Now, in lockdown Ronnie is considering his options. No eventing, no showjumping and precious little ‘virtual’ dressage which, let’s face it, just doesn’t have the necessary applause. He feels it’s time he saw the results of his ‘portfolio’. Being a ‘poster boy’ holds its appeal, the question is — how to remind Penny he is awaiting his new modelling career? He thinks it is very rude that a whole year has passed since the subject was first mentioned…
Ronnie has heard Penny talk about engagement many times. He is tired of the subject, and its repercussions on him. Engage his core, engage his hind legs, even engage his brain when she is cross with him. Today he is very put out to hear her talking very animatedly about it again, this time to The Daughter and The Husband. Penny, however, seems to ride him the same way afterwards and is even a little surprised to find that he is a somewhat tense. The Daughter and The Husband wander away. The subject is dropped, but Ronnie is on his guard.
All is well until two weeks later when ‘that word’ is mentioned again. Penny hasn’t even got on him yet and it is out of her mouth. Ronnie is on high alert. He is not sure that he wants to engage his hind quarters today.
A tall man arrives on the yard. Ronnie narrows his eyes and puts his ears on ‘standby’. He has been groomed and polished but not plaited. It can’t be a party. The tall man is very jolly, he is laughing with The Daughter but he pays no attention to Ronnie at all. Ronnie puts on his ‘Hey what about me?’ face. No response. He knocks on his door. Ignoring him is the height of bad manners.
Another man arrives, he is equally jolly. He has a huge case with him. Ronnie reverts to high alert.
Ronnie is whisked out of the stable, he is made a fuss of, he is admired. No-one pulls his legs about. No-one prods his back or rasps his teeth. Ronnie stands on tip toes and puffs himself out. He doesn’t bat an eye as a huge reflective circle is magically brought out of the case. In normal times he would shout “tiger!” and gallop off, but today he is mellow with admiration. The Daughter rubs his neck just where he likes it, and the Tall Man stands on his other side and smiles at them both. The man called Photographer nips about clicking away. Ronnie stands exactly where he is asked, totally square every time, even though it’s not necessary. He looks this way and that way and poses like a pro.
Somewhat surprisingly, The Daughter gets onto him bareback. Ronnie has never been asked to do this before — in fact, he’s not quite sure if he was actually ‘asked’ this time, but he lets it pass without a buck. Ronnie canters up and down the field with daisies in, his mane, tail and The Daughter’s hair flying. The Photographer laughs and clicks away. Penny is laughing too. Ronnie shows off his very best canter and adds a few ‘dance moves’ out of joy. The Daughter laughs and pats him, not a reprimand in sight. Ronnie likes The Daughter very much, he will give her a twirl for added effect. This latter he slightly regrets as The Daughter is instructed to get off before he gets ‘over-excited’. Ronnie is a bit peeved at this uncalled for comment, but only for a moment as his little friend Splash comes to join the party, led by the Tall Man. Ronnie rises above the implied criticism and poses again, showing his best side — the one with his mane on.
Ronnie also likes The Photographer, he is full of compliments. He doesn’t point out that Ronnie has unusually high withers, or a weak core. No, The Photographer comments on how wonderfully co-operative he is and how beautiful he is.
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Ronnie has grown to 16hh and a cob-sized bridle will no longer fit. He feels that this photography session could go on all day if he has his way. The Photographer enquires about using Ronnie again, but is told that he won’t be available for something called a wedding day. Ronnie hopes this isn’t like an event, because he certainly should be available if it is! His photographs, however, are promised for a very important thing called a ‘portfolio’. Everyone is beaming. Ronnie feels that at last he is recognised for the star he always knew he was.
Ronnie watches from his gate as the Tall Man and The Daughter wander hand in hand through the daisy field. He feels that this sort of engagement is a lot more fun than the kind Penny is so keen on.
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