Bonnie, when I come into the stable yard just before the morning meal of hay is put out, has a soft squeal that accompanies her low Levade, which transitions into near Courbette, as she springs upward in excitement. This continues for only a few seconds, as she gets herself under control, being a maturing young lady now.
Interestingly, her mother, who never did such things, has picked up this same habit, sans squeal, though she does make sounds in her head and throat. It is quite something to see Altea, with her greater bulk but much more muscular, even baroque body, do this Levade and Courbette. Yes, she comes completely, like her daughter, up clear of the ground.
Bonnie has, from only a few days old, squealed from the effort and excitement as she gatherers herself and blasts off in a wild run down the forest trails. As she runs back and passes us on the return I can hear she is still squealing but more quietly.
But the most exciting sound she makes is when, with me mounted on Altea, we pony her past a nearby pasture with horses in it. I have to run the line out to about 10 to 15 feet to make sure she won't have her neck wrenched and hurt her action is so extreme.
She goes into a wild passage, head up high, nose out forward and then in ramener, then back out extended forward. flirting as mares do with tail pointing straight up just as when she was a baby and ran about in excitement. But the sound she makes, that is the big event.
She trumpets, I think shaking the leaves on the trees and fills the valley we live in, and echos back to us from the surrounding hills. Is it a challenge? Is it excited fear? Her whinney is piercing and hurts my ears it is so powerful. This is now a big lady. A big mare is in there waiting to grow outward and upward, and her voice is a warning of what's to come.
Will I be able to ride when the time comes in just a bit over two years now? I won't consider backing her until she is four, but it's coming closer. We will have to have an attachment so strong that she'll protect me from her own concern and possibly fear at having a predator on her back. Man.
I lay over her now and play with her shoulders scratching her so hard that her lips quiver and she goes starry eyed and unfocused, neck tensing upward. Then she makes sounds like a quiet wuffle, or so it seems to me.
What sound will she make when I have done all the preliminary work, getting up and then down quickly alongside her, stepping over her and off the other side, all this many times, then finally settling down on her back? What sound? What sound? What sound?
Just the wind in my ears?
Bonnie as an early yearling. Now at eighteen months she is much bigger and sometimes even more magnificent appearing. Even when she is difficult, excited, full of herself, in a moment, asked to come, she will stop it all and approach for a soft sweet kiss, and a little wuffle. Her best sound of all.
Donald, Altea, and Bonalaria Magdalena.