And then a Christmas morning that will be hard to forget. With dawn on the way we bring our Ellinore her new horse “Reme” up from Norma’s stable. She arrives just before the kids woke up and Anna and “Reme” announce to the world hallelujah after hallelujah while we make eggs in the kitchen and turn up the Christmas music to drown out the equine antics in the barn. Nathaniel receives his promise of a new snowboard and then Ellinore opens a box with two horse turds in it. “There must be a pony around here somewhere,” the story goes, and so we head up to the barn.
Our eleven-year-old girl is utterly surprised. Who wouldn’t be. In fact, she seems a bit shocked as she makes an informal assessment of this new animal in her life. After ten minutes or so, however, the two are posing for pictures.
“Reme” is short for Remember Me,” a Welsh Cobb / Arabian mare, 12 hands high, born May 1996. Her family tried to sell her for months (asking $3500.) and was feeling the stress of boarding her for 400/month. The girl whose family owns her, Alyssa, is a hockey player in Keene, and Ellinore had been in the same horse shows in past years. But Alyssa is outgrowing Reme. All of this adds up to our good fortune of finding a perfect horse that ended up costing us $1.00. (Of course that’s a fib, as the buckets and blankets and feed and hay and saddle and onward ad infinitum have made the transition to horses a bit of a strain.)
So with two horses in the barn our days are now framed by chores. Watering, flaking out hay, mucking out stalls—morning and evening, day in and day out. On most days, too, we lead the two horses into the field to spend a good part of the day. Ellinore is riding afternoons—sometimes with a friend, and now that N is back from Florida, perhaps with her brother—and keeping her horse journal when not completing math problems or working on Latin word roots.