One of my favorite horse stories ever is also a story one of my favorite stories about language. I have loved foregin languages since I was a kid and at some point in my life I spoke both German and Dutch fluently. I can also say some random (but not profane) words in Japanese, Finnish, Gujarati, French, Spanish, Norwegian and Russian. Some people collect coins or stamps or baseball cards, I used to collect words in foregin languages.
Juliana is a friend of mine who I introduced to horses and was Precious long time leaser and companion. Over the years Juliana has grown to be part of our horse family and she would participate with us at the Oregon State Fair. Precious was retired from showing, but she would ride my mom's horses and one year she decided she wanted to show in Paso Fino Western Pleasure.
A little secret about Juliana: English isn't her native language. It is really impossible to tell, but occasionally you hear the slightest accent and a on occasion a word doesn't quite get used correctly. But when English isn't your native language and you decide to get into horses, you have to learn an entirely NEW language. Walk, trot, canter, saddle, stirrup, cinch, browband, bridle, bit, breeches are not every day english language words.
So when Juliana was riding in her Western Pleasure class the annoucer asked her to 'lope' her horse. I saw the panic from across the ring and I ran to the edge and yelled 'CANTER!'. She asked Lucero to canter and off they went (the judge told the story later that it was more like a hand gallop, but I digress. . .). We ride Paso Finos and canter isn't a gait we usually ride and lope is definately a word we never use. And although they are different in speed and extension, they are really just the same footfall.
Now that I live in New Jersey (oh, have I mentioned that?), I am learning language differences here with horses. Back in Oregon we ride in Arenas, here there is a lot of riding in Rings. There is a much stronger English riding influence and a lot of discussion about 'short stirrup' in regards to Hunter/Jumper. And Hack out, I guess that's just a relaxing ride.
East coast or west coast, new or old, there is always something to learn about horses. And I really miss Juliana.