I totally stole that title from James Herriot. But I’ve always had a secret grudge against Herriot for making up Darrowby and portraying it as a real place. So fair play.
Bon Appeal, of course, is the Free Horse talked about before. Will a person place less value on a horse that is free? Visit Bonnie at her white-fenced paddock, with her gleaming companions grazing beside her, and find your answer.
On Sunday, also known as the busiest day of a horseman’s week (what is THAT about?) I hitched up the trailer, and my husband and I convinced the begrudging broodmare to climb into the horse trailer. She backed and hopped around, to let me know how cruel I was to load her into a box-stall trailer with a haynet of alfalfa and eighteen inch-deep bedding, and I put a chain on her gum, to let her know that backing up would show just how cruel Mumsies can be.
The lip chain was a quick reminder, as they always are (they’re often more psychological than physical reminders in Thoroughbreds, who typically receive their first lip chain when they are yearlings and understand very quickly: backing up bad.) With Cory at her tail, bravely playing gate crew, we riled her up enough to get her to jump in. She pawed and complained; I went in the house and got a cup of coffee. Bad Mumsy.
Now here’s a change of pace, Bonnie’s new house isn’t three counties away through several swamps and state forests. It’s on the OTHER SIDE OF TOWN. Not surprisingly, on the other hand, I have to drive to the other side of town to find the other English rider in Lakeland. This was a poor choice of region for us from the start. Notice the land is cheaper when no one rides English? Are we just that snobbish?
Bonnie hopped off the trailer quite happily with New Mumsy, got a shower (oh, spoiled already) and a stall with the remains of her alfalfa to nosh on. Kat and I shot the breeze for a bit, she introduced me to Bonnie’s future girlfriends, an insanely beautiful mare heavily in foal to a Thoroughbred stallion, and a lovely old retiree. And then… that was it. It was going to storm. I still had work to do – hey, it’s Sunday, the Day of Eternal Barn Work. And so I took my empty trailer and left.
I had Bonnie five years. In that space of time, my life rocketed up and down, some of the most insane highs and lows that I’ve ever experienced. None of it really did much for Bonnie. I rode her when I could, I gave her a solid foundation – I think – and I kept her fat and happy. Okay, far too fat. But happy! I did the best I could for her. And so it’s a pleasure to think of her going to someone who will love her and keep happy, but also give her a job as well.
Before I was home, Kat had succumbed to the tempation of Beautiful Chestnut Mare and gone riding already. Before I’d fed my horses dinner, Bonnie was out with her new best girlfriends in the world (nice, since Wicket left her for the Old Country.)
I think if there is a Broodmare Makeover going on, we’ll be hearing more about it! I’ll keep you posted. I already miss looking out the window and seeing her there. But it’s not easy to get over having the Most Beautiful Horse in the World, either.