The "Mane" Players

Obottie:  aka Sugar, Sug, the Sainted One, Tubby Mare, Princess Sugar Britches, Mama, or Air Mare.  A 15 year old KWPN mare by Indoctro out of a Nimmerdor mare.  We found each other in the winter of 2008. I had been back into riding about a year and was looking for a horse to lease; one other potential mount had fallen through, and one of my closest friends (who happens to have been my first riding instructor) mentioned her daughter's trainer had a mare she was looking to lease out.  So off I went to New Hampshire to meet Sug.  Sug was an out of shape ex-broodmare, and. come to think of it, so was I.

She's the equine equivalent of a Golden Retriever, in that she loves people and loves to express that love by licking.  No one who comes near her escapes the tongue.  She clearly considers my kids her foals, and will spend eons grooming them.  Sug is as close to bombproof as a horse can possibly be.  I trust her with my life, and more importantly, with my kids' lives, and never once has the mare let me down.  She loves to jump, and wishes fervently that I would conquer my issues so that we could jump fences she considers worthy of her.  If I do not pick a fence for her to jump in what she considers a timely fashion, she will make an executive decision and choose one herself.

Her other passion is food.  She loves carrots, apples, grapes, pears, peppermints, life savers, McDonald's French fries, Oreos, and would probably knock over her grandmother for a Boston Creme donut.  Her greatest disappointment in life is that her voluptuous figure and tendency towards equine pulchritude necessitates a grazing muzzle when grass is overly abundant.

The Boy:  Noah, age 12 and a 1/2, plays lacrosse and rugby, loves anything to   do with World War II,  Legos, arguing, and spending time with Sug.  Noah started riding 2 years ago. 

He used to ride Cookie and another pony we were lucky to know named Betty, but is now over 5' tall and rides Sug.  It's adorable, as she will rocket around a 3' course with me, and then turn around and pack him around a set of 2' fences.  

The Girl: More energy than the energizer bunny.  As Nature abhors a vacuum, Sophie abhors silence.  She has been known to make fart noises for 45 minutes straight just to avoid dealing with silence during a long car ride.

Sophie is a passionate and adept soccer player, rugby player, and rider.  She's freakishly fast and athletic.  She's the kind of person that becomes the life of the room as soon as she enters it.  One of the things I like most about her is that she is a good friend; I've never seen her behave in the clique-ish manner you often see in young girls.  She rides a pony named Cookie borrowed from my dear friend, the one who found Sugar for me.  This friend is commonly called "The Enable" by my husband, or "She Who Brought This Insanity into Our Lives."

The Pony:  Cookie, a 15 year old Welsh-Thoroughbred mare.  Sassy but safe.  Is not push-button and will make sure her rider gives the correct aids, but rock solid and takes care of her rider. 

So cute it's almost criminal.  Loves to be a show pony. She, too, loves her food, and has been known to drag small children across the yard in search of grass.  Loves to jump, and loves any animal smaller than she is.  Known for her snaky head shake,  which means Ms. Cookie Monster is feeling her sassy self.

The Husband:  He who bemusedly puts up with the "big expensive dogs," woolen dress sheets on his bed, and horse hair in his washing machine and thus on his clothes.  Has learned that if he wants to see his family, it means he might have to spend a good portion of the weekend day at the barn or at a horse show.  Now knows that carrots need to be purchased every time one makes a trip to the grocery store, whether they are on the list or not.

Me: Wife, mother of two kids, two equines, two cats (Dreidel and Mo) and 3 fish.  Employed full time as an Associate Publisher for a B2B trade publication focusing on dairy foods, which means I get to eat a lot of ice cream and cheese!  I rode for a few years as a child, more 4H level hunter and equitation, and then some basic dressage.  Stopped when I went to college and then did not pick up riding again until my late 30s. 

I spend way too much time reading horse books, watching horse-related DVDs or equestrian competitions online, reading equestrian blogs or lurking on the COTH forum.

Obsessed much?  Maybe a little bit...