My daughter greeted me with this news the other morning as soon as I wandered into the kitchen. As I’d just left my bed and was woefully undercaffeinated her comment made absolutely no sense to me.
“Huh?” was my witty rejoinder. “What are you talking about?”
At least, that’s what I think I said. Sophie says what she heard come out of my mouth was more like “Mwahnahschoogenfeld.”
“Mom! Sapphire had her foooooooo-aaaaalllllll!”
At this point Sophie gave up, grabbed my hand, and dragged me to the basement family room where she has her Breyer horses set up, in what I call Happy Valley Hillbilly Ranch. I say hillbilly as, since we refuse to buy another gi-normous Breyer barn, the child has gotten resourceful and created barns out of whatever is at hand. As of today’s writing, most of the ranch’s residents reside in old wine boxes. Not Sapphire, though. She resides in the Breyer barn. Rank has its privileges and all. But I digress.
There she was, in the north field, the Magnificent Mare herself and her brand new baby. I had no idea the mare was even expecting and had a tense moment as I contemplated lack of pre-natal care, however both mother and baby looked quite healthy. Sapphire was already cantering about her field — concerned about getting her pre-baby figure back, perhaps?
“Did you let McLain know?” I asked. For some reason this was all my sleep-addled brain could come up with. You can’t see in the picture, but Sophie’s Sapphire is autographed by McLain. When I covered the Devon Horse Show for HJU, during a embarrassing moment of weakness, I ran across the schooling ring and pretty much tackled the poor man in hopes of getting him to sign my daughter’s Breyer model of Sapphire. McLain, ever gracious as he is, signed the model for me and then told me to tell Sophie to “take good care of her.”
McLain has no idea what he started. He’s created a monster, really, as Sophie has taken his words as gospel. Sapphire is on a regular grooming and exercise schedule. All Sophie’s horses have a set turnout schedule, however, Sapphire gets the best “field” and is out mostly at night since Sophie feels the bugs annoy her. Inevitably, once bedtime is announced I’m told, “I need to turn Sapphire out!” Now, I’m well aware this is a delay tactic of the highest order, but I indulge it because, well, it’s Sapphire.
Sophie takes good care of Sara (Sapphire’s barn name) in other respects as well. It’s well known that Sara loves her Dunkin’ Donuts. Sadly, we don’t get to the double D’s as often as the big mare would like, but I do bake often. Sara’s learned to love chocolate chip cookies, espresso chip cookies, and dark chocolate Kahlua brownies. (Crap! Chocolate is no good for pregnant women! What about pregnant mares?) Sophie takes care to feed her only small amounts of these indulgences, though. (I know, as I vacuum up the crumbs.)
We decided to err on the side of caution and removed her brother’s Lego Millenium Falcon and Sith Infiltrator out of the back of their field, as from what I understand foals are like children and thus highly accident prone. Neither of us know anything about caring for or raising foals, so Sophie has pulled out all of her horse books and is reading up on the subject. She says you always have to do right by your horse, but it’s especially important when the horse in question belongs to one of the best riders in the world and he has specifically told you to take good care of her.
She gets no arguments from me on that point.