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About A Jumping Bean

Joan Ruth Rosenberg, innocent she was at the time, gave in to one of her dreams, owning an appaloosa horse in 1975 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In a situation reminiscent of the Spotted Horses from Faulkner's Hamlet, Joan had been "conned".  She saw a nice gentle Appaloosa pony, which she thought would be ideal for English dressage.  Silly Bean or just "the Bean", as this horse was referred to, however, harbored secrets unknown to Joan at the time.  Within a week after she bought the mare, it became as wild and crazy as those in Faulkner's story.  Some investigation revealed that the horse had been "starved into submission" in order to sell it.  The first time Joan tried to ride the Bean, as she entered the pasture through the gate, the Bean took off at a full gallop and was unstoppable. Some investigation revealed that the horse had been used in western games, and going through a gate was a signal to go like a bat out of hell.  The bean also spooked at the sign of a riding crop or a loose reign, suggesting that she had been beaten or otherwise mistreated by some previous owner.  Joan was not about to let this deprive her of her dream.  With great patience over the next few years, she systematically, with love and kindness, retrained the Bean to perform in English dressage events. The poem, A Jumping Bean, was written to commemorate some of the shenanigans of the Bean. As a post script, by the time we left Virginia in 1981, Joan had won a Hunter Pace event with the Bean - a tribute to her skill and perseverance.  The bean had also been bred, but her offspring, "Desert Spirit Star", turned out to be an "ID Appaloosa" - no spots.  Joan won a second Hunter Pace event in Middletown Rhode Island in 1981 riding Star. Joan's dream was finally realized a couple of years later when Star produced a spotted pony that she could train from scratch.