Once again I am lucky enough to meet another 10 year old girl who imagines horses in everything she does everyday all day long. She has memorized a few body parts on the horse and I gave her a little more information. We discussed the chestnut and the hock and how over thousands of years the leg developed like that, and then I gave her an assignment for our next trip out to the barn. On Sunday we took the time to measure several of the horses with my carpenter's measuring tape. Anyone who has never measured a horse might not be aware that horses don't particularly like having long, skinny, snake-looking things held up next to their body. Doing this exercise taught Brittany how to introduce an unsavory object to a horse with patience, where exactly a horse is supposed to be measured, and we reassured the horses that we could be trusted.
Bella is almost too easy because she tends to trust me with anything but the fly-spray bottle. She came out to 53 inches. Her mother is only an inch taller at 54 inches. Bella's sister, Sonora, is 51 inches. And the other yearling, Cita, is 52 inches. All little horses for sure. Billy measured out at 60 inches. Oh, and baby Paulina is 44 inches. Amazing, but she trusted us very soon after we introduced her to the tape. I figured she'd be the toughest to get, but it was Billy who just didn't have time in his busy schedule to fool with tapes and people without candy. I explained to Brittany that this wasn't a very scientific experiment because the dirt floors are uneven and a real measuring stick has that top part that rests on the withers to guarantee a level measurement. Her assignment is to write all the horses names and figure out the number of hands and the date. Next time she comes to visit her grandma we can do it again and see who has grown.
Meanwhile, I'm thinking that maybe tomorrow we should saddle someone up and take a short ride. I would love to get a picture of her on-board and see if her smile can get any bigger. I have an old black and white picture of myself, at around 9 or 10 years old, on an old flea-bitten white mare, Comet (who I thought was gorgeous!) and this look of cowgirl confidence under my hat.