Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Types of Fun

I used to think that there was just one type of "fun" and that either you were having it. or you weren't.

But a few months back, at one of the lecture series I drag The Boy to, one of the speakers (a bad ass extreme film maker - now that's a sexy title for a business card) introduced me to his definition of fun, and it's various forms.

Type 1 Fun is the fun we all know and love.  Type 1 Fun is fun while you're doing it.  In the horsey world, type one fun comes when you're doing something that you kick ass at and are 97% sure won't kill you.  For some people riding their horse on a beach is Type 1 Fun. 
Type 1 Fun for the kid.  Not so much for the pony...

Type 2 Fun is slightly different.  Type 2 Fun is almost certainly terrifying while you are doing it, but in retrospect (like more than 24 hours of retrospect) is really fun to think about.  For me, riding P1 on the beach is Type 2 Fun - Because while it's happening "holy shit, she's going to lose it, omg a bird, oh god - this is where I die" is what goes through my head, repeatedly. 

But a few days later, when I look at the pictures and think about our nice ride (where I didn't die) I think to myself  "Gee. That was so fun." 

(it should be noted that anything that is Type 2 Fun usually sends parents/spouses/loved ones into a panic)

This is Type 2 Fun.  Maybe he peed a little, but I bet you he was smiling later!

Type 3 Fun (yes there's a 3) is an extreme version of Type 2 and typically requires at least of month of distance from the event to be considered "fun."    In horsey land I can only assign Type 3 Fun to a few events. 

Almost getting squashed by my idiot 5 year old schooling prelim for the first time counts.  (Months later I thought our adventure schooling was "fun" and "productive")  As does my youthful-ignorance-induced attempt to "tame" what I can only describe as The Black Stallion on steroids.  He wasn't as pretty, or as smart.  Mostly he was just mean and I hated every ride, but years later I thought the experience was "fun" and "valuable."(because I learned "so much"  when what I should have learned was how to say "I don't want to ride that")

Most death defying experiences that sprout from some sort of hobby can be classified as Type 3 Fun.  For the record, I no longer enjoy Type 3 Fun, or any situation that might render a Type 3 Fun situation.  (Backpacking, back country skiing and cross country of any sort are all currently relegated to potential Type 3 activities...  So is asking Pia for her right lead canter). 

What made me think about the Types of Fun is that horses are almost always fun (in one form or another) for me.  Even the scary as crap-why-do-I-do-this rides, my sick, twisted brain eventually reclassifies as  fun.  It's just a matter of how long it takes for the conversion to happen...

Right now, both mares are mostly Type 1 Fun.  Pia is still Type 2 fun if I'm on her back, and Prairie is still Type 2 fun if the wind is blowing, or some asshole is darting back and forth outside the openings to the indoor arena.  Having a bit of Type 2 Fun keeps me learning and growing,  but too much Type 2 (or god forbid Type 3) fun sends me running to my couch with a box of oreos and a box set of Friends episodes on DVD. 

I guess it's impossible to stick strictly to Type 1 Fun when your hobby of choice includes an animal that can trample you on it's way to dinner without noticing...

But I guess the real red flag comes when your crazy, horse infected brain decides that what should be Type 2 or 3 fun is really Type 1, thereby eliminating any sense of self preservation whatsoever..

Come to think of it, there's a name for that... I think it's called Eventing..


  1. This is so interesting. I'm looking forward to getting more and more Type 1 Fun with my pony. We started with too much Type 3 and now have some Type 2 Fun with the occasional (jumping!groundpoles!) Type 1 Fun. My barn is an eventing barn and I have to agree, they all love them some Type 3 Fun!

  2. I think there's also a Type 4 fun: not terrifying in the moment, but WAY TOO MUCH WORK that turns into deep satisfaction a few hours later once you've had a chance to recover! :-p

  3. Sometimes what you thought was going to be Type 1 Fun turns into the other Fun Types... (just sayin')

  4. I think I'm shifting jumping less than 2'6" into type 1 fun and jumping 2'6"-3'3" into type 2, each upgraded one slot from their previous locations.

    XC is already bordering on type 1 as long as the fences are not just teeny logs.

    Uh oh. The crazies are coming!

  5. ROTFL...well put! Type 1 fun for us is dressage, jumps <3ft and all XC outings. Type 2 fun for us is dressage horse shows, most trail rides, cold/windy days, the day after a chiro adjustment. Type 3 fun is clinics with big time trainers, jumps >3ft, lunge lessons and other people sitting on my horse, haha!

  6. Hahahaha! Love the last line... yep, eventing is crazy.

    So does this mean you're thinking about doing it again, since Prairie has such a nice jump? Hmmmm? ;)

  7. ROFLOL! This post is hilarious (and interesting and informative)!!! I avoid type 3 at all costs lol. My bravery (lack of self preservation) has completely disappeared as I've gotten older lol. :D I do still dabble in type 2 fun though because otherwise things would get a bit stale I think LOL!


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