Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 | Filed under Mama Tess

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Mama Tess had a birthday!  25 years old.

Now, I’m fairly certain that she had no idea it was her birthday…  and since I try to treat her as well as I can every day (and she cannot have treats or sugary foods), I really had to dig deep to come up with a birthday surprise.

I thought to myself that it might make MT feel really special if I dug out her old Championship Roses, groomed her up all pretty and slipped on that necklace of glory!  What a great idea!  That’s what I would do!


First of all, I know MT hates to be groomed.  She always has.  Grooming is just too much fuss and a much of a muchness for her.  MT would rather be eating or looking for food or just moving… than standing and being groomed.  Ugh.

(In fact, when she was a big-time Show Horse, her grooms had to be very, very careful while in the stall with her because when MT had had enough, she became a little… uhhh… difficult.)

Anyway, I thought it would be a good Birthday idea to doll her up and put on a reminder of her Glory Days.

Or, so I thought…

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 12.52.24 PM

I quickly groomed her up and surprised MT by putting on her Championship Roses. What a perfect Birthday gift! Or so I thought… (Scouty is always nearby, picking up what MT drops.)

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Uh Oh. As soon as MT realized what I had done, she snapped at Scouty sending her away – and then gave me the stink eye. Wasn’t it fun for her to revisit her glory days? I’m beginning to think this was a mistake.


I went down to the barn to hide her roses while she was out on her morning sojourn.

Tess saw me and power-walked into her foyer where I was standing with a bucket of her favorite mash.

Me:  Happy Birthday!

Tess (nosing for her bucket):  What is a birthday?

Me:  You are one year older today!

Tess:  Un Uh.  January 1 we all turn a year older.

Me:  NO, that is only for race horses and not really fair since they all have their own birthdays, too.

Tess:  Whatever.  Can I have that bucket please!

Me (discreetly gathering up my grooming tools):  Sure!  And while you are eating that, I’ll just quickly brush you off.  La de Dah, la laaah laa…

Tess (mouth full): Betta make it qwick.

So, I quicklikeabunny brushed her off, combed her mane, tail and forelock (with no help from her) and emptied her boots of shavings.  And then, trying to make it a surprise, I pulled out her roses and put them around her neck before she even saw them coming.

Tess (giving me the stink eye):  What the?!  These aren’t even real!

Me (beaming!):  Oh you look so special!  You are a glamorous and wonderful horse!

Tess (not pleased):  Take this off of me.

Me (standing back to take photos):  Aw c’mon, look happy!


Me (cooing):  You look like a beautiful queen…

Tess (getting up in my face):  Take them off or I’m going to stand on your little human feet!

It went on like this for 3 minutes or so.  Me trying to calm her down and make her understand how pretty she looked and her trying to make me understand that the roses gave her the heebie jeebies.

We’ve all been there.

Finally, I got her point and removed the Championship Roses thing.  It was a bad idea.

She was walking around like I had put a wet bag of creepy crawly things on her neck.  (The roses weigh about 5 ounces, no joke.  They are very lightweight.)

She was walking around like I had put a wet bag of creepy crawly things on her neck. (The roses weigh about 5 ounces. They are very lightweight.)

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 12.57.24 PM

LOOK AT THAT FACE. Could she get any more morose? Fine. I understand. I made a mistake.

She got right up in my grill... "Take THESE OFF or I will step on  your feet!"

She got right up in my grill… “Take THESE OFF or I will step on your feet!”


Tess had backed me into the barn by this point, so my photos were not as sharp, but you can see that as soon as I removed the necklace, she was contented.

Tess (bright eyed):  Thank you, little human, now may I have some more food?

Me:  No, it isn’t time yet… but I’m really sorry about the stupid roses.  I didn’t mean to make you have a flashback or anything… I thought you liked showing.

Tess:  I did like the athletic part, but not all the fuss.  I just wanted to get out there and do my thing!  I hated all the fanfare.  And besides, these roses are fake.  I never understood that… why did they use fake flowers?  Weird…

Me:  OK, I get it.  Wanna take a nap now?

Tess (starting to lay down):  Why yes, I think I will.  Would you like to sit here with me while I fall asleep.

Me (stroking her forehead):  Why yes, I think I would quite enjoy that.  Happy Birthday, MT.

Tess (winking at me and then closing her eyes):  It was yesterday, but I’ll let it slide.

Immediately after removing the roses, she relaxed and was happy again.

Immediately after removing the roses, she relaxed and was happy again.

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That’s OK, Little Human. I forgive you. I know you meant me no harm… Would you like to sit with me while I nap?   ….. And I did.

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5 comments have been posted...

  1. Tina Crawford

    Happy Birthday, Mama Tess! I hope you have many more and are blessed with good health. I think you look smashing with the roses on. Love you beautiful girl.

  2. Laurie

    Happy Birthday MT!!!!
    Thank you Dawn for sharing!!
    You are so awesome!

  3. Delrene

    Well, she is so worthy of a big celebration, but MT wants none of that kind of fuss. A very Happy Birthday to her!!! Hugs from Carlsbad, Ca

  4. Kathy

    Aww, happy birthday Mama Tess! She is so expressive–I can see why you can “read her mind.” Today (2/18) is my horse’s 20th birthday, and I need to get right on making him his birthday treats to celebrate.

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