Thursday, January 8, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Silk Pajamas


Midsouth Regional Pony Club Rally, 2002, Kentucky Horse Park. I think this was my very first recognized competition at Novice level. Excuse the quality; it's a video still.

This is Silk Pajamas, a Thoroughbred mare who belonged to my high school English teacher. At this point in my riding career, I was between horses.

My English teacher was a pleasant woman who knew I rode, because I went to a K-12 school with approximately 70 people in my graduating class. Everyone knew I rode. I don't recall how I ended up being offered the ride on her horses, but I remember the horses themselves: Andy, a elderly, heavy-boned Thoroughbred gelding who seemed like he would have made an excellent field hunter had he not been in his early 20s; Shalimar, a devilish 20-something chesnut pony who was convinced he was half his age and not broke; and PJ, a chestnut Thoroughbred mare who'd done everything from dressage to polo while my English teacher's son had ridden her.

PJ was a sweet and willing mare who certainly knew more about eventing than I did. Despite being 24 years old, PJ was nimble and spry, scoring good marks in dressage and clearing every jump handily. I did my first Novice event on her after years of being stuck at Beginner Novice. I even managed an individual ribbon on her- that brown 8th place ribbon hangs in my living room to this day.

PJ was a special mare who taught me many things: dressage isn't about going slow, 3' jumps aren't that high, and most importantly, horses over the age of 15 (over the age of 20, even!) can still compete successfully! (In my youthful ignorance, I assumed anything over age 15 had three hooves in the grave. Joke's on me, I guess.)

Silk Pajamas died about a year after this photograph was taken. She was 25. I was very sad, but part of me hopes that for the last year of her life, PJ enjoyed having a job. I know I enjoyed her company.

15 comments:

Austen Gage said...

What a sweet horse, photo, and memory! I too went to a K-12 school. I know your pain. Everyone is in your business at those types of schools! :) Still, how awesome of your teacher to let you ride her horses!

"assumed anything over the age of 15 had three hooves in the grave." Ha! Love that! Guinness is 17 this year. No one tell him he has three hooves in the grave. He already thinks that enough on his own!! Chestnut thoroughbreds can go forever, though. There's a mare at my barn up in her mid 20s who is still charging along as a frisky as ever!

Stephanie said...

Finally, someone understands the k-12 school situation, haha!

I definitely thought "old" horses were a problem waiting to happen - I thought they'd go lame or die or something! PJ seemed invincible, which makes me worry less about Moe (now 20) and Gina (now 18)!

jumppretty said...

Are you smiling at the camera? :) Cute horse, sweet story

Stephanie said...

It's entirely possible I was smiling, but it's more likely I was making some stupid face. :P

Madeline C. said...

That's an awesome story and she sounds like a sweet pony.

emma said...

what a sweet story! very cool that you had the opportunity at that age - i would cherish that ribbon too!

Aoife said...

What a fab partner to help your move up to Novice. She sounds like a fab female ♡

Stephanie said...

She was very sweet, not a 'typical' chestnut mare at all!

Stephanie said...

It was the very first individual ribbon I'd ever earned at Rally! (I only ever won two, haha! The next year, I placed 6th on Moe.)

Stephanie said...

Mares get a bad rap, but PJ was a superstar! For that matter, most of the mares I've known have been very pleasant.

agifthorse said...

She looks like she enjoys her job from that pic! I think all ponies, regardless of age, like having some type of purpose. Great story :)

SheMovedtoTexas said...

Aw, this is so sweet! I love her expression over this jump.

KateRose said...

Wow she is loving her job in that photo. I think everyone enjoys having a job, looks like she had a lot of fun with you. :)

Aoife said...

I've only owned mares & wouldn't trade them for anything. ♡♡♡♡

Beka Burke said...

You give me hope!

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