Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Fur-covered heaven

I have mentioned that Caroline is a horse fanatic. Her dream is to raise, own and train horses, and she saves every penny she gets in her "horse fund." And lately, she's been asking me every single day when she can get a horse, when she could lease a share of a horse, and the like.

So, Roger and I are experiencing a level of parental thrill in being able to move her toward her big dream. We've stumbled onto one of those situations that just seems ideal. One of the professors in Roger's department suffered a back injury recently, and it fell to Roger as department chair to make sure that her classes were covered. During the course of their many conversations, Roger learned that the woman has two horses and can no longer ride them because of her chronic back condition. They're her "babies," family members really that she just won't consider selling. But she can't ride them, and her partner isn't that interested in riding, so they've been looking for someone to come and hang out with their horses, give them love and attention, and of course exercise.

It didn't take long for us to nail down an opportunity to visit the horses, check out the situation, and discuss how this all would work. And as savvy parents, we didn't say anything to C while we sorted that all out, knowing we'd be pestered and pestered and Caroline would be dying from excitement.

Well, so far so good. We have visited the woman and her property -- some 5 acres along a small river -- and we've met the horses. There is a 10 year old Arabian mare named Romance, a gorgeous chestnut with a big white blaze on her face and 4 white socks, and an 8 year old dark chestnut mare named Ranger. Both are very social and clearly eager to be petted and groomed and loved.

It was pretty fun to tell Caroline about it all. We went for the first time a few days ago to get the tour of the premises, and we were back today for a spot of horse-loving and grooming. It's going to take a bit for the horses to get to know us and vice versa, so riding won't happen in the near future. But that's okay... we're getting acquainted.

Caroline was in heaven. And not just because of the horses... These ladies also have 17 pygmy goats on their property. They started with a few and then became known for rescuing injured or unwanted goats. They're funny looking little guys -- with rectangular pupils in their eyes. Did you know that?!

And, as far as Caroline is concerned, it gets even better. There are cats and kittens everywhere you look.

They've also managed to collect (and neuter) various feral cats, and have ended up giving a home to the cats who've wandered in from all over the place. So, when you stand still and look around, you end up spotting at least one cat everywhere you look.

For a girl who loves animals, especially horses and cats, it's heaven. And it's pretty great for her mom, too.


  1. I guess your daughter has her best Xmas ever! That's so nice when things turn out so well.

  2. What a great opportunity. I remember being teen-aged and horse crazy. I would have dies for a chance to care for someone's horses! Lucky, happy Caroline.

  3. That's wonderful! And this horse is a beauty.

  4. What a sweet story, Diane. And lucky Caroline!

    As someone who has just schlepped seven cats across the Pacific to Australia, I can relate to the cat portion of the story. We had rescued four of them from their feral sites in California and they were unadoptable, so what to do? Bring them along, of course!

    And now that we're settled here, we have agreed to be caretakers to two older horses, Tyler and Nadia, whose owners have recently divorced. So fun to look out the windows and see them grazing on the lower paddock, and they love apples and carrots.

    Now all we need are some goats! We DO have three donkeys...does that count?

  5. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity for both Caroline and your friend. Having owned horses I know how much work is involved, letting Caroline learn what it takes to love and care for these animals would be great, not to mention the help it gives your friend! I bet it will be a rewarding experience all the way around. Keep on saving though, the stuff that goes with horses,like riding breeches,helmets,saddles, etc, can get very pricy!