Young Cultivator Merit Badge: Horsing Around, Intermediate Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,466 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,836 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life   

For this week’s Garden Gate/Horsing Around Intermediate Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, my crew of Nora, Piper, Andy, and Yours Truly headed to the library.

Seeing as how we’ve been banned from snacking at this particular institution (We may or may not have spilled a tall mocha with whip on some encyclopedia volumes. It was only B-Y, so I feel like they were making a mountain of a molehill, but I find it’s best not to argue with librarians.), so we were forced to make sure our bellies were full. We made a pit stop at the local all-you-can-eat buffet for a midday nosh of barbequed ribs, mashed potatoes, salad bar, catfish, and tacos. You know, a little pick-me-up between meals.

Feeling refreshed—and possible slightly stuffed—we made our way to the library with smiles on our faces and a skip in our steps. Our job? To research and find books about our favorite new pet, the horse. We were to take notes, doodle or sketch, and find our favorite breed in order to earn our Intermediate Level badge. Seemed easy enough, but that librarian has eagle-eyes and insisted on doing a pat-down on me, searching for sticky snacks, liquids without lids, and other culinary weapons of mass destruction.

She says I was picked at random, but I remain skeptical.

By the time I had been detained, spoken sternly to, had my emergency stash of chocolate confiscated, and watched the required viewing of the documentary Books and How to Respect Them, the kiddos were practically done with the entire horse section. I was quite behind (and feeling a bit famished, to boot. Lobster and mashed potatoes just don’t stick to your ribs the way you’d think) and was forced to thumb through the books the children had already gone through.

How did I know? I could tell by the suspicious grape jelly and taco sauce stains on page 11. I do so feel as though I’m passing on my best traits to them, you know. It’s a feeling to warm my heart.

Actually, that may in fact be heartburn. I don’t think that buffet skimped on the hydrogenated oils.

Anyway, Piper had to tell me all about her new favorite breed, the Lipizzaner, before I could get too far in my own research. The Lipizzaner is a breed associated with the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria. They would probably be anyone’s favorites even if all they did was stand there and look pretty (because they are breathtaking), but they are talented too. They prance and dance in a movement called the airs above the ground.

photo by Lucie Provencher via Wikimedia Commons

It made me feel like my childhood pony, Scamper, really didn’t apply himself in his dance classes, to be honest. I spent hours training him to dance, and he could barely trot with any amount of enthusiasm. Ah well.

Nora’s favorite she decided was Little Old Man. A breed, you may ask innocently (as did I)? Judging by her glare at me and putting her book up to her face, it is evidently the name of Pippi Longstocking’s horse.

photo by Sigismund von Dobschütz via Wikimedia Commons

Andy found his favorite in a book about American cowboys: the small but mighty Morgan.

photo by Fritz Mäder/Heidi Fontana via Wikimedia Commons

I got distracted by a book about donkeys (and a small package of Raisinettes I found that Miss Librarian of the FBI missed).

All in all, it was a good day to be a horse lover. Exhausted by all our learning, we hit the taco truck on the way home for nourishment.

Leave a comment 4 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I had Horse Fever, as my Dad liked to call it, starting at age 5 when I begged for a pony ride for my birthday. By age nine, I had begged(ahem nagged !) my parents to let me take riding lessons, which continued through my first year of college. While I was never able to have my own horse, I spent many years working at a barn where I was allowed to claim one as my own. Perhaps one of the highlights of my early years was seeing the Lippizner Horses , from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria when they came to Washington DC. My Mom took me up on the train and it was a night of magic! Two years ago, I finally had the privilege of going to the Spanish Shool when visiting in Vienna, Austria. It is the most beautiful and stately building! Tell Piper, Nora, Andy and MBA MaryJane to look for the closest opportunity to see a Lippizaner show in person. I promise it will be something that will touch your soul forever.

  2. Karlyne says:

    We have Paso Fino dancing horses in some of the small town 4th of July parades around here, and they’re always my favorite part. Gorgeous!

  3. Krista says:

    Growing up I never owned a horse or wanted to. I actually am slightly scared of riding them and I’m perfectly content admiring them from the other side of the fence! I would have to say that my favorite breed would be the Clydesdale. They have such grand grace and beauty for their size. Not sure I would want to be right next to them, but I love admiring them!

  4. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    Saw the Lipizzaners perform and it was outstanding to watch. Truly poetry in motion.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *