Tuesday, December 6, 2011

ONCE UPON A TIME

Owen, the First
Fairy tales are amazing... on the surface there is a magical setting, a damsel in distress, a knight that saves the day and they all live happily ever after.  Simple story lines with dreams that always come true.  Have you ever, really, really read the actual Grimm's Fairy tales... not the Disney version - the original Cinderella or Rapunzel?  Um, they are wicked scary, grim...  great outcomes from much work and turmoil.

So begins my Fairy tale... 

Dear Santa...  I want a pony!  Dear God... help me find a way to have a horse!  Hi Barn Owner, I will do work in exchange for riding!  Dear Santa...  all I want for Christmas is a horse!  Simple, simple, simple...  all I want for Christmas is a horse.

You see, all you Harry Potter fans will get it when I tell you that horses to my parents were like magic to the Dursleys.  And being one of eight kids in a poor family, it was never really going to happen.  I could beg, plead to all of the Saints (including St Nick) and God himself, it was never going to be.  So, it was my dream, my lifelong goal...  Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is a horse...
Fame & Frolic,
Stephie Baer, rider
2009

This week Sugar (aka Fame and Frolic) and I celebrate our 7 year anniversary.  And what a ride its been...  She was not the first.  Owen was the first...  a big, young, blood bay Irish Sport Horse.   I bought him in February 2004 and had to euthanize him that August.  It was a short amazing love story.  He showed me what it was I really loved and I was strong enough to let him go with dignity and grace.  It was the hardest thing I've ever done and for a long time, I thought the tears would never stop.

When I walked into Sugar's barn 7 years ago...  it was love at first sight.  (OK, the half blue eye was disturbing until my trainer kicked me and told me to get over it!)  I sat in the saddle and I knew she was mine... "She fits perfectly!"  And I think Sug chose me too.  She was an absolute angel in our test rides.

I'll never forget the night she came to the barn.  It was late on December 10th - cold and snowing - There she stood at the top of the ramp, her white coat brilliant in the lamp light.  She shivered... was it the chill, fear of the steep decline?  Then, with soft encouragement she walked down the ramp and into the barn.  I stood with her, stroking her neck as she calmed down and leaned into my touch.  I was in love...  my dream come true...

Our very first show 7/2005
Sometimes when I look at her record and then at our record, those little niggling insecurities roll in... maybe, if she had a better rider, a young rider... maybe she would be the superstar she was bred to be. Sug is quite a horse.  Our fairy tale has had it's moments of a true Grimm's fable - humiliating falls, cancer, my breaks, her break, trailering terrors, dressage warmup antics, winter heehaws, spring rideability issues and so many joys - hunting, brilliant cross country runs, parades, beach rides.   (Hmmm, the only thing missing is the knight.)

You know, I work hard and I do love a good ribbon...  I will not deny that!  My dreams are fulfilled every moment I take and thank God for this gift called Sugar. 

And, yeah...  we are a married couple and yes, sometimes I want her to take out the trash now and she wants to watch TV...  our marital issues are small and with good counselors, we always work it out and get better and better.

Happy Anniversary Sugar!

7 comments:

KC said...

Congrats and happy anniversary to you and Sugar! I'm sure she's just as glad she's with you as you with her. Here's to a great year ahead!

Katie Murphy Eventing said...

Happy anniversary! I'm sure at times you both reflect on your journey with laughter and minor frustration - it's the beauty of being a horse owner. Can not wait to see you kick booty next season!

Rinsie and Reveille said...

I LOVE this! Happy anniversary -- and I am pretty darn sure that Sugar has just the right owner. Just the right age, just the right ability, and most important, just the right love for her!

Kelly said...

Soulmates, for sure! Oh, and Santa was just waiting to give you the right horse.

Angela Kazanovicz said...

Happy anniversary to you and Sugar. Wishing you continued bliss and happiness on your journey together!

Seema said...

Happy Anniversary to you and Ms. Sugar

Phyllis said...

Happy Anniversary, and I'm so glad you got the horse you always dreamed of for Christmas, AND share her with us through your blog!