November 1, 2021

Heartland Regional: Annie on Sunday

After Mary's jumper rounds on Sunday, we headed out into the sunshine to take some pictures. As we came out, Jeffrey met us with Annie and said, "You guys aren't going to believe this. I pointed into the ring and asked Annie "Who's that riding Connor Pony?" and she said "Mama," and then said, "She's wearing my number!"

All photos except the last three are courtesy of Leah

Which was both adorable and impressive since Annie is not yet three years old! To be able to read a number herself the day before (we hadn't said it out loud to her) and remember that number overnight then recognize it on Mary's back from across the ring was just amazing. 

She then she insisted that we put "her" number back on her.

While that was going on, Leah caught Jeffrey having a quiet moment with Connor, thanking him for keeping his wife and child safe all weekend. Connor, though, wasn't taking it quite as seriously, and I treasure this picture, lol.

Annie then insisted that she be allowed to ride Connor back to the barns, which meant she needed a helmet, and we hadn't brought hers, so she got to wear her mama's.

I swear I will do whatever it takes to make sure this horse's step-down job is toting Annie around when he starts slowing down in a few years

He is just the best

When we got back to the stall, Annie insisted on helping take care of Connor, first by picking his feet and then brushing him. But she said she couldn't reach while standing on the ground, oh no, she could only properly brush him if she was sitting on his back, lol.

Mary held her of course, but she sat both forwards and backwards on him to brush him. This whole weekend felt like a huge step up in Annie's mastery of and enjoyment of horses, and it was pretty clear that the horse show experience had cemented her love of horses in ways that just hanging out at the barn hadn't quite done before. 

She's also getting more assertive about asking for things that she wants, like wanting to sit on his back, and has started to tell Mary "No, I'll do it myself!" just in the past month or so. It's so fun to live close enough to them to watch her grow up like this.

As they left, Mary gave me a big hug and thanked me for providing these experiences to Annie that she and Jeffrey could never provide on their own, and I joked that she should be thanking me for spending ten years preparing a leadline horse for her child. Connor never could have done any of this even five years ago!



  1. Isn't it amazing what a single pony can do for so many people? I just love your friendship with Mary and her family, and everyone's mutual love and appreciation for Connor.

  2. I love sharing my horse, and I'm sure sharing them with an adorable kid is even that much better!

  3. In the midst of chaos and sadness (my own and that of close friends), this post was a warming ray of sunshine. Thank you.