Today is my Arabian Prince's 13th birthday. It is the 11th birthday of his baby sister, Phaedra, who still lives in New Mexico and is (as far as I know) a brood mare. I'd buy her if I could.
Ace was born on a night with a visible comet. Combined with the shape of his star, his registration name was chosen: Auspicious Comet. My son once asked me if anyone uses the word "auspicious" and now makes a note of it every time he hears it on the radio or television (the answer is, obviously, yes.)
I got a phone call from Melinda soon after he was born, and she often updated me about his antics after that. I met him in the flesh when he was a good-sized yearling and he attempted to take a piece out of my shoulder when Melinda and I stood nearby ignoring him. That was the last time he tried doing something like that. Melinda slugged him so fast, he looked like he saw stars. We made fast friends after that.
I hadn't started taking riding lessons in 1997, but by the time I saw Ace in 2001, Melinda and I had been joking that I would eventually own the Prince. Especially after Melinda got the bay filly she'd been trying to breed for 20 years--Ace's full sister--it was an on-going discussion. Even though he was young, and Arabs are advanced horses, not beginner horses, I had fallen in love and he became my 50th birthday present to myself. I do not regret this.
I haven't been able to spend much time with him for the past three months, but that will soon change. He's been doing amazingly well under Ashley's riding and I hope we'll be showing him again really soon. Now that his Schleese has been properly fitted, he's floating across the arena. And he's still having a lot of fun jumping.
His new digs agree with him: he sticks his nose out of the feed window and watches everyone go by. I hear him call when I drive into the ranch. He's got lots of turnout buddies and he loves trimming the pepper trees near the arena. There's even a bit of grass to be trimmed and he's happy to oblige. He's returned to his fastidious house keeping: urine goes outside, poop along only one wall inside so he can curl up in a clean corner.
I'll take apples, carrots and his favorite cookies with peppermint candies on top when I see him tomorrow. Eventually, there will be a new western saddle in his life. Arabs are so damned hard to fit and his once-perfect 7-D is no longer a fit in the shoulders. Anyone seen a used Vincent saddle made for an Arab anywhere?
Lunch with the Barefoot Contessa
1 year ago