Ah, the joys of new life!
Fae’s latest accomplishment, Red Star Noir, came into this world on August 19, 2014 — and as I now count, he’s my eleventh new baby foal!!!
My newborn foals:
1 – AA Mentor – 1985
2 – Mentor’s Jewel – 1989
3 – Starboy – 1990
4 – Angel -1991
5 – Fanta’s Sir Prize – 1995
6 – Fanta’s Fae Dancer (aka Fanta’s Dancing Fae ) – 2001
7 – Maverick – 2007
8 – Aria – 2007
9 – Laddie (Aladdin’s Bay Star) 2008
10 – Hokuleia – 2012
11 – Red Star Noir – 2014
I remember as a kid, some time during junior high, the horse calendar that hung in my room. One month there was a picture of an adorable bay-colored Arabian colt, perhaps just two weeks old.
I remember looking and wishing and marveling at the beauty of his fresh life. I wondered what it would be like to hold him, pet him. Raise him, love him. And I decided: SOMEDAY, I’ll have a baby horse of my own!
I remember wondering: Would I really? How? How could that be possible?
But I tucked that wish away, along with my life-long desire to have, ride and love a horse of my very own.
And I went back to living my junior high life. Not knowing if either of those dreams would EVER come true.
Then, completely out of the blue one day, Mom made the announcement, driving alone with her in the car. (I remember it oh so well. I was thirteen.)
Her voice cracked a little, and she said: “Dad and I have decided to get you a horse.”
What? Really? After all these years of begging??? Wahoooo!!! This is my dream come true!
I ended up with a scruffy unregistered strawberry roan, Heinz 57-Appaloosa/Arab mix named Rebel. Said to be seven years old, he’d been a family’s “trail horse”. He had a long nose, beautiful eyes and a swinging black tail.
Rebel was the perfect first horse for me. Rugged, rank — he challenged my limited skills and fulfilled my endless horse-addiction.
He became the focal point of my existence.
Rebel got me through the tough times, the lonely times, of junior high and high school. I LIVED for riding Rebel.
Through him I experienced freedom. Riding, flying, through the wilderness on wings of horsey joy. (See: Laddie, Light my Fire)
Then, when I was sixteen, Dad passed away from a heart attack — changing EVERYTHING in my life — one fateful night.
“Honey, things are always changing. The sooner you get used to that, the better off you’ll be.” (See: Cha-Cha-Changes!)
Did Dad know something when he told me those words, just weeks before he suddenly passed?
Again, Rebel was my constant. My confidant. My outlet. My sanity. He was my freedom on four fabulously swift legs.
And I turned to him even more after losing Dad.
We would ride the Southern California mountain trails all day, every Saturday, The Doors singing “Come on baby light my fire . . .” from the transistor radio strapped to my saddle. Grit in my teeth, smile on my face, on and on and on, as far as we could go.
Yet after finishing high school, I began wondering about the reason for life.
What am I to do with my life? Why are we here? Where do we go after we leave this green Earth? Where is Dad now?
I dropped out of University and did what I’d often dreamed I’d do. I rode Rebel into the California wilderness on a ten-day, soul-searching, solo trek. Just me and Rebel.
My time alone in the wilderness toughened my determination. I overcame many obstacles, completing my “hero’s quest”, and I came back into civilization with new resolve.
I will live my life to the fullest. I will live as close to Nature as possible. I will pursue all my dreams!
Following my love for horses and animals, I worked teaching horseback riding, then milking cows on commercial dairy farms.
I chopped down trees, sewed canvass, built a Sioux Indian Tipi — and lived in it — as close to Nature as I could be!
Rebel lived outside the Tipi in the pasture with me, only a sheet of canvass between us.
Those were awesome times, living on the Earth, literally! With horses and cattle surrounding me. Until, eventually, Rebel aged and passed away.
Afterwards I had a brief stint with another horse, an Arabian mare I called Stargirl. But she met with tragedy, and I was horseless for a number of my mid-twenties years.
Eventually I went back to college, learned to fly airplanes, and started my own fashion business.
Now, I was in position to own a horse again!
So in 1980, I bought an Appaloosa yearling mare, named Fanta (Smokey Joe’s Fanta).
Little did I know when I was outbid on the original mare I’d come to buy at auction that day, that the understated roan filly I ended up purchasing would continue her legacy in my life — some three decades later!
(I definitely ended up with the better horse!)
Fanta’s combination of Appaloosa, Running Quarter Horse, Racing Thoroughbred, and (1/4th) Arabian gave her speed, endurance and silky-smooth gaits.
Her BIG trot, bounding canter, and animated walk made her a pleasure to ride.
After deciding to train her myself, and spending the next several years researching and accomplishing the task, I also ended up purchasing a purebred (in-foal) Arabian mare who soon gave birth to a beautiful, intelligent bay colt: AA Mentor.
I got my baby horse after all!
Under the lamplight, in the sweet smell of straw, breathing his fresh newborn scent, my baby horse dreams came true. Singing, cooing, rubbing his soft fur, I’d whisper of how we’d ride together, fly together — him carrying me, into the mountains, by the sea, over endless rolling hills . . . the wind rushing through our hair.
Holding him in my lap, Mentor filled my heart with not just love, but fresh purpose and perspective. Here was new life for a new future. A new portal to magical adventures ahead!
Although Fanta was six when Mentor was born, it was love at first whinny — and despite their difference in age, they became life-long mates.
Soon after Mentor’s birth, my life went through big changes. I, too, gave birth to my own baby girl, and then another . . .
And Fanta gave birth to Mentor’s babies, and she and I ended up raising our offspring together — horses and humans bonded like siblings.
I got another Tipi, living again on the Earth, with my babies, with my horses — even Nubian milk goats. Once again, close to Nature.
Little kids and little baby horses romping, bucking, playing dress-up — inventing their own language, games, rules. My kids and Fanta’s — exploring life. Growing up side-by-side.
Eventually my kids grew taller, the horses matured, and we’d all ride together — wild rides through the wilderness. Horses and humans of the same herd — bonded, it would turn out, for generations yet unborn . . .
So now, long after my kids have moved out, long after Fanta and Mentor have passed — a new life enters my herd: Red Star Noir!
And get this — the timing, the beyond-coincidence planning of the Cosmos — born just three days after my first grandchild was born. :))
Oh Fanta, you and I, raising babies together again!
This one, yet another grand-colt. Born within days of my grand-daughter.
And we welcome you, Star Noir, to our family. To our herd.
And now, once again, I snuggle you. I breathe in your fresh baby scent . . . rub your fur, scratch your favorite itch spots. And I whisper sweet images of us riding together, flying together — you carrying me, like Fanta and Mentor before.
Update on Noir
Sadly, Noir didn’t reach his second birthday.
Sometimes, horses live and thrive and excel. Others fail to come to fruition, or run into difficulties beyond which we can deal.
It’s part of Life. Part of owning, breeding and raising horses. And I’ve learned to be OK with it. (See my post, One-Third ~ Two-Thirds (the Good and the Bad.)
One thing I know — happy, free — Noir joins the ranks of herd and family-mates on the Other Side of the Rainbow.
Where the grass is always green.
Where there are no fences or limitations.
Where the exuberance of Life continually flows.
Galloping. Free. Unhindered.
May God bless Red Star Noir :))
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