Photo at right: Here's Chanel, my yearling QH filly, in April '07. Photo by Diane Rice. (click to enlarge)
For the last couple of months, I've been feeding and handling a yearling filly I bought from a California college student short on money for tuition. The filly, Chanel, arrived looking healthy and perky--and like a ball of fur from one end to the other. She was still in her winter fuzzies, had never had a haircut, and about a hand shorter than most other Quarter Horses of her age. She wasn't quite an ugly duckling, but you had to use your imagination to see all of her potential.
Today, though, I caught a glimpse of a swan. She's dropped most of her winter coat, is sporting her first complete clip job, and is two blanket sizes bigger than when she got here. Blankets off and ready to play, she loped across the arena like a sorrel ballerina, then cast an eye toward me as if to say, "Did you see that? I'm going to be fancy!"
Just another reason why I love to own yearlings. One day they're a weed, the next day they're a rosebud, just about to bloom.