A few years ago, I started my first post on this site with An Eventer’s Letter to Santa. Why not let the tradition continue?
An Event Horse’s Letter to Santa
I’m not really sure I believe in you, but I do believe in vicious Monsters living in those funny boxes at C outside the dressage arena. Mom is scared of them, too, you should see how upset she is after she reads the Monster’s written
death threats remarks. She’s so upset she won’t give me treats or anything and just glares at me. She doesn’t understand that I just saved her life out there, dodging and weaving away from all those potential leg-snatching letters. And my imposing snorting-dragon impression is the only thing that kept the Monster inside its box. It’s ok, I still love Mom, and one day she’ll thank me for my astounding athleticism and acute sense of self-preservation (it’s a good thing she has a good seat). But since Monsters are real, I guess you are too, Santa.
So, since I’ve been such a good boy this year (and I really have, Mom tells me so, except for the times she glares at me in disgust) there’s a few extra things on my wish list this Christmas. Besides the usual, y’know, all the carrots I can eat and mints with no annoying plastic wrappers. That’s what I get in my stocking every year– except for that one year, I was really naughty and lame all the time, and all I got was a tube of bute paste (yuck!). But this year I earned a big “6” for Submission on one of my tests, that’s my highest score ever! I usually get “4- highly inattentive” under that section of the collective marks. But a 6… that should get me something really good under the tree this year.
OK, St. Nick, here’s my wish list:
1. A new turnout blankie. I’m sorry I ripped up my other one, me and the guys were just having fun. Rowdy was like chasing me and stuff, and bit my butt, and I couldn’t let him get away with that, y’know? It started as a harmless game of halter tag, but before we knew it we were buck-farting all over the field and playing demolition derby with our clothes. I held in there for a little while, but I lost my tail flap, the lining shredded, it tore down the side and all the fluff came out. It was sad. So please, Santa, can I have a new Rambo this year? Those things are indestructible, so warm and waterproof. And Rowdy will be soooo jealous of me since he only wears plaid Dover-brand knock offs bought on Ebay.
2. A new Micklem bridle. They’re so trendy and ergonomically-designed for comfort. I wear a figure-8 right now, Mom says I open my mouth too much. But it makes my head look too long, and leaves me feeling itchy at the end of the ride. Mr. Micklem says his special bridle is contoured to my facial bones (I do have lovely facial bone structure, thanks for noticing) and will make any horse more pleasant in the bridle. Maybe I’ll even keep my tongue in my mouth, if I like it well enough.
3. Better hay. These silly humans keep throwing me flakes of tasteless dried grass–it may as well be straw!– and expect me to eat it. I try to show them quite clearly that it’s only suitable for pee and poop, but they just don’t get the message. Don’t they know I’m a distant cousin to Man O’War on my mother’s side, and I am to indulge in only the very finest of feedstuffs? Bring me the fancy feast, the high-quality pre-bloom alfalfa I deserve, offered free-choice as all the good books say. Never mind my expanding waistline…you’re one to talk, there Santa boy. I don’t see you skipping your cookies, now do I?
4. A clicker. Preferably one capable of being operated by an odd-toed ungulate. My Mom has a few quirks that need re-training (like her treat-dispensing ability), and all my friends say clicker training is a great way to encourage desired behavior. Something about operant conditioning, whatever that means. I want to teach her that when I make a cute face, she gives me 10 treats, not just one. She doesn’t think I can count, but I can. Sometimes I have to make 10 cute faces just to get one single treat. That’s just wrong. She does not respond well to negative reinforcement (I try to paw, rake the bars with my teeth, and make snarly faces) but usually I get yelled at for that, and the treats are put away. So we’ll see if the clicker method has better results.
5. A helmet camera. Now, I know what you think…this just something for Mom. But really, it’s all about establishing my brand: my cute little ears and fabulous jumping style. I saw what it did for Henny– it went from a couple Youtube videos, to his own website, to hats, mugs and other Henny merch. Soon, I will be the next star of eventing, with my own helmet cams plastered all over EN, Facebook, and Twitter (follow me @EvSuperhorse). I will have groupies lining up outside my stall to pet me, take photos with their iPhones, and feed me delectable treats. Soon, I’ll develop my own line of saddle pads, matching polos, and designer dress sheets. But it has to start somewhere…and I truly NEED that helmet cam to get my vision off the ground.
I hope all that stuff isn’t too heavy for your deer to pull around. The don’t look like very drafty animals to me. Perhaps you should consider some Clydesdales in your breeding stock, they even pull trains. Anyway, Santa, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And if you must leave wormer in my stocking, I prefer the apple-flavored ivermectin.
The (soon-to-be) Greatest Event Horse In the World.
PS- Why do they call you “Jolly?” Do you make Jolly Balls? Those things are really stupid. I got one for my birthday a few years ago. Mom expects me to play with it, but I’m not a golden retriever or a ball-obsessed border collie. I have more fun chewing on the fence boards, thankyouverymuch.