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December 22, 2015

Jitterbug’s 2015 Letter To Santa

Dear Santa Hoss, 

By now, you know me well enough to realize that I am one of the best-behaved creatures on your list every year. Really, my capacity as a Trainer of Humans makes me a sort of Deputy Santa, I suppose.

That is why, for another year, I am not writing to correct the libel my Human will have tattled to you regarding The Incident Of The Minor Concussion or The Time I Sneezed On Her Good Breeches.

November 25, 2015

Jitterbug's Guide To Being Thankful

I was recently weeding through my Facebook feed and noticed that several of the Humans I follow have been posting Instagram photos with extensive captions (which could really use editing) with the #30daysofthanks hashtag.

After consulting with my social media manager, I learned that this is an exercise Humans use to publicly convince themselves that their tiny little lives are full of meaning.

September 11, 2015

Jitterbug's Guide To Being Photographed By Your Human

If you are a trainer of Humans in this day and age, you’ve probably noticed that they are unusually obsessed with their Dumb Phones, and equally obsessed with taking photos of everything from their alarming makeup jobs to their fattening brunches/gravyfests.

Unfortunately for Quadrupeds, this probably means they fancy themselves photographers, and that they will almost certainly try to capture our likeness in pixels. Consider this a teaching experience that will not only make the biped a better photographer, but a better Human.

May 7, 2015

Jitterbug’s Guide To A Happy Marriage

The day my Human bounded into the barn aisle with a glittery thing on her left hand (which turned out not to be a peppermint fragment, as it happened…oops) probably delivered the largest surprise of my week. I will never quite understand how I managed her through that relationship successfully, yet still can’t get her to boost my hay ration to a first-world level.

April 10, 2015

Jitterbug’s Mud Classification System

No matter what the groundhog says, warmer temperatures and springtime rains find their way to my pasture eventually. (Actually, I really resent groundhogs and their sense of superiority. I tend to chase them out of my field. Arrogance is so ugly.)

With spring rain comes one of my favorite features of the outdoors: mud.

Humans despise mud, but as with many things, I think they just fail to completely grasp the concept.

March 6, 2015

Jitterbug's Winter Management of Your Human

As a draft cross, I am likely the only horse in my barn who doesn’t mind a few single-digit days now and then (although I’d be much more in the winter spirit if my Human could figure out how to ration hay better—it’s THIRTEEN flakes in my field please, not THREE). I gather however, that my Human doesn’t feel the same way about it.

December 18, 2014

Jitterbug's 2014 Letter To Santa

Dear Santa Hoss, 

By now you are used to hearing from me each year, upon the advice of my legal counsel, just before you make your final "naughty and nice" list.

Judging by my feed bucket on Christmas morning, I think we have come to an understanding about how angelic I really am. However, I thought it my obligation as her trainer to write to you this year with suggested edits to my Human’s Christmas wish list.

November 20, 2014

Gymnastic And Your Human

Gymnastics are an excellent way to help your Human expand her jumping skill set. Or, in some cases, just endeavor to create one.

September 16, 2014

Jitterbug's Guide To Dressage Tests

This week, the time finally came for my Human to step out of the bathtub and into the kiddie pool with a move from USDF Intro Test B to USEA Beginner Novice Test A.

I wish I could say it was because her lower leg has really (finally) improved, but in reality I got so weary of the 2” (yes, that’s inches, not feet) fences that usually accompany Intro Test B that I practically began falling asleep on course. I alleviated my boredom by inventing creative new ways to pull rails (more on that in a future column), and eventually she got the message.

August 1, 2014

How To Help Your Human Pack For A Show

My Human and I enjoyed a successful, if somewhat surprising start to our show season this year. I think she may finally be learning how to stay out of my way during the dressage portion—now we need to teach her to stay in the saddle for the rest of it.

I was horrified to realize how ill-prepared my Human was for our show. Every time I looked up from my hay, she was hunting for a hairpin, digging through her grooming box, or frantically trying to scrub a grass stain out of her breeches.

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