It was a windy, cold, nasty afternoon here in the beautiful country. Annabelle, of course, was undeterred. You see, although we live on a little piece of heaven in the country, the front of our property shares a border with a local park and soccer field. When the fields are filled with players and their adoring parents Annabelle feels compelled to provide them with a free equine exhibition.
I was happily puttering around the kitchen, doing a little laundry and putting chicken into Handsome Husband’s favorite marinade, when my little darling trotted her sweet black pony over to the horse trailer. I witnessed this from the kitchen window, and knew pretty well what would happen next. She ran in, and said in her nicest voice, “Mom, would you saddle Reno for me?” I sighed, (I sigh a lot, as it turns out. Zach recently asked me to “stop making that noise mom!”) Then I pulled on a jacket and gloves and went out to saddle the pony. I had a lot of chores to do outside anyway, so I thought I might as well nurture my little girl’s passion while I was at it.
Anyway, if I didn’t mention it, it was very windy outside. The pony was frisky and in no mood for a spontaneous “Pony Express Meets the Idaho Frontier” rendition. I saddled him quickly, objecting but eventually conceding to Annabelle’s request to add her pink breast collar to the horsey ensemble (when she puts on a show she goes all out). As I proceeded to bridle the little pony angel, I could tell he was not in the mood. I put the pink reins around his neck before I slipped the halter off, and put my right arm over his tiny ears to pull the headstall up.
Low and behold, the little son of a buck pulled back. Thinking I would give him a quick tune up, I whacked him gently on the off side cheek – a “come back to me sweetness tap” really. Reno objected to this mightally, reared back, pulled the bridle out of my hands and proceeded to drag me about twenty feet by the neon pink roping reins which were looped around his neck. I finally let go over by the propane tank, and the little sweetie proceeded to buck like a saddle bronc across the open grass area where we park the trailers. He dragged between his legs the most expensive pieces of tack I have purchased in some time, a cute little hand tooled headstall supporting a very nice pony bit which cost at least 20% of the price of the pony himself. And he wasn’t a cheap pony.
Although my wee children were delighted by the escapade, I wasn’t, and I am pretty sure I said some words that would not be acceptable at the fancy Charter School next door to us, should they ever deign to admit us in the first place. I chased the little bronco across the field, and by that time we had attracted the attention of several of the soccer parents, and even a few bored players. I caught up to him by the neighbor’s old horse, and thought the game would be over quickly at that point when he lowered his head to indulge in some leftover alfalfa that had blown from the feeder. As soon as I approached the little sucker he peeled right, mashing his expensive bit with a hind food and bolted for the haystack. The next attempt to corral him was less pretty. I was yelling at Annabelle to get in front of him (after a quick check of the wind to make sure the soccer moms couldn’t hear) and we nearly had him before he was off again, running full tilt around the corner, the carefully tooled headstall being ground to a pulp beneath his horrid little feet.
He stopped around the corner this time, close to his own pen, by a small stack of alfalfa hay. That is his weakness.
I was really mad at him. But I refrained from doing anything really diabolical, because the kids were watching. I calmly bridled him and boosted Annabelle aboard. Zach was still laughing when he went to board his own ride. They had a good day after that, pursuing their respective passions.
But as I believe I mentioned before……it was a good thing I didn’t have my gun.