I spread the word with horse people that we knew, and was soon given a name and a phone number to someone who might have some horses for lease. So after a phone call., we went off to look at three mares; a barrel pony, a Palomino, and a young Paint. Daughter was excited, yet guarded. She wanted the Right horse. The Palomino was nice, but had just foaled, would be unavailable for a few more weeks, and she was grumpy. Daughter just didn't like her. So we went out into the field to look at the other two. The pony was a pony, and Daughter is tall. While we were chatting, a Bay Paint trotted over the hill, with long black mane blowing in the breeze. It was like a scene out of a romance, and Daughter was transfixed. She loved Paints, and this one was pretty. "Who is that?"
I had been told about the young, barely broke (found out later that she had only been ridden a handful of times), APHA mare named "Jewel" over the phone. Wary of an untrained horse, I had not mentioned her to Daughter, but I may as well have. Daughter wanted to ride her, and see what she thought. So off we went. Jewel bucked a few times, but settled right down, and a deal was struck. We leased her in place, and just loved her. Long story short, we bought her less than two months later. (more about that another time)
A few days after Jewel became ours, I put her in the indoor arena to run around while I was stripping her stall. The sawdust was in a fenced up corner, someone had left the gate open, and Jewel went to investigate. As I walked toward her she circled the pile, climbing higher and higher in the large mound of sawdust. She kept sinking, but she was determined to make it to the summit, and circled ever higher. As she reached the top, she stood surveying her Queendom, made eye contact with me, lifted her head high and let out a loud whinny. In that moment I knew that she was going to come off that pile in a hurry, and ran to open the gate wide. Just as I had she flew by me, sawdust flying and covering me, and ran into the middle of the arena. She was snorting and whinnying the entire way. She spun around, saw me and let out a huge snort, followed by a whinny. Then she took a victory circle and pranced like a price fighter. I was in awe, and that is when "Jewel" became "Pippi." (she was four, but had only had a barn name for two months, so changing it felt right). A "Jewel" is cold, beautiful, aloof, and unreachable. This horse was funny, silly, lovable, brash, stubborn, eccentric; in other words a Pippi Longstocking. Didn't hurt that she did have four Long stockings either, or that her new human grew up in Scandinavia, and had Pippi as her childhood hero.
This quote (my own lose translation) epitomizes both Pippi's:
" I had never done it before, so I just knew that I could!"
If you have not read, or watched the Pippi movies, please do. And share them with girls of all ages. There has never been a better female role model,( or a better horse ) in my opinion.