Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Happy Birthday to an Angel!

Wanted to tell the story of my amazing life time friend Charisma, aka Crissy, who would have been 32 today. Unfortunately for us, we did lose this angel of a horse three years ago. She was probably my first 'rescue' and she was given to me when I was 11, she was approximately 5 months old at the time. By the time Crissy arrived in my life, all I could think about was a horse of my own. I was busy shoveling stalls out and brushing other people's horses just to fulfill my need to be close to them. The place my mentor Ruth boarded her gigantic Saddlebred Pinkie at- raised Egyptian Arabians that were more beautiful than words. One night, their papa horse (imported from Egypt no less) went out to 'visit' the older Quarter Horse mare they owned who lived in the pasture. Thereby, Crissy was born! They did not want her because she was not a purebred and were looking to give her away--a fact that filtered to my Dad through Ruth.

My Dad had promised my Mom that if I could have Crissy, he would do all the driving involved with an 11 year old who would want to spend every waking moment at the barn with her horse. Mom wisely knew that this would not be the case as Dad was a busy, dedicated teacher and she did end up doing most of the driving--for years til I got my own license. Even though she was busy working evenings at the hospital as a nurse AND raising three very active girls! I think there are halos for both of them too!

I will never forget the wonder of having such a beautiful horse just GIVEN to me. I had no idea the arrangements were in the works until my parents told me about it when things were final. We could not afford board so I worked cleaning stalls and such to pay for her keep.

That gift was the most precious I have ever received and one that kept me close to home, out of trouble and learning every day. I was lucky to have Crissy (named to irritate my sister initially--her name is Kristie), but my horse's full name was Charisma--and it fit. Crissy had miles and miles on her, I am sure if she ever had a pedometer, it would have broken long before its time. She carried me on countless adventures, many with my friend Margaret and her horse Smokey. We galloped up hill and down pell mell, taking the horses to splash in the pond to cool off, then eventually wander home after eating our sack lunches out in a long grassy meadow.

That horse put up with more 'stuff', from carrot cakes on her birthday to mittens on her ears to make her look like a reindeer at Christmas, she always had grace and style- no matter what we braided into her tail or mane. I trained her myself- since I had never done so before her, I trained her 'all wrong' for showing and then went about re-training her. This led us to a very successful showing career, ribbon after ribbon for a beautiful, red haired horse with the blonde mane and tail--and as my son called her when he was very young-- Crissy with the white nose'.

Words cannot tell how much I miss Crissy, she was my friend, my peace and always there for me to work through everything by pouring out my heart to her. All she ever wanted in return was a safe place to sleep, lots of treats (of course) and a good brushing to keep her shiny and clean. She was a scamp too with a wonderful fiesty spirit. I miss her but am convinced she is healthy now and keeping a good eye on all the pets and critters that have gone before--until we meet again.

Her best friends here were our Diamonte and Casper. Diamonte the now 27 year old polo pony from Australia and now that Crissy has gone, Casper has taken over as Monte's best friend so he has company and a good friend. Do not discount the effect that a pet of any kind can have on your children-- A child attached to an animal and given the room to learn and expand their horizons through them is gifted and blessed! It will never leave them! Crissy is definitely my angel!

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