A happy ending for a special horse


This is the story of one special horse.
When my daughter, Caroline, was a little girl, the biggest thing on her wish list for several consecutive years was a pony. Finally, we responded to an ad in Farm and Dairy for a well-broke pony. The day we brought the pretty, calm, little Welsh pony home, Caroline, who had been sick for nearly a year at that time, named her new pal Hope.
Part of this desire for a horse was born in our friendship with Wendy, who had such a knack for breaking and riding horses. One day, with Caroline just recently returned home from a hospital stay, Wendy and her daughter, Emma, came driving in to our place pulling a horse trailer with Emma’s pony, Susie, in the back.
Going for a ride. Wendy saddled her up and led Susie on a gentle little trail ride, with Caroline and Emma both in the saddle, chatting up a storm.
When Caroline went to Wendy’s place to ride, Wendy often saddled her most gentle mare, Goldie, for her to ride, and Caroline would come home with great trail stories to tell.
My dear friend Wendy, injured in a single-vehicle accident Nov. 7, 2000, spent 20 days fighting to get better. We had many conversations during those 20 days, much of it spent with Wendy in agonizing traction, then recovery from surgery to help stabilize her spine.
Endlessly, we talked about our children. She was thrilled Caroline had taken a liking to her horses and she said, “One horse I would just love for you to have would be Goldie.” I told Wendy she was going to get better and she would want to hold on to Goldie for herself.
Wendy said she thought her trail-riding days were over, and she wanted me to have Goldie, her sweet pal, because she knew my daughter Caroline could ride her in any circumstance – that mare was completely bomb proof.
Sweet memory. After Wendy’s death, followed closely by our house fire and complete renovation, life moved on. Goldie remained a memory Caroline cherished.
Just about a year ago, Cort’s classmate and cousin, Brennan, decided he would love to have a well-broke horse he could ride for pleasure. Doug was helping Brennan look in to various horses.
I was vaguely aware of this horse search, but I had so much else going on at the time I really didn’t get involved in any way. Brennan got a horse, loved riding her, and one day Doug mentioned the horse appeared to be in foal. He helped Brennan get it to a vet and an ultrasound proved she was definitely bred.
Doug expressed concern about it, saying Brennan’s horse, Belle, was perhaps getting too old to be going through a pregnancy. Doug began the horse on a special feed regimen, helping Brennan make adjustments along the course of the pregnancy.
Can you take her? Brennan decided at some point to transfer from the local college to a more specific college for his field of interest in the southern part of the state, leaving later this summer. Brennan came to us one very cold winter day while we were working inside the house over at the farm, asking if we would be willing to take Belle until he figured out what to do with her. We said “yes.”
I knew the pregnant mare was in our barn, but it would be a few days, with Doug away on business, before I actually saw her. I went over to the farm to do chores one morning, walked in the barn, and nearly dropped over when I saw “Belle” in the first stall inside our barn. It was Wendy’s Goldie!
It’s her! I felt a rush of adrenaline – that sort of “goose bumps all over” feeling. I just could not get over it. I felt like Wendy was right there, smiling her beautiful, light-up-the-world smile, her bright blue eyes sparkling with glee!
When the colt was born, I knew exactly which stallion had bred her – a very sharp Paint stallion with the most incredible markings and great conformation.
While Goldie wintered at our place, Brennan went ahead and made arrangements to move her, after she had foaled, to his sister, Hannah’s place, where she had been working to put up fence for her.
Just this past weekend, Goldie, who is now Belle, and her beautiful colt were moved to Brennan’s sister’s small farm, where the two were welcomed with happiness and joy by the newlyweds, Hannah and Josh.
Don’t you just love happy endings?


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.