Adding a New Thoroughbred to the Mix – Bon Appeal

She keeps getting love notes from Benny the Bull, but I think Bonnie the Bull is going to have to put her dancing shoes back on and do a little dressage. Maybe she just wasn’t cut out to be a racehorse mom. (She certainly wasn’t cut out to be a racehorse.)

It’s time for a 30-Day Broodmare Makeover, and since I have gobs of spare time, what with working practically full-time next month (the horror!) and raising a child (thank you, television, you do a fine job!) and working on two blogs and a novel (okay, two blogs) and packing up a house and riding Final Call, etc. etc. etc., I totally decided that it would be a piece of cake to start riding Bonnie again.

Bon Appeal in the washrack

Bonnie looks for trouble

Bonnie is special. And not just special in that she is possibly the Most Beautiful Horse in the Entire World. Special in that life frightens her. The little things. Butterflies. Errant leaves. Lead ropes. They frighten her. And it’s her Human’s job to let her know, hey, if that butterfly threatens you, I am totally there for you. I will take care of that winged caterpillar. I will smash it like a – a – bug.

As a racehorse, she was slow. I assume. There isn’t much to say. She was at Keeneland, Delaware, and Colonial Downs. She was with Jonathan Sheppard, who is an amazing trainer,  but only managed to come in third. Once. There isn’t much to say. Pin fire scars, but all the youngsters at her training center had them. I think they were all pin-fired the minute they bucked their shins. If they think Sapphire displays “sensitivity,” let the FEI judges get their hands on a pin-fired Thoroughbred.

The first step in hauling in a broodmare to ride, I suppose, is to remind them of little things. Like being tied. I honestly don’t recall the last time I tied Bonnie. And she clearly didn’t either. I replaced the hay string tie three times. The fourth time, she didn’t go backwards and break it. I thought that was progress. And she didn’t run away the second or third times, even though the lead rope was dangling around her forelegs and Bonnie does not like things dangling around her forelegs!

Bon Appeal looks tragic

Bonnie: "That was terrible. Just terrible."

So day one was spent pulling the mane (I can’t stand a mane getting tangled up in my reins) and trimming back the fetlocks (I swear, she’s part Shire) and banging the tail (it grows so fast that she steps on it. Which is ironic, since she kicks her tail when she’s terribly upset. Or maybe that’s why she started kicking her tail to begin with?) while she remembered how to stand tied. I was pretty pleased with her, overall. And the cookie impressed her no end. Of course, now I have to buy twice as many cookies. Bother, bother.

After I untied her, she yawned and yawned and yawned. (I thought of Vince!) Then she decided that I was done torturing her, and there were no more cookies to be had, and off she went to find Wicket, her darling girlfriend. Another evening as a broodmare. Food, hay, girl-time. What’s an hour out of the day to be a riding horse? Some horses have it entirely too good. Even when they’re busy being horrified by all the work they’re being asked to do.

She’s a lovely girl, though, and it will be nice to get back on her a few times, and find her a nice home, with someone who is interested in beautiful red-headed mares!



Filed under Bon Appeal, Selling Horses, Training Diary

6 responses to “Adding a New Thoroughbred to the Mix – Bon Appeal

  1. Very cute – I wish you could work with our (now 13 yo) ex-racehorse Dawn, who only my (wild child) 20 yo daughter can ride bareback!

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Thanks Kate. I love them all. Even the silly crazy nutso ones.

      I have to admit that I hate riding spooky horses… And Bonnie is a champion spooker. So pretty soon on this blog you’ll be hearing about how I hit the ground. Which I think is what everyone has been waiting for, anyway.

  2. I’d take her in a heartbeat if she wasn’t so far away and I didn’t already have a spooky red head. That Bonnie is gorgeous! I meant to comment on your last post but I was too busy drooling over her to make my fingers work.

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Oooh Shannon bite your tongue before you get yourself in trouble. You KNOW I’d prefer her in New York since that’s where I’m going, right?!

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