Introducing Mondavi April 27 2010, 0 Comments

The pony is gone. Dara is happily situated at EvenStride, and the girl visited her last weekend. I was not allowed to go, home with my Percoset, the broken hand deemed unprepared for a four-hour jaunt to Massachusetts.

Samantha went down with another horse show mom, Melissa, who spent the day with the EvenStride horse show secretary, learning the ins and outs of Show Pro, the software we will use at our 2010 Missy Ann Stables horse shows. The girl was able to ride Dara and chat with the kids who have been taking lessons on her. Dara is being appropriately coddled and spoiled—continuing to receive the princess treatment she has come to demand from the humans around her.

Mom is recovering from Dara’s departure. Due to work and the hand, I didn’t go to the barn for four days. It felt like longer. When I returned after the hand-bite drama, everything was different. I instinctively drifted over to the familiar stall where I was greeted by a lovely bay horse, rather than a demanding bay pony.

Read this post on The Chronicle of the Horse website.

Samantha was preparing for her first lesson on Mondavi, the horse we are now leasing. Had you asked me a year ago to describe a scenario where we would be able to lease the girl a horse like this, the only few I would be able to describe would involve winning the lottery without purchasing a ticket or the life insurance pay-out from my untimely demise. Horse karma brings all manner of unexpected experiences, this being the most pleasant of a lifetime.

Mondavi is a 16.2 hand, 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. His owner is Michelle Osgood, inventor and owner of One Knot Hairnet. Mondavi has been leased out to lucky girls throughout New England over the past seven or so years, and he has traveled up and down the east coast, stopping at every horse show along the way. A few years ago, Michelle considered retirement for Mondavi. She consulted a horse communicator who told her that Mondavi’s response was this: “Where’s my kid?” He knows his job is to mold young riders into sensitive, confident partners. He has no interest in going back to mom’s house. He added: “When’s the next show? Who is my next kid and when will she bring the treats? Mom, I don’t want you to ride me, go find me another kid!”

Samantha has loved Mondavi from the moment she met him. It’s not hard to understand the attraction. For starters, he’s gorgeous and his ego is rather, shall we say, enormous. I would count my blessing when Samantha would come home and tell me about how he could zip up her coat, and he would delight in doing it as many times as possible as fast as he could. When I was 12, I would have rather stuck a hot poker in my eye than talk to my mother about anything. Sorry Mom! I know, I know, many of you are saying “Oh you just wait!”

Mondavi is a combo of the handsome football player and the class clown. Unfortunately, Samantha’s wish comes true at the expense of another girl’s dream. A recent injury made Mondavi unsuitable for the three-foot show season that had been planned for him. This freed him up for Samantha to compete with him at 2’6” but left Samantha’s good friend heartbroken, making the entire experience bittersweet. As we all know, this is part of the horse life, and she and I have done our best to talk with her friend and her friend’s mom with respect and consideration for their feelings. Their search continues for a three-foot horse.

The husband and I watched in amazement as Samantha cantered around the ring on Mondavi. She was using Michelle’s saddle and had to lower the stirrup leathers two holes. She did not look like a squidget up there, her leg took up his side quite nicely, quite frighteningly. As they tentatively jumped their first few fences, then lines, as a team, a smile began to bloom on Samantha’s face. It stayed there for hours and remained well into the evening as she told me in detail all about it.