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Why Equestrians Relate to Tiger King
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   23rd Apr 2020   •   351 views   •   0 comments
Why Equestrians Relate to Tiger King

With the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, people the world over are doing exactly what one would expect modern man to do in a time of great crisis. They are binge-watching eccentric Netflix documentaries. The specific documentary to which I refer is, of course, the infamous Tiger King. If you havenít seen the show yourself, you have almost certainly been exposed to countless jokes, memes, and quotes from its enormous occult following.



Tiger King is a documentary about the world of big-cat ownership is the US. It follows the crazy lives and stories of several eccentric characters, and is rife with scandal, drama, conspiracies, and unusual sexual relationships. In short, it has absolutely everything that piques the curiosity of our strange, bored, and increasingly shameless population of consumers trapped in a world of limited consumption. Tiger King is certainly not an artistic masterpiece, but it has definitely grabbed the attention of the entire world, and none more so than we equestrians. However, the question still remains, just why do we all love Tiger King so much?

Whatís with the obsession?

Just like literally everybody considering whether Carol Baskin did kill her husband, I have a theory, and my theory is this. We like Tiger King, because we are Tiger King. Think about it. What could be more relatable?

It all starts with the love of an animal. Joe Exotic got into big cat ownership because he loved big cats. So did Carol Baskin. Then, just like the cats they so adore, they promptly began trying to tear each other to shreds with accusations of abuse because each had different views on what is and isnít in favour of the animalís welfare. If this doesnít sound familiar, then youíve clearly never been on an equestrian forum while fans of natural horsemanship are conversing with competitive riders or, god forbid, anyone from the racing industry. It gets so fierce that if youíre following the notifications, your phone will vibrate its way all the way off your desk, out of the window, and into the swimming pool just to escape the text-based violence. Just because we havenít heard of anyone hiring a hitman to take out their ďabusiveĒ equestrian neighbor who has the audacity to ride in a loose ring snaffle and shoe their horse, doesnít mean it hasnít happened. Just wait for our documentary, folks!

The expense. My god, the expense. There were a lot of big numbers thrown around in Tiger King when they were discussing the cost of buying, keeping and feeding tigers, but the only thing that shocked me were the constant astounded gasps from my non-horsey partner each time a number was a mentioned. Is $2000 a lot to buy a large and extravagant pet? Apparently our financial instincts have been dampened by too many large vet bills and show entry fees. Honestly, owning a tiger would probably be cheaper. Done Joe Exoticís way, we might even make some of our money back from our animals Ė a horse ownerís desperate fairytale dream.

The zany, eccentric characters. By now youíve probably all seen the memes going around comparing different types of equestrians to the various cast members of Tiger King. And itís funny because, well, itís pretty true. If Carole Baskin is the Parelli fanatic who is trying to shut down any business where horses arenít treated the way she thinks is right, then Joe Exotic is the guy who backyard breeds his pigeon toed thoroughbreds from the kill pen and sells the half-sound and totally wild progeny to unsuspecting equestrian newbies to make a quick buck. And good old Saff, god bless his loyal heart, is every single one of us who has ever been dragged bleeding and sobbing from a paddock to the hospital, only to be back at the stables the next day with one hand bandaged up in a sling, and the other feeding carrots to the cruel and murderous pet who got us into trouble in the first place Ė all the while smiling and explaining to anyone whoíll listen that ďitís not his fault, I just startled himĒ.

The gossip. The rumours. The scandals. The strange, not-really-sure-itís-consensual-but-it-isnít-forced-either relationships. Joe Exoticís lovelife is, well... pretty weird. But if you were ever a junior competing in equestrian sport, chances are yours was too. With enormously more girls than boys involved in the lower levels of our sports (and with even less of those boys actually romantically interested in girls), several girls all thinking theyíre dating the same boy at the same time is not all that uncommon. Sometimes the boy isnít even aware of it. And letís face it, we all love to sink our teeth into a big juicy piece of gossip about other peopleís relationships.

The sheer absurdity. If it werenít for the documentary, most of the world would probably never know just how strange the big cat community is. As equestrians, our strangeness is not exactly our best-kept secret as it is, but even so, all those normal non-horsey people out there donít know the half of it! We equestrians are truly one of a kind. It takes a special kind of crazy to fall in love and devote your life to a half-ton animal that might try to kill you at any moment.

Well, okay, maybe weíre two of a kind. Really, the only difference between us and big cat owners is that weíre mad enough to ride our half-ton pets. Although that might have to do with the fact that at least if we fall off ours, they are extremely unlikely to turn around and eat us.

Why Equestrians Relate to Tiger King
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