There has been a post going around Facebook this past week showing the supposed diary of a gelding vs. a mare. It is a knock off of a post I saw a while back showing the supposed diary of a dog vs. a cat. I feel the dog
vs. cat one is much more accurate but both are humorous. However, as the owner of a very special mare who is rather opinionated on
many matters, I don’t feel the original posting completely captures my mare. Therefore, I have decided to take a different approach, leaving the complacent geldings out of it and posting the 10 Rules for handling the Painted Princess:
10 Rules for handling the Painted Princess
1. You must always remember being in my presence is an
honor and a privilege, not a right.
2. I am not to be ignored! If you are within my field of vision,
you should be directing all of your attention toward me!
3. If you cannot arrive to the barn in a timely manner you must
a) apologize profusely for your tardiness, b) feed me treats
(the good ones!) while asking my forgiveness, and c) promise
to never ever be late again!
4. You are not to discuss the cleanliness of my stall with
anyone! It is my job to keep my stall any way I choose, it is
your job to clean up after me!
5. Do not expect me to be nicey-nice to another mare just
because she belongs to your best friend. This is not how the
6. I must be permitted to inspect and possibly squeal at any
horse in my presence (at my discretion), this is an age-old
tradition among mares and it should be honored. I further
should be allowed to change my mind about a horse I like
and decide to dislike the horse when it is convenient for me.
7. You will not speak of my heat cycle in a negative manner.
This is part of the privilege of being in my presence. I must
endure your hormonally dictated behaviors, you will tolerate
8. There is no such thing as being “mare-ish.” I am a dynamic,
interesting, ever-evolving individual. There are simply some
people and animals in this world which have earned more of
my respect than others.
9. Mares are sensitive creatures. Remember the story of The
Princess and the Pea whenever you select saddle pads,
saddles, boots, leg wraps, blankets or other items of apparel
for me. Further, I am not to be dressed poorly. I should be
dressed both stylishly and comfortably!
10. You will never ever twitch me! If I don’t like what you’re
doing it is because you are doing it wrong. I demand
respect. Ask me nicely and be patient enough for me to
respond when I am ready!
All kidding aside, I am honored to have a mare as special as Farletta in my life. My first horse was a wonderful gelding and I loved him very much. I still love and miss him and we had a great relationship. However, there is something different in the relationship between Farletta and me. She demands the best from me, she has helped me navigate the sometimes treacherous parts of my personal journey and I am a better person in a better place because of her. She has taught me compassion. She awakened my spirit and reminded me that it's not too late to discover my life's purpose and forge my dreams into reality. Would I be in the place I am right now if it weren't for Farletta? Maybe. However, I believe God uses a variety of tools to help us live our life purpose; in my case, He used a painted princess I call, Farletta.
Cheryl L. Eriksen, MSW, Equine Enthusiast, EAGALA groupie and writer of interesting, educational and entertaining blog posts!