Carousel Foals

The breeding of carousel horses is like and unlike the breeding of more ordinary steeds.  Carousel horses have their bloodlines, their registries, their stud books.  The breeders, who must demonstrate skill with bonsai and acrylics, Fallabellas and broad-backed destriers, select the dams for their kindly temperaments and strong backs.  It is no small thing to bear the hopes of a child, and the breeders take their responsibility to produce suitable carousel horses very seriously.

Carousel mares generally birth their foals at night, surrounded by the herd’s comforting circle.  The neighs and whickers of carousel horses sound like calliopes and whimsical chimes, and the spindly-legged foal comes into the world surrounded by music.

The breeders sand and paint the foals’ carved ribbons and saddles, gild their manes and protect them with a final clear coat.  Some are painted white as clouds, some are painted bright bay or dapple gray, some are painted black as coal.  Some are decorated in festive pink, some in pale yellow, some in ocean blue.

The foals learn to prance to carousel rhythms from their mothers.  Finally, the day comes when they must leave the herd to be mounted on a carousel of their own.  They cry for their mothers, of course; it is the way of things.  But when the children run to greet them, petting their muzzles and clambering into their saddles, giving them secret names, the foals remember what their mothers taught them, and whinny to their new friends.

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