Horse Junkies United. If you haven't seen it, you might consider checking it out, lotta great stuff over there. Since some of you may have missed it over there, I thought I'd re-post it here on AWIP.
Madame Mare has made it known over the course of the last few lessons that she's a bit bored with the rinky dink jumps she's been doing lately. She's been quietly carrying my son over cross rails and maybe a few 2' fences. Since my fall I've been jumping smaller fences in order to rebuild my confidence, and the baby fences we've been doing have left her less than impressed and looking around the ring for something a bit more challenging.
I'm not kidding. In order to add a little fun to her day, she's been making a bid at even the smallest fences, although thankfully only with me, never with 'her boy.' She has also indicated she might consider a 'rider override' a few times by subtly attempting to change course in favor of a large oxer instead of the teensy cavaletti I was pointing her at. During my lesson the other day we came out of a turn to a stacked cavaletti she was clearly bored with, and she poured on the gas and rocketed out of the turn with her head swiveling back and forth, clearly looking for a more interesting option. So it was no surprise when I received this communication from The Sainted One this morning:
I overheard you talking about your Christmas list and thought maybe Santa and the Yuletide Powers That Be might be interested in hearing from me.
I'd like to point out that I've been a very good mare this year. (Hence the name Sainted Mare, after all.)
I've been the model of equine partnership. I've carried your foals safely in lessons, hacks, and on trail rides, stand patiently and quietly when they groom me, and never, EVER mistake small fingers for treats. I don't complain when they catch me in my mouth or come crashing down on my back, or do my mane and tail up in weird styles with those hair thingies the girl child has.
I am happy to go forward, backward and sideways whenever you ask me to. I have acquiesced to your desire to go on solo trail rides, even though I know it is always safer to travel in a herd. I have crossed puddles, streams, and other highly suspect bodies of water, against my better judgement (crocodiles and trolls and other Mare Eating Predators clearly inhabit all bodies of water). I have jumped whatever you have pointed me at. (Except when you asked for ridiculously impossible and unsafe distances that would have endangered our safety, in which case I respectfully declined. It was NOT MY FAULT you decided to jump that one at the horse show without me.)
I have not bitten the donkey, although she plagues me no end. (No, pinning my ears and threatening to bite is NOT the same thing as actually biting.) I also have not bitten any of the annoying barn canines. (Again, pinning my ears and threatening to bite is NOT the same thing as actually biting. No mark, no foul.) The small punting incident with that canine nuisance Lillian was really not my fault. She should not have been chasing me while I was on the longe line, and you have to admit, she hasn't come into the ring or chased a horse on the longe line since.
I also let you put embarrassing Santa hats on me and take pictures, which to my utter mortification you disseminate to hundreds of people via the mail and to God knows how many via the Internet. If this alone does not qualify me for sainthood, I don't know what does.
I am an imported Royal Dutch Sport Horse. Emphasis on Royal. I am a daughter of Indoctro, consistently one of the top ranked jumper sires in the world, and a granddaughter of Nimmerdor, the KWPN Stallion of the Century. My pedigree contains numerous international and national level jumper champions. I am bred to jump. I am bred to jump respectably sized jumps.
The one thing I would really like for Christmas is to be able to jump a course of jumps worthy of a mare of my stature. It would be so exhilarating to test myself over a series of challenging obstacles again. I know you're not feeling like that's something you'd want to do right now, so maybe one day before Christmas you could let Annabel do a training ride on me? It would be so much fun, and would make me very happy.
Can we do this, please? I have been a very good mare...
Sugar, aka Your Beloved Sainted Mare