All I Want For Christmas Is You...and a half-halt that works

Dec 25, 2009 - 4:17 AM

Dear Santa Claus,

I’ve been a very good girl this year. I rarely stayed out late, and I ate my vegetables. So I’m sending you my wish list, in hopes of you focusing on the good things, like my passion for recycling and local produce, and ignoring the few bad things, like my refusal to make my bed or clean the refrigerator.

- I’d like Midgey to bend as well to the left as to the right. It’s come a long way, like yesterday’s ride, where he made very quiet canter pirouettes in both directions without any fuss, and they were almost equally good. But a little Santa magic certainly wouldn’t hurt.

- I’d like Ella to breathe at horse shows. Because dang, Santa, you should see her go. She’s getting so comfortable in the work now, and she’s starting to believe in herself, really believe it. She clocked off 15 ones last week, and again yesterday, and finished ears forward, eyes soft. She’s unbelievable, and I’d love a little help in being able to show her off.

- Speaking of breathing at horse shows, my mom—who is a former corporate exec, the kind of brilliant, confident woman who can make a room full of fat-cat men quake in their loafers—is a total chicken in competition. She’s riding so well now, on both her Tres and my Cleo. Could you help her take a chill-pill too?

- Gloves. You can never have too many gloves.

- I’m still hunting for my next horse. I’m thinking age 3 or 4, tall, leggy, athletic and zippy would be a good place to start. When I look into his (or her!) eyes, I want to see that same sense of self that Cleo has, that poise, that I-Know-What-I’m-Doing-And-I’m-Good-At-It-Too. And if it could have her walk and canter, Ella’s trot and Midge’s joie de vivre, that’d be swell. But I don’t want to overreach.

- World Peace. And tell those guys in Copenhagen that I’d prefer not to have melting glaciers in my back yard in 20 years, wouldja?

- And, if it’s not too much to ask, I’d love to see the Dressage Elders get going on a real program for identifying talent and helping develop it. There’s a lot of us who didn’t quite make the cut for the high performance training sessions who are worth the time and consideration (and, yes, admittedly limited resources) of Those In The Know. It benefits everyone in the sport, from the top to the grassroots, to produce top talent. I wish you could give that a nudge in the right direction.

So that’s it, Santa. In 2010 I’m going to continue putting my clients and horses first, fighting fiercely for correct riding and horsemanship, and composting to reduce our carbon footprint. I might even get around to that refrigerator. You never know.

Sprieser Sporthorse


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