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Who are the Experience Arizona Adventurers?

Matt Marine

Matt Marine is an Arizona resident who loves exploring Arizona's wonderful outdoor adventures. To find out more about Matt, click the link below.

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Cat-Dog is my faithful trail companion. Her real name is Cammie. Why do I call her Cat-Dog?

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Sara Harelson

I’m Sara! I’m 21, a senior in college, and a journalism major.  I love to read, write, travel, and listen to music.  I’m always on to my next adventure.


See Intern Page for previous interns

Top Ten Reasons Jeeps are Better Than Horses

By Matt Marine

My wife is obsessed with horses. My wife's best friend is obsessed with horses (she has something like 17 million of them). My youngest daughter spends so much time with her horse I am convinced she is actually possessed by horses (I am looking for someone to perform a horse exorcism on her).

What is it about horses and women? That's one of the Universes age-old questions. One that I can't answer. But, I can tell you why Jeeps are better than horses. It's so simple, I don't understand why my wife and daughter don't see it.

#1: Jeeps don't bite

And horses do. A lot. One of my first experiences with horses came when I was about 10 years old and my sister brought home her new horse. The first thing it did was bite me. Right on the head. That would be the first time, but by no means the last time, I would be bitten by a horse.

Fast forward many decades and nothing has changed. A few weeks ago, I noticed a HUGE bruise on my wife's arm (she was too embarrassed to tell me what had happened). It was the nastiest looking bruise I'd ever seen. There were two half circles almost connected in the middle and portions were the skin had been broken. A perfect outline of the top and bottom set of horse teeth. My daughter also has the "mark of the horse" on portions of her body.

#2: Jeeps Don't Kick

Now don't get me wrong, there are a ton of kick ass Jeeps, but I have never been kicked in the ass by a Jeep. The same can't be said for horses. I have been kicked many times by these four legged creatures. Most of the time, it's not much fun. When I was younger a horse named Black Fart (yes, that was his name. He was black and he had a flatulent problem) kicked me in the back and sent me flying about 10 feet through the barn door. And the barn door was closed before my body hit it.

The worst thing about this is how unpredictable a horse can be. One moment you're brushing your horses tail and everything's good, the next he decides he doesn't want it done today and sends his hoof through your abdomen.

If you've never been kicked by a horse it feels like you've just been hit with a 1000 lb sledgehammer. Just ask the guy to the left here.


#3: Jeeps Don't Care if You Leave Them in a Garage for Six Months

Horses do as they would probably die. And then your garage would smell like dead horse. And why are you keeping your horse in the garage anyway? Garages are for Jeeps.

Horses need constant attention and care, like 23.5 hours a day. Every day. Forever. And ever.

Buying a horse takes more responsibility than having children. Children grow up and move out of the house for college (at least that's the theory). Horses never leave and don't grow up. My wife says that a horse has the mental capacity of a three year old. They live longer than rocks and never leave to go to college.

#4: Horses Poop - Jeeps Don't

Horses poop. A lot. I have never seen a Jeep poop before. Yes, it's true that sometimes Jeeps will leak fluid every once in a while, but so do horses.

Before I had a horse, I never knew that a living thing could poop so much (it's because they eat 4 tons of hay a day - see below). I swear once you get it cleaned up, you turn around and the horse craps again. Sometimes I think it's just to spite you.

If you don't have a bad back, buy a horse and you will quickly develop multiple herniated disks from all the shoveling and raking you will be doing.

And there is no rest. They poop 24/7 and don't take weekends off, so neither can you.

If horse crap was worth 10 cents a pound, I'd be a freakin' millionaire. We all would.

#5: Jeeps Don't Spook

Horses spook at just about anything. It doesn't take much. They see another horse, a snake, or a new tree and it's crazy time. One weekend when I was at a horse show, a guy with a donkey walked by one of the arenas. Horses went crazy, women began yelling. I asked my wife what the deal was. She said most horses are scared to death of donkeys. WTF? They're really just small horses, right?

That never happens in my Jeep. Jeeps don't spook at anything. Although I swear I could hear my Jeep chuckle a few times when a Geo Tracker would drive by.

And horses refuse to do stupid stuff. Ever see those Steeple Chase Jumping contests where they jump over those six foot fences? Sometimes, horses refuse to jump. Not to say I don't blame them, but Jeeps will never refuse to do anything. Want to go up than insanely steep rock face? They'll happily do their best.

Although I will have to admit, sometimes this isn't for the best. Most horses have some common sense. When their rider heads towards an ten foot drop off, the horse will lock its legs and refuse to go. They'll give the rider a look like, "WTF are you thinking? I'm not going down that!" Whereas a Jeep will blindly go where a senseless driver points it even if it's ill advised. When the driver is sitting upside down in his wrecked Jeep, he'll be the one muttering, "Maybe I shouldn't have tried that and I wish I would have kept up on my insurance payments."

#6: Jeeps are Easily Upgraded

Have you ever tried to put longer legs on your horse or upgrade its eyes? Not only can't it be done, but they get really pissed when you try. On the other hand, you can do almost anything you want to your Jeep. Want a lift kit? No problem. New tires? Just drive down to your local tire shop. Almost anything you want to upgrade in your Jeep can be done - as long as you have the money and time.

#7: Hay vs Gas

Horses eat a lot of this stuff. Bales and bales and bales of it. Every day. I can understand why and how cows do this. First, they have three freakin' stomachs. Second, we eat them afterward. Makes sense. But horses?

From what I know, they only have one stomach and we don't eat them (unless you eat the Swedish meatballs from Ikea). So I don't understand how they can eat so much. Unless, of course, you count how much they poop. It seems that there's only like a 10 minute difference between the two actions. I don't think there's enough time for their bodies to absorb any nutrients.

It's been stated (by me) that their poop is 72% undigested hay and we shouldn't let all that go to waste, but my wife and daughter won't let me recycle it. And with as much as hay costs, I think we could really save some money doing that. Or I think it would be cheaper just feeding them dollar bills. At least then we'd get 72 cents in change every time they crapped.

On the other hand, Jeeps use gas. Yes, lots of it. Mine gets about 15 miles per gallon. At about $3 per gallon, that's, uhhh, let me see, carry the one ... about $3 per 15 miles, which calculates to ... something very cheap per mile. Horses eat three bales of hay per mile. At twelve thousand dollars a bale, that calculates to a house mortgage payment every mile traveled on a horse.

#8: Horses Attract Flies - Jeeps Don't

It doesn't matter if you run the most immaculate barn in the world and pick up the horse poop before it hits the ground, you will have flies. Large black, buzzing swarms of them. Even in the dead of winter. They survive by hopping from one steaming pile of crap to another (horses can poop with such a frequency that a new warm one materializes before the prior one goes cold). You can put up all the fly strips, catchers, zappers or swatters you want and you'll never get rid of them. Sure, you'll find hundreds, perhaps thousands, of flies in these devices, but somehow you'll never notice an actual decrease in their numbers. I think that flies are nature's hydras, kill one and two more are born to replace it.

Jeeps do not attract flies. The only thing Jeeps attract is mud, rocks and sand. These can easily be washed off at the local car wash (so you don't dirty your own driveway) and all is good.

#9: Tires vs Legs

Jeeps blow tires. It's true. If you've ever seen more than pavement, you've blown a tire or gotten a flat. Although this isn't fun, all you need to do is replace it with the spare and you're on your way.

Can you do that with a horse? Not only do they not have spare legs, but when one of theirs breaks, you put the animal down. Holy crap! Not only is that sad, but it doesn't make much fiscal sense. Imagine if you had to "put down" your Jeep every time you blew a tire.

And when your Jeep's tires are getting old and worn, you go out and buy new ones. They have yet to invent new legs for horses. Or a nice spare leg carrier.

#10: No Extra Gear Needed to Drive a Jeep

Want to ride a horse? Get out the gear ... and your wallet. Here's a list of things you'll need to properly ride a horse.

In order to just get on a horse, you will need:
- Hat (both western and English)
- Boots (both western and English)
- Spurs (western only, but at least two different kinds)
- Jeans (ones that make your butt look nice)
- Breeches (I don't even know what the hell these are, but you need at least two pairs)
- Chaps (western, English and Village People style)
- Shirt (if western, make it as bright and ugly as possible; if English, make it as expensive as possible)
- Jacket (same as above, but double it)
- Gloves (western and English)
Here's what you can buy on line. What the hell is "Cognac, Lagoon, Mercury and Sienna"? I guess they don't carry real colors when you ride a horse

And that's just for you. Know lets see what the horse needs.
- Saddle (western and English, both more expensive than your first car)
- Blanket (these go under the saddle and are made in various colors and materials. You will need all of them)
- Bridle (I think that's the thing that goes in the horse's mouth. Need twenty of these because in horse lover terms they are like women's shoes)
- Reins (this may come with the bridle, but you'll buy a few extras anyway)
- Halter (this is what you connect the lead line on in a failed attempt to actually hold the horse still. Similar to bridles in that you need many different colors and materials that do the exact same thing)
- Lead rope (twice as many as halters needed to have different color combinations)
- Stirrups (come with saddle, but you'll buy new, prettier ones that look exactly like the old ones, but cost twice as much soon after you purchase the new saddle)
- Fly mask (for the millions of flies - see above. You wish you could have one of these for yourself)
- Shoes (metal shoes for the horse which needs to be put on every few days at the cost of taking a Caribbean cruise)
- Boots (yes, obviously the horse needs matching boots also)
- Leg wraps (I'm told this is to help the horse so they don't hit their own legs together. I thought this would be instinctive? I believe it's just another opportunity for women to dress their horse like colorful 1980s Barbie Dolls).
- You will also need five different kinds of whips, buckets, clippers, trimmers, combs, brushes, picks, sponges, Swiss bank accounts, and horses (because just like all of the above, one horse is never enough. You need one for western, one for English, one for trail, one is too old to do anything and one keeps going lame)

You don't need any extra gear to drive your Jeep. And usually less is better.
Shorts or jeans and a some four-wheeling T-shirt are the most common. And hats. You must have a baseball cap, either camo or with a second 4WD saying on it.

Again, a minimalistic approach is best. Shorts and a bikini top works just fine.

#11 (Bonus Reason): It's Difficult to be Ejected From a Jeep

Not so for a horse. It isn't uncommon for my daughter to fall off once a month. There's at least one or two thousand kids who get thrown off every week (and that's just at my daughter's barn).

It's very uncommon to be ejected from a Jeep. Jeep's don't buck or kick or spook. Sometimes they do flip, but we have some nice safety features that help us stay in the vehicle called seatbelts. I still don't understand why saddles don't have seatbelts, though I have to think for some strange reason these people enjoy getting ejected off a six foot animal onto hard ground.

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