When it comes to getting noticed in the pasture, Pepper usually takes a back seat to Bud. He’s the one folks comment on. They say things like:

“That appy is so cute.”

“How’s Bud today?”

“We just love Bud.”

“Your appaloosa has so much personality.”

I can only think of a few times when anyone mentioned Pepper. At least before they first said something about Bud.

All the while, Miss Pepper quietly holds her space in the world. To me she’s like a plain brown wrapper that conceals a wonderful gift. Because what I see is a horse full of personality.

She has a great sense of humor. A few years back, before I was into my daily routine with the horses, I sometimes had trouble recognizing Pepper. That is until I was right up on her. In my defense, at first glance, she does look very similar to a lot of the other horses in the pasture. So I’d wander among all the brown horses, and get up close to each, trying to find my girl. She, of course, wouldn’t let on that she knew me. I know I walked past her more than once. And I also know that inside, she was laughing.

At me!

I may have even heard snickering.

It’s okay. I deserved it.

Pepper is a strong-minded mare. She knows exactly what she wants – whether it’s alfalfa cubes; to stand in the shed; to avoid a horse she doesn’t like; or to graze in a certain part of the pasture.

Come to think of it, is there any other kind of mare than strong-minded?

I admire her ability to know what she wants and to insist on it. I’ve taken assertiveness training from her many times.

In the past couple of weeks, on two separate occasions, people have made comments about Pepper, not Bud. At first I was surprised. Maybe even shocked.

Pepper and her mustang boyfriend Red

Now don’t get me wrong. I love Bud.

He is cute.

And personable.

I love him with all my heart.

But every now and then it makes me feel great to have Miss Pepper noticed for the wonder that she is.

One of my blog readers commented that Pepper has a beautiful sculptured face. “Maybe she has a little Thoroughbred in her,” she said.

For the record, she doesn’t. She’s 100% Quarter Horse. And proud of it.

Then the other night while we were out feeding, another horse keeper was also out giving her horse grain and medicine. She said, “Your horse looks great. She’s really pretty and in such good shape for her age.”

My heart just filled up. Not with pride. I could care less really what other people think of my horses, because I know who they are.

But I was happy for Pepper, because she is a pretty girl.

And I am reminded once again that one doesn’t have to be the showiest horse in the pasture, or the youngest, or the cutest to be of value. Good words to remember in this day and age of youth, glamour and celebrity.

There’s room for all of us. Even us quiet ones!

What about you?

Are you more like Bud in the spotlight or behind the scenes like Pepper?

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