Yes, it's me. She finally gave me some face time with you. Well, actually, she doesn't really know that I've hacked into the blog. Hudson told me I could tap into the wireless signal of a nearby house, and since my field happens to be next to the farmhouse, voila, here I am, connected to the world. Then he gave me a tip about making friends with a cat (which I'm really good at, obviously, see here and here -- didn't even need to mention "tuna"). Once I was connected, it was just a matter of hacking, and I adore hacking! I win hacks all the time. Nothing to it, really.
You may be wondering why I've waited until now to address you directly. This blog, after all, has been going on for almost two years now, and I haven't felt a need to make an appearance yet, even though I absolutely could have, should the need have arisen. Up until now I believe my mother has been representing my interests well... though at times, I feel she paints me in a rather comical light, even in more serious moments, like when our general welfare and safety is at stake....
I have no idea why you all find my bravery in these circumstances so funny, but humans are a strange and illogical breed. Which is why I do, at times, "play the fool" for your general amusement. I have learned, over time, that humans are easily amused, and prone to dispense treats with a frequency directly proportional to the amount of ridiculous tricks, endearing faces, and kind gestures that a horse displays. Of course, treats are also dispensed based on level of performance, but truly, I perform well for my own satisfaction. It's a matter of pride, really, to do a job so well.
Which brings me to my point. My job. I am a hunter, and while it took me a few years to catch on to the point of this sport, I have now mastered it and believe that I execute my role with tact, finesse, and style. The tact, of course, comes into play when I overlook the occasional pilot error and recalculate the amount of strength and impulsion that will be required in order to clear the obstacle before us in a safe and efficient manner, and stifle my urge to express my displeasure with this situation upon landing. The finesse allows me to make the above-described "recalculations" appear natural and effortless, a feat I have mastered over the course of several years of experience (believe me, she gives me lots of practice covering up these things). And then there's style, which really can't be learned. It's something a horse is either born with or without, and I don't mean to sound boastful, but like I said, I'm good at my job.
In recent months, however, I have been prevented from doing my job. First there was the awful month of March. An entire month where I was denied my usual recreation and workout, and instead kept confined to my stall for days on end, for no reason that I could surmise at all. The weather appeared fine and from what I could gather, the other horses with whom I am stabled continued to go about their usual routines. I continued to receive daily food and care from the lovely individuals who appear to be responsible for me when my mother is not available, so perhaps it was simply an oversight. For the life of me, I will never know what happened during that month nor why I was confined in such an unreasonable manner. There was, of course, some talk of the minor abrasion to my right hock, but I can assure you, it was nothing. I do appreciate my mother's concern and her care for it, but honestly, I could have continued on with my job and would have been happy to do so.
Then there was a very brief interlude where I was again released to my field for recreation, though once again, for reasons unknown to me, I was returned to my stall for almost the duration of April. April, as you may or may not know, is the month where Spring grass really begins to grow in earnest. It is, quite possibly, one of the best months of a horse's year (well before the "annoying season" as Hudson so aptly put it). It is also the month when horse shows begin outdoors again, which I find to be far more enjoyable than those dreadful winter shows, where one shivers on a trailer only to be led into a bleak, dark indoor where one must collect one's stride between fences as well as through corners in order to manage a tidy picture in the confines of such a small enclosure. An outside course, in my opinion, is really the only way to show off one's true talents.
This April, however, did not bring such joys to my life. Instead, I was yet again trapped in a 12x12 space for almost the entire span of the month. During this time, my mother visited frequently, but seemed fixated solely upon my coat. We did not exercise at all, but instead she spent day after day, night after night, currying, brushing, polishing, combing, spraying, and fussing over me like a champion show poodle (there were even several baths, a disgusting practice of which I highly disapprove, and I hear that there have been talks of a contest my mother is trying to win, which will surely bring on even more baths). I don't mean to sound ungrateful. I enjoy grooming and find it relaxes and soothes my muscles after or prior to a hard physical workout. The extra benefit that it keeps me looking so well is an added bonus, and I do understand that there is a certain element of physical attractiveness required for my job. My problem is simply that the workout itself was entirely lacking from our routine.
Now that we are "back to work," I'm sorry to report that our routine has been severely truncated. My mother seems to have determined that the walk is the gait upon which we should concentrate, and we spend almost all of our time practicing it. I've always felt that I have a lovely, natural, ground covering walk and need very little practice to master it. I also enjoy being able to take in my surroundings and get a bit of sight-seeing done while walking and do not appreciate the level of concentration upon which she has been insisting while we walk. In recent weeks, we do appear to be trotting with increasing frequency and intensity, which I must say is a good sign, and we are now occasionally cantering one circle at a time. There remains, however, not a jump in sight (cavaletti and tiny cross rails do not -- I repeat do not -- count, particularly at the trot). I've begun spooking at inanimate objects, in the hopes that she will "punish" this behavior by making me work harder, but to no avail. She only pats my neck and reassures me, as though she believes I am genuinely frightened.
I write, therefore, to implore you to urge my mother toward a return to normalcy. Tell her that she can ignore my panting and labored breathing, it's nothing really. Tell her that I am fit as a fiddle. I am well rested and ready for work. Summer is around the corner, and we have horse shows to attend! Hitch up the trailer, fill the haynets, polish the tall boots! What on earth is she waiting for?
Very truly yours,
Tucker M. River