International Lesson Horse Day Essay Winner: Loosie

“Loosie was my equine mother. She taught and disciplined me. She jumped and danced with me.” Horse Nation reader Lorelei Joleigh Deaton pens a heartfelt thank-you to her beloved Appaloosa pony mare who taught her so much.

Photo by Billy Deaton.

If you were to think of a lesson pony, you’d think of Loosie, a 14.1hh Appaloosa backyard pony. Loosie wasn’t just any backyard horse, she was my backyard pony. Let me explain.

Loosie taught me dressage. A bent neck, a half pass, a shoulder in, and a leg yield were just a few things she taught me. I knew my position was just right when she blew through her nose.

Loosie taught me stadium. As an old trainer of mine once said, “Stadium is just dressage with obstacles.” Loosie seemed to follow that scripture to heart, and taught me how to leg yield to properly line myself up to a jump and more. Again, she approvingly blew through her nose.

Loosie educated me on the cross country course. Cross country was where she had the most fun, and I wouldn’t be lying if I thought she was showing off over a jump or two.

Loosie was my equine mother. She taught and disciplined me. She jumped and danced with me. Her eyes said, “I’ll take care of you. Just you hold on.” Her mind said, “This kid has a lot of learning to do, but I’m game.” Her heart said, “Finally, someone to appreciate the education I have to offer.”

Loosie, affectionately referred to as the triple threat (an Appaloosa pony mare), was my best friend. She held me in a hug. She let me cry in her mane.

She gave me my first ribbon, let me eat dirt a time or two, and never failed to tattletale when my riding was not up to her standards. For all the things you taught me, Loosie, I am forever grateful.  Thank you for teaching me and for keeping me humble.

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