Birthday parties for horses. Wait. What?

Last weekend I attended a birthday party for a horse. Yes, you did read that correctly. I did in fact attend a birthday party for a horse.

The party was in honor of Missy’s twenty-fifth birthday. While Missy has several claims to fame, her owner chose to host this particular party because at age five, Missy underwent a serious colic surgery that was meant save her life but not expected to extended it much past five years. Twenty years later and here we are singing happy birthday in front of her decorated stall  and offering her carrot bribes in exchange for photo ops. Horses teach you things. Expecting the unexpected is one of those things.

Naturally, Missy is pretty special to her owner. I have known her for several years now and she is indeed a special horse. She wore a tiara for part of the party and surrounded by her family and friends she was offered carrot cake. She didn’t like it by the way. At her age, you can not choose not to like your own birthday cake. Her guests enjoyed refreshments and fellowship and Missy enjoyed being the center of attention.

 

Missy's Birthday Cake

Missy and her birthday cake.

 

Missy's Carrots

Missy accepting carrot bribes in exchange for photographs.

I admit it. It’s things like this that make folks question the sanity of horse people. I however love it. My husband would never dream of hosting a birthday party for one of his cows.  My friend Betsy, Missy’s owner who hosted last weekend’s party, isn’t the first horse person to hold a birthday party for a horse either. I’ve hosted a couple of them myself. There will likely be more after us. If you ever get invited to a party for a horse drop everything and go. They are well worth it.

When my Arabian gelding  Faax (Fox) turned thirty and again when he turned thirty-five, I hosted parties for him. Like Missy, Faax had some accomplishments in his life but even if he hadn’t he was significant to me. If you are not a horse person, thirty is an advanced age for a horse. He was family to me. Of course I was going to help him celebrate.

On both occasions I invited family and friends important to our life together. I served carrot cake at his first party but dispensed with it at his second. Like Missy, he wasn’t fond of his either. I also shared photographs of our many memories together. I made more photographs for new memories.

Both parties were a time of food, fun, and fellowship honoring the life of a special horse. That’s what these parties are for. I even wrote about one of his parties for an Arabian horse publication. One of the magazine’s subscribers who read the article happened to own a half sibling of Faax from the same foal crop. She tracked me down and called me. We shared stories and talked for hours adding another person to our close circle of friends.

I promised Faax another if he made it to forty.  Sadly, he didn’t make it quite that far which is why I’m so glad that I did them. Not quite two years after his last party he crossed over the rainbow bridge. It was truly an honor for me to be a part of his life for twenty-five of his thirty-six years. Opportunities for things that seem silly but in retrospect make for some of your very best memories should never be passed up. Go ahead and celebrate. I bet others will be glad you did.

 

 

Faax's 36th Birthday Party.JPG

Faax’s 36th birthday party.

Because this post is supposed to be a happy one about celebrating our horses and not one that makes you cry, I would love to hear from you about your horse celebrations. What special traditions do you have for celebrating milestones in the lives of your horses? Feel free to share the funny, the sweet, and the sad. After all, none of us are in this alone.

 

 

 

 

Pen Pals

 

Wester Horseman Letter 1

My pen pal letter published in The Western Horseman magazine. I’m not sure what I meant then by “almost registered” except that at the time the Spotted Saddle Horse was a relatively new breed. About six year’s earlier, one registry had been established with another arriving on the scene the following year. I do remember seeking to get my pony registered.

Recently, I was inspired to write about a favorite memory that involved horses. For inspiration, I dusted off an old photo album and began pouring over the old pictures inside. Several leapt out at me but  I realized there was one in particular that I had never written about before but that was most definitely a major part of my history with horses. Continue reading

Carly Kade’s Equestrian Author Spotlight

This past summer, at the American Horse Publications Equine Media Seminar, I met THE Carly Kade! In addition to being a fellow blogger, Carly is the author of the best selling In the Reins series along with a slew of other extraordinary accomplishments. Here’s a link to her web site where you can purchase her books and learn more, Carly Kade Creative.

Carly is energetic, friendly, and just plain FUN to be around! It was easy to develop an instant connection. That’s why I was so delighted when she invited me to be a part of the Equestrian Author series that she writes on her blog. Carly’s interview with me went live yesterday and I’m positively thrilled to include on it here today! I hope that you will give it a read and follow Carly today! Sound like fun? Then read on! Equestrian Author Spotlight: Hope Ellis-Ashburn

Trail Riding the Milky Way

Here’s a link to my latest EQUUS article to publish on-line. It was originally featured in the October 2017 print edition. I have so many fond memories of this place. One of my jobs when I worked at an Arabian horse farm here was to bring in one or two of the mares from the mare band per day and give them a thorough grooming. To this day, whenever I groom a horse, I still think about that. Give it a read and let me know what you think! Continue reading

Harrison Fisher: Family artifacts lead to an interesting discovery

 

Harrison FisherA little over six weeks ago my family and I moved. After seventeen years at the same residence, the move was a culmination of a three-year project to completely remodel my husband’s grandparent’s farmhouse. Our “new” home will actually be celebrating its ninety-first birthday in 2018. Continue reading

My Horse has a Love Interest and Other Important Truths that can Totally Wreck a Horse Show Performance

Love-Interest-Post.jpg

I’ve had some less than optimal horse show performances before but this one takes the prize.

We had been schooling since last show season. I had spent the better part of the week getting ready. By day I had worked my full-time job. By night, after a long day’s work and a training session with my horse, I cleaned tack. I packed. I clipped my horse and on the day before our departure I bathed her. The hotel reservations made, I journeyed off with my friend and horse show partner the evening before the show to get settled and to prepare for the early start ahead. Continue reading

Saddle Up for Scottsdale 2017: American Horse Publications Equine Media Seminar

The 2017 American Horse Publications Equine Media Seminar with its theme, Saddle Up for Scottsdale, lived up to all of my expectations and more. I attended sessions moderated and led by industry professionals on re-charging and re-inventing my freelance business, think tanks on topics ranging from re-purposing content to technology innovations, and even one on improving the business side of my blog. The sponsors were generous. I shipped home from Scottsdale a 33 lb box full of AHP swag. The silent auction was amazing.

But perhaps most importantly, I established a network with authors, recognized and beginners alike, along with editors, photographers, and other equine industry professionals. These individuals not only welcomed me with open arms but have been willing to share me their tips for success as they have firmly established themselves in this one of a kind industry. In this week’s blog post I thought to share with you all about my amazing journey. Continue reading