The pony is gone. Dara is happily situated at EvenStride, and the girl visited her last weekend. I was not allowed to go, home with my Percoset, the broken hand deemed unprepared for a four-hour jaunt to Massachusetts.
The cruel hand of fate has dealt me an unexpected blow. I was at the barn Monday night after a 12-hour day of work and various mom duties. I was feeling strung out, sorry for myself and somewhat adrift. So I went to pick up the girl around 8 p.m., and I brought some treats and planned to spend a few minutes with my equine friends to help soothe my psyche.
There comes a time in every young rider’s life when he or she becomes too tall to ride ponies. In January, one of my favorite horse show moms admitted to concern that her daughter would outgrow her mustang pony before show season. Concern may not be a strong enough word. She spent many a sleepless night wondering what would she do if her daughter outgrew the pony. Could she afford board on two animals? Could she bring the pony home? How would she be able to afford a new horse?
I’ve been reading several excellent archived columns by Susie Schoellkopf and Linda Allen on the Chronicle website. I’ve found two kindred spirits—horsewomen who demand we look at the hallmarks of sportsmanship and good manners then urge us to lead by example.
Question: I was recently at a horse show with real bathrooms! Four whole stalls and a sink with running water and soap. My joy was short lived. In the stall next to me a woman, apparently a trainer, chatted away on her cell phone. Since I could hear the conversation, it seems she was in the middle of selling a horse and was telling the caller all about how she was really going to make a killing. I was so grossed out I didn’t know what to do. Is there no place safe from cell phones?
This week, as part of my mom duties, I went to the elementary school and spent an hour in the boy’s class “helping.” The husband and I (that is a lie, this was my idea and the husband was happy to go along) decided to try this so we can better understand the math program. Third grade math is completely beyond me. I figured that time in the classroom might help make homework time less like an episode of "The Sopranos," with the boy and the dad screaming obscenities at each other, while the dog and I hide downstairs under a desk. The girl is at the barn, oblivious.
Question: Yesterday I was riding in the indoor when one of the lesson kids’ mom walked right in the ring with her DOG! No “Door!” or anything. She just walked right in without even looking. I had to pull up my 4-year-old to a halt. Luckily no one was hurt. She never even apologized, she just kept walking! I did say to her, “My horse could have hit your dog,” but she just looked at me and kept going. She’s been around the barn for at least two years, she should know better.