are horses and horse girls literally E V E R Y W H E R E.
In this going back, I’m retracing my steps to where I grew to love and admire the horse element and when I first began hearing of Hazel building this project that includes so many amazing queer artists and writers, many of whom I love and feel honoured to call my colleagues and friends. For example, Natasha Chaykowski’s introductory essay is luscious and beautiful, clearing a path to walk upon on this “horse 4 horse” journey. I love how she talks about Hazel’s work as looking for secrets hidden in plain sight. Of course, building a horse-based project to Calgary is ingenious, one because STAMPEDE, an event that is both abhorrent and fascinating. “So much of Calgary’s metaphorical and physical architecture and layout (politics and policies) revolve around this [festival].” Natasha is spot on in her intuition, noting in particular Hazel’s drawings and their “… attraction to archival morasses, penchant for sniffing out that which is untold, queer, and kinky in sport, and her longstanding, unashamed affection for diarrhea and other abject things…” The fun in both kink and the abject are natural friends. I see it and it is all coming together.
BUT I HAVE DIGRESSED.
I needed to share this with you J, because there is so much more to this horse interest, horse girl fondness, and whatever the draw to horses are for all people. Maybe this is in part the genesis of my own penchant and affection for horses and horseplay. Calgary tries so hard to remain as norm-core-cis-hetero and patriarchal capitalist as it can. But, DAMN. GODDEXX Inana Venus and all the Queerest spirits on high, the mountains and prairies are gay AF.
Suffice to say, pretty convinced you are a horse girl, however, it is yet to be determined where on the spectrum of gay you lean.
Would you reveal this last tiny crucial piece of info to me pls?
P.S. One last thought to close this letter from writer Natasha Chaykowski: “Maybe a deep horse text is really just a longing to transcend the confines of our skin, for communion with equine eyes and many tens of thousands of years of growing together, collaborating: us and horses.”
What do you think J?
DEEP HORSE TEXTS, 2022 “is a project about horses and the affinities humans have with horses, no matter their proximity to them” by Hazel Meyer and features writing and art contributions by Natasha Chaykowski, Cheryl Foggo, Cait McKinney, Indu Vashist, Rianka Singh, Amy Ching-Yan Lam, Jon Davies + Logan MacDonald, Elaine Miller, Adrian Stimson, Judith Ellen Brunton, Reed H. Reed, and Amy Fung. Read more about the project at the website here.
Feature Image: Cover of DEEP HORSE TEXTS, 2022.