Dear Santa Hoss,
For the fifth year in a row I am writing in hopes of catching you before you and your team of eight Thoroughbreds arrive at my Human’s house. We have long enjoyed a good working relationship, as I first came to you in order to set the record straight about my own behavior throughout the year and later began sending you my suggested Christmas lists for the Human.
By now, Big Fella, I figure we’re pretty much colleagues. We both endure Humans with inflated senses of their own self-worth and completely skewed perspectives on ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ We try to teach them. They claim they learn. They fall short, and whine about how it wasn’t their fault and they’re really delightful people.
There’s a sense of entitlement in Bipeds, and frankly I don’t know how you deal with so many of them. I imagine, like me, you bury your frustrations in the piles of cookies they leave you, which of course are never nearly sufficient.
As such, I believe at this point in our relationship I can address you as the professional equal I am. Rather than suggest a list of items for myself or for the Human, I’ll just provide you with a comprehensive 2016 Behavior Summary and let you judge for yourself. I know you’re supposed to be keeping an eye on her when she’s sleeping and when she’s awake and all that (do tell—does she snore??), but there are probably a few Incidents you’ve missed.
Just for kicks, I’ll even arrange my report in your favorite format: a Christmas carol. Please, don’t neglect to read the footnotes associated with each item.
On the first day of Christmas, the Human gave to me a handful of apple cookies.
See, this would appear to be a win on her part, but apple is actually my least favorite flavor. I have tried to emphasize this by spitting bits of cookie into her hair, but she stubbornly refuses to take notes on my cookie preferences. Also, “handful” is a wildly generous description. I struggled to find the cookies in her meager palm, and may have taken out her thumb while I was looking. Totally justified.
On the second day of Christmas, the Human gave to me two bell boots.
She really should have learned two years ago from the Incident With The Splint Boots In The Pasture. The things were abominable, squeaked when I walked, and were purchased ON SALE, for God’s sake. I removed them immediately. The lawnmower ate one, and they never did find the other.
On the third day of Christmas, the Human gave to me three strides in stadium.
The trouble was, she gave me three strides in the two-stride line. On the upside, I think she rattled around so hard she may have loosened a tooth, but I’ve never had to do such fancy fetlock work in all my life.
On the fourth day of Christmas, the Human gave to me four flimsy fly masks.
Before I FINALLY got her to buy me my preferred style of mask, she kept pulling out these lightweight, easily torn shrouds from the bottom of the tack trunk. It was laughably easy to rip the fabric. I made one into confetti!
On the fifth day of Christmas, the Human gave to me five pink ribbons.
I look so much better in blue. Or red. Even yellow would be fine at this point. And don’t even think about assigning blame to her dressage judges. She’s lucky they didn’t hand her purple again.
On the sixth day of Christmas, the Human gave to me six vets a-frowning.
Well, technically one of them was a farrier, but when one of them suggested a potential diagnosis, I grew fond of switching up my “limp” a little bit, and they’d all get confused again. It was the most fantastic game. Until she dug up more and more of them and they started discussing things like “treatments.” You might perceive this as my own game getting out of control, but I’ve expressed to her my feelings about the Dastardly Vet before, and she will not keep the alarming woman out of my stall.
On the seventh day of Christmas, the Human gave to me seven flakes of hay.
But they were from the second cutting bale, not the first cutting bale. I pulled them apart, carpeting the stall with them, and pooped on the lot.
On the eighth day of Christmas, the Human gave to me eight braids a-popping.
We’ve discussed this via Skype before, but she really must improve her braiding technique. Or hire a pro. Three quick yoga poses and it was pop, pop, pop from those bands after she drove off. Shoddy workmanship.
On the ninth day of Christmas, the Human gave to me nine clippers buzzing.
She can NOT figure out how to change the blades. It is the funniest thing I have ever seen.
On the tenth day of Christmas, the Human gave to me 10 jumps for leaping.
Still too small.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, the Human gave to me 11 halts at X.
And did not apply even leg and hand in a SINGLE ONE. So, we halted in perfect Giraffe Form.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Human gave to me 12 decent canter transitions.
That’s it. All year. Twelve. #nostirrupjanuary???
And Santa, the next time you’re in town over the summer, send me a Facebook message. We really have a lot in common. Would love to grab a Guinness with you.
|Jitterbug is a Michigan-bred Professional Draft Cross who skillfully avoided saddles until age 5. Since then, she has been lauded for her talent in successfully managing humans while training herself to one day achieve eventing greatness. Jitter and her human live in central Kentucky.
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Photo by Dark Horse Photography.