Home' The Horse Magazine : September 2016 Contents 132 FROM THE ARCHIVES
always looked impressive, flashing over the sand in
extended trot, waltzing sideways in half pass, or, best of all,
stepping elegantly in the passage and piaffe. Dots could not
believe his eyes the first time he saw her performing piaffe.
He had never seen such an eye catching, high stepping trot
before, and he had been filled with curiosity. It was easy to
see Countess enjoyed her work, and liked showing off the
extravagant steps, and accepting the generous praise of
“I have the most pleasure,” Countess continued. “I enjoy
my work and Captain Bernard is often pleased with my
progress. Also the grooms braid my mane sometimes and
wash my tail and groom my coat.” Countess flashed her
eyelashes again. She was very vain and liked showing off
Lightening and Papillion were quiet. They agreed that
Countess did have a good life and the dressage riding with
Captain Bernard was very beautiful. However they still
thought their lives were better, but they were both so in love
with Countess they did not want to argue with her.
Masterpiece, however, was jealous of Countess and he was
ready to disagree. He was a black show pony who lived in a
paddock by himself. He had very rich owners who had paid
an enormous price for him in the hope that he would win the
Championship at the big Royal Show this year.
“Countess,” said Masterpiece in his deepest possible voice,
“My life is best because I am a Champion Show Pony. And,”
he said with a flourish, “My owners spend lots of money
looking after me. They buy me lots of rugs and equipment.
They bought me an expensive trailer last month so that
they can take me to shows every weekend. They braid my
mane and shampoo and condition my tail. My socks are the
cleanest possible and I look simply stunning. I win lots of
beautiful big sashes and silver cups, and to do this I don’t
have to work as hard as you do. Sometimes I see you coming
back from the arena sweating from your exertions. I don’t
have to work hard.”
“My life is just as beautiful as yours,” finished Masterpiece,
“but better because I don’t have to exert myself to succeed.”
Dots thought quietly to himself about what Masterpiece
had said. It was true Countess often sweated, but Dots didn’t
think she minded as Captain Bernard always rewarded her
for her efforts generously. But Masterpiece was only ridden
lightly so he didn’t sweat or strain his muscles.
The horses argued and bickered for a while amongst
themselves about who had the best life, but Dots didn’t join
in. He just leaned against the biggest willow and swished the
flies. He couldn’t see any point in arguing.
Consort had been quiet until now too. He was rather shy
because he was young but finally he worked up the courage
“I think I have the best life,” he blurted out in his squeaky
voice, “Because I seem to be on holiday the whole time.”
The other horses were so surprised to hear Consort speak
they stopped talking and listened to what he had to say.
Consort gained confidence from their silence and went on.
“You horses get ridden every day. You have to be saddled
and bridled and then worked at the will of your riders. I have
it much easier. I can enjoy my days freely, sleep a lot, relax
under the willows and eat grass without having to bother
about being exercised.”
It was true that he hardly ever got ridden. Dots had only
seen his owners come once in the last four weeks and then
they had only ridden him for twenty minutes.
“You four have to work too hard,” Consort continued, “You
should join a union so you can complain and the demand
more relaxation hours like I have. It is obvious,” he finished,
“That I have the best life of all.”
Consort’s argument upset the horses even more and they
continued to debate noisily.
Papillion, Countess and Lightening were all happy with
the amount of work they did and were sure their lives were
the best. Lightening was happy to run fast and be famous.
Countess thought beautiful dressage riding was the best.
Papillion was content to fly like a butterfly across country.
Masterpiece was vain and liked the champion sashes he won,
and Consort thought a life of leisure was the best. Only Dots
was silent. He half closed his eyes and dozed in the shade.
The horses argued all week. Dots listened sometimes
but each horse was just saying the same words over and
over again. No one seemed to be winning... but then on
the next weekend, several incidents occurred that were to
change everything! hTHM
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