Oddities: How Many Horses Does It Take for a Soccer Game?

Earlier this fall I was on the sidelines watching Daughter’s high school soccer game.

(Astute readers will notice the use of ‘soccer’ instead of ‘voetbal’, thinking I’ve made a mistake. Not so. Daughter’s school refers to the sport as soccer. Her Dutch club team obviously calls it voetbal. Just trying to keep up here, that’s all.)

They were playing a visiting team from outside London. The air was crisp, the late afternoon sunlight soft and washed out. Typical lovely, autumn day. Okay, not so typical since it wasn’t raining. But you know what I mean.

Suddenly I noticed that several of the players on the opposing team had stopped playing and were staring across the field. My eyes followed their gaze to the bike path running adjacent to the fenced-in soccer field.

Two young women casually rode by on horse-back. Having been out riding in the more rural area beyond the playing fields, they were heading back toward town. They carefully maintained their mounts as they passed a small group of teens on bicycles.

The looks of confusion on the watching players faces were priceless.

It took me back to the first time I’d taken in such a scene. Your brain tells you that seeing horseback riders in an urban setting is ‘not the norm’. Out of place. Strange.

See it enough times and it becomes routine. Part of the background that you don’t even notice. Until someone else sees it anew.


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