Huey the Wonder Horse passed his vet check this morning with flying colors. Well, with flying colors given that he’s 18 and a former pro jumper, with all that implies. It was a pleasure to watch how well he behaved for the minute head-to-toe he got from the vet. I know he behaves well for me, but I’m not poking him in odd places or shining light in his eyes or sticking my fingers way up in his mouth, either, like the vet was, but Huey took it like a champ. Didn’t even utter a snort of protest.
Huey’s current owner (my trainer) and I were already Big Fans of his, but I think he made a new groupie in the vet. Guy commented that he’d like to have this horse in the classroom (or class-barn or class-field) for the vet students to learn on because of how well he stood for it. I was bursting with pride, and I don’t even own him…yet. But I will, soon.
So, the vet check hurdle has been cleared, with room to spare. Now it’s just a matter of ironing out some details with Huey’s current owner. Someone else (Huey’s Number Three Fan, right behind his current owner and his soon-to-be owner) has been promised Huey’s services as a mount in a show next month. So there are a few little logistics, but we’re on the way!
I’m enjoying this excitement, because I know that when this batch of brain chemicals wears off – and it’s a good batch, because it made me forget that my class doesn’t meet this Thurs…thank heavens the students were (predictably) well on top of that – when it wears off, it’s going to be replaced by terror over all of the horrible things that could go wrong that will feel like they are 100% my fault, even if they are not. I already feel horrible when my cat gets sick – like the Worst Cat Mama on the planet, and it’s going to be every bit as bad when I’m the Worst Horse Mama on the planet. So I’m totally enjoying the ride.
The next thing up is the incredibly complicated world of the Saddle. Fortunately, he has a bit that he really likes, and it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to acquire another one just like it, but his saddle is a whole lot more complicated. My next step is to take a “wither tracing”. Fortunately, there are very explicit instructions about how to do this online. And he needs blankets, and a girth and stirrups, and a bunch of different supplements, and a saddle pad with his name embroidered on it, and a toy for his stall so he doesn’t get bored and crib, and a trip from the massage therapist, and plenty of riding, and tons of scritchies on his neck, and a big fat kiss on his muzzle. The list, I’m sure, will only expand with time.
For now, I have the loving support and delicious comic relief of my husband, the Original Boy From New York City (the Bronx), who when his son called from Arizona tonight and I said, “Tell him I’m buying a horse!”, said “Hey! Lori is buying a horse!” <pause> “Yeah! A used horse!”
A used horse. Somehow, I never thought of it in precisely those terms.
Here’s what’s for dinner tonight. It’s a sophisticated soup that is very easy to put together.
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
8 ears of fresh corn, kernels stripped from the cob, or 2 lbs of frozen corn
1 teaspoon dried rosemary. I didn’t have rosemary, so I used herbes de provence, and it came out great.
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup half and half
1 red bell pepper, chopped
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrot and celery and sauté 3 minutes. Add corn, rosemary, and cayenne and sauté 2 minutes. Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender and liquid is slightly reduced, about 30 minutes.
Working in batches, purée soup in blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in half and half and remaining 2 cups corn. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and sauté until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir bell pepper into soup. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Bring soup to simmer. Ladle into bowls and serve.