"He's a Pepper, She's a Pepper...."
Back in the day, when we were raising many foals each year, we put a lot of thought into the colt's registered name. When someone heard the name (hopefully when he won a blue ribbon!) we wanted the horse's parentage to be obvious along with the understanding the horse came from our Morgan horse breeding program.
Little Miss Pepper came into our lives when she was 18. She became our foundation mare. When she died 11 years later, she had given us 7 very nice foals who truly bought and paid for the farm. We wanted her children and grandchildren to be easily identified as her descendants. It was a given that all her kids and grandkids would have "Pepper" as part of their names.
|Mr & Ms Pepperlect, |
Bob Broooks, whip
Her first foal was named Mr. Pepperlect because his dad's name was Donalect. Next she had a full sister that was easy: Ms. Pepperlect. They did great things on their own, but most people remember them as an exciting park harness pair.
Little Miss Pepper's next mate was March Time. The first of this cross was Mr. Peppermarch who spent most of his life in California as a speedy roadster.
The second was Mr. Peppertime. He stayed with us, siring 105 colts on the ground. We had lots of fun with him, including jumping out of a horse-size birthday cake! ('nother story, 'nother day)
We went out of the box for the third because he had a very large spotlight-type star. He became Mr. Lymelight (Lyme carrying double significance because our farm is in E. Lyme) I think Lymelight lucked out with this name because those working on the farm at the time he was born thought he should be named Mr. Pepperoni.
By then, Little Miss Pepper was know as "Granny." We bred her to Dobson, whose mother was a full sister to Granny. This doubling up on "pepper" gave us an ideal choice. He became Creme d Pepper and his barn name quickly became "Dopper" combining Dobson and Pepper.
I've puzzled over the reasoning behind saddling horses with names like "Never Too Late" and "The Old Duffer." It's hard to picture a hrse show announcer say, "And the winner is The Old Duffer."
Granny spent the summer months in pasture with other broodmares. She was next to impossible to catch up. One time when it was important to bring her in, we resorted to saddling up four horses in the hopes of herding her toward the barn.
Granny outsmarted us for over a half hour, darting nimbly away from horses half her age. Then, while we sat on our horses, giving them...and us... a chance to catch our breaths, Granny moved out into the middle of the pasture and looked back at us. She clearly said, "Okay, I'm ready to come in now." I walked up to her and led her into the barn.
March Time solved this "catching up Granny" problem. He was a really nice-to-be-around stallion. We made the decision to let him live with a group of mares. Granny fell in love with him. Since March Time was easy to walk up to and put a halter on, when we needed Granny, we simply caught up March Time and she eagerly followed him anywhere!
March Time had another great trait, too. He ruled a 5 acre pasture with his harem and their foals. From time to time we would see all the foals (6 - 10) hanging around their dad while the moms were off grazing in peace. No wonder the mares loved this guy that willingly babysat the kids.
P.S. Be sure to catch our country's premier horse event, the Kentucky Derby today!