Dear Fellow Equines,
It has recently come to my attention that the world is changing. And I don’t mean that the bright thing in the sky is up there for longer, or that the delicious, tasty grass has started to sprout from the ground again. No, I’m talking about this thing that I keep hearing the barn servants mention called a “pandemic.”
Now, I don’t know what a “pandemic” is (and frankly, I’m a horse, so I really don’t care), but from what I’ve seen so far, this is going to be a real plus for the equine community at large. Do I miss my hairless treat-feeder coming around? You bet I do. That bag of peppermints isn’t going to walk itself to my stall, that’s for darn sure. But overall, there are some real positives about our barn getting locked down.
So, without further ado, I present to you my five favorite things about this pandemic thing. Please read and be prepared to discuss at the next pasture meeting.
Snowball the Pony
1. My only job is to eat
I. Love. Food. I love it above all else in the world and I love all forms of it. Grass. Hay. Treats. Grain. The occasional stick and/or bramble that trespass on my pasture. One time I even attempted to chew on my human, although I found her taste to be less than desirable. (Also, I would describe her reaction to that experiment as “highly resistant.”)
With nothing else to do these days, my only responsibility appears to be ensuring that I get a good meal. Which is, honestly, the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Even better, without anyone around to make me waste precious calories by trotting in ENDLESS circles, I’m proud to say that my efforts at maximizing food intake are more successful than ever. If I keep up my current rate of consumption, I’m hoping to completely outgrow my girth by early summer, further delaying the onset of any real work.
2. We finally get a Spring Break
I believe that we equines have finally moved into the golden age of what our humans call “Spring Break.” With no work to do, we’re free to choose our days and our laze. I know I’m personally pleased that there’s no more “dressage” to be found. (See: previous comment about the circles and the trotting.) I believe Thunder the lesson pony is rather delighted that he hasn’t had to teach a child their diagonals in weeks.
I highly recommend we all capitalize on this time. Personally, I took four naps yesterday and intend to improve upon that score today.
In fact, let’s all take a moment and cross our hooves that this new era extends well into the future. I’ll even go out on a limb here and say that I’m sure the humans are equally pleased at the absence of that horrible “dressage.”
3. No more photos
I love my human, I do. She’s always so happy to see me, and even the few times I’ve left her in the dust for an egregious error like trying to ride on a windy day or during meal times, I’m generally pretty happy to have her around. One thing I could do without though is the excessive number of what she calls “pics.”
I don’t know why all treat-feeders love to stare creepily at that tiny box. I do know the minute she starts to point it at me, I’m in for what feels like hours of “pics.” This is almost always accompanied by my human frantically clicking, crinkling treat wrappers or tossing things behind her. I know what you’re trying to do here treat-feeder. I just don’t see the point.
And don’t even get me started on the “selfies.” If I have to wear one more funny hat or headband while she giggles uncontrollably, someone’s going home with mud stains on their breeches.
4. Nothing has been strapped to me in weeks
I don’t know what the treat-feeders obsession is with leather straps (it’s actually a little sick, if you ask me), but I have watched with absolute glee through the tack room window as the saddles, surcingles, pads and bridles have acquired a thick layer of dust.
I enjoy a good gallop around the fields and the odd leap over a hedge as much as the next pony. But if I never do another 20-meter circle, it’ll be too soon. I can’t even measure (because again, I’m a horse), and I can definitely tell you that your circles are lopsided and too large, treat-feeder.
In fact, I’m happy to report that the only thing I’ve worn in the last couple of weeks is a thick layer of mud. Which brings me to my next point…
5. No one is here to clean me off
You know what really grinds my hooves? The moment I get the perfect brown and green layered highlights in my shiny white coat, someone shows up with a tool (or, heaven forbid, a hose) to remove it. It’s pony torture, if you ask me.
I’m really pretty proud of my current look by the way—mud, manure stains, and clumps of recently shed winter coat. Like a proper pony.
So in conclusion: while there’s a disturbing lack of treats being shoved in my general direction, I like to think that we’re all finally living like the great mustangs and Shetlands that roamed the plains before us: Safe, locked in a grassy paddock, being fed three square meals a day and getting blanketed when it drops below 60 degrees.
Just like our ancestors would have wanted.
See? This pandemic isn’t all bad.