Snow confettied from the sky, sprinkling the white van parked by the barn. Morning chores call, so I yawn, stretch, and layer, layer, layer clothing until I resemble Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Wait–THE WHITE VAN.
My skin prickles and adrenaline laces my blood. The white van means that the Badgleys are here. The Badgleys only show up super early if they’re doing morning chores. If they’re doing morning chores, that means I can play with ponies instead of working.
I trudge through snow, every step growing faster until I worry about ice and slipping. I feel a broad grin stretching across my face, I’m so delighted with the situation. It’s playtime.
I pull first Clarissa out, then Jasper; then afterward I ride Zeus. Everyone is perfect, everyone responds and is delightful. The ponies are a highlight of my day. Jasper is exuberant and joyful; Clary is a worthwhile challenge. Zeus is my boy. I can’t describe how head-over-heels in love with him I’ve become. It’s a terrible idea to fall in love with someone else’s horse, but I can’t help it. He’s hysterically funny. He has character that can’t be ignored.
I worked with the other horses while Hart’s owners worked with her. Her zany antics, reminiscent of Zeus when he first arrived, are mainly because I changed her food to one with higher calories. She’s high-strung from this increase, but she’s burning so many calories a day and building so much muscle that she needs it. Her topline, her back, and her hindquarters are so very different than they once were.
The little girl ran around and around her owner, acting crazy. She bucked and almost kicked her owner.
We took a time out.
I borrowed Hart from her owners and lunged her both ways; walk, trot, and canter. Then lunged her over a jump.
Then I left the indoor arena and went into the tack room while the youngest Badgley worked with her horse.
She saddled Hart and rode; walk, trot, and canter.
I love to share in victories. To anyone else, this seems insignificant. To us, this is a big deal. Hart canters for me. I’m an authority figure who works with her every day. I feed her, I lunge her, I ride her.
But for Hart to gently transition from the trot to the canter for someone else is a delight of unspeakable proportions.
I heard of this phenomenal victory, filled food containers, and then danced a little as I tromped through the snow back up to the house.
An adventure follows each time the white van’s parked in my driveway.