Saturday was a lovely March day. Only problem, it was here in January... but never mind that, we'll take days like that one anytime they care to drop by. It was so sunny and warm, the horses all had their winter rugs off and went happily out to roll in the snow, and spend half the afternoon scratching each other's backs. They made lovely pictures in the snow, with their coats of black, white and chestnut.
For Bailey, the day wasn't all about lounging outside and celebrating the arrival of the big round bales of hay. He was pressed into service for a School Project. Laurel, 10, has her own pony, but where he's kept there's really no place to ride in the winter. She is completing a project for winter electives, and like so many young riders, she's picked one of her idols: Hickstead. Now, along with Hickstead, who is undoubtedly one of the best show jumpers the planet has ever seen, comes his rider Eric Lamaze. They are a team, and a pretty indivisible team at that. Eric is quite a story all by himself, having had a pretty rough start and having had to dig deep to turn his life around. At the Beijing Olympics, this pair brought home not only a Team Silver medal, but the Individual Gold.
Bailey did his best to rise to the occasion with his petite rider. He even jumped her over a miniature of one of the jumps Hickstead soars over at Spruce Meadows, the famous bendy Canadian flag fence. (We have just one plank that is modeled on this jump -- it has 8 sections of veneer, and I hate to think what it cost to create!) Bailey figures, if he has anything to do with it, he'll do his best to help Laurel get an A++.
And Laurel? She helps finance her pony by making and selling beaded bookmarks through the Dwight Library. Pick one up next time you're there.