By: Deb Kitchenmaster

Yes, ‘tis true. My heart has several hoof prints on it from mares of different colors, sizes, and breeds.  Each with their own name, personality, life lessons, tattooed on the fabric of my soul.

Song writer Mary Ann Kennedy has written a song about mares. She frames her description from the strings of the guitar. Here we go:

“Mares are different from the boys. They know their job is to take care of their family. So many responsibilities! Oh. It’s not easy to be a mare. Mares see things as they are. Never moving far from the herd that leans on them for their sensitivities. Oh. It’s not easy to be a mare. Mares keep you honest.  Make you strong. They let you know when you are wrong. But they will forgive you. They teach humility. There’s not a heart that’s as big as a mare’s.”

A mare is an adult female horse over the age of three, and a filly is a female horse three and younger. When starting out, you want to choose a horse with a reliable temperament. A mare with these blueprints is an excellent choice.

Deer Park Arianna, a chestnut Morgan, mare became a true friend to me. I got in touch with what was important to her — safety. She wanted her rider to be safe. I witnessed as she became upset with me for putting a little 4-year-old on her back. After expressing her disgust to me, she walked off in a tip-toe way. Never before had I seen this. Her heart was full of care and concern for humanity. In the 23 years we were together, not one person came off her back. She was so graceful! Even in the moments she got spooked about something. Arianna shared her environment with another mare named Annie. Annie was the dominant alpha horse of the herd. This day I had separated the two into different paddocks. When Arianna realized Annie couldn’t touch her, she ran to the fence and let Annie know she was tired of being bossed around. It brought a laugh out of my belly. Let me tell you just one more Arianna story.  I had learned a new song. “I got a feeling, everything is gonna be all right. Oh. I’ve got a feeling everything’s gonna be all right, all right, all right.” I really got into that song that day out in the lot with the horses and my dog Jubilee. I was singing, spinning, and, well, let’s say, doing a “happy dance.” The next thing I became aware of was Arianna with her four hooves and Jubilee with her four paws, were joining the 2-legged in the celebration.  About that time my husband pulled onto the yard and Annie walked to the gate and nickered to my husband as if to say, “Get me out of here from these critters.”  She didn’t get the nickname ‘Queen Ann’ for nothing.

Meadow Run Annie was her registered name.  She was a chestnut Morgan mare five years older than Arianna. She was a forward horse. Boy, could that girl move! Annie had a way with humanity too. She wanted you to be a more confident leader than she was. She knew how to lead, and she was a confident mare in her leadership ability. After all, she practiced exercising her leadership every day among the other horses. The rumbles from the other horses were, “Don’t mess with Annie.” Annie had more humans in tears than a case of tissues could handle. However, after spending time with Annie, you knew what you knew and you knew what you were pretending to know. Tears did not stop Annie from teaching.

Triumphant Sung’s Praise was our first foal from Arianna. She was a bay Morgan. Praise touched many hearts with her spotlight on FOCUS. She knew if one had trauma locked inside their body and she knew how to communicate that to me through ‘the look.’ The ability to focus was high on her radar because she required YOUR presence. She did not allow wandering minds. That was a red flag to her and she knew how to safely get one’s attention.

These three mares are braided together as a cord that rings the bell of joy. “Mare-y” Christmas.

Your NEIGH bor

By: Deb Kitchenmaster