A Christmas Horse

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!? Not surprising?that's what's on my mind and everyone else?s, is it' Love them or hate them, all the holidays that occur at the end of the year definitely get your attention.

I plan to spend as much time as possible with Sally, my horse, although it's tough to do with family obligations. There's?magic surrounding Christmas, at least for me, and?horses are a huge part of feeling.? My very favorite place to be on Christmas eve and Christmas morning is in the horse barn, better yet if I?have time to groom them or ride! We're lucky, those of us addicted to horses, because no one else knows how special that time can be. Wonderful things do happen in stables, I guess.

I want to share with you something that was in our local newspaper, The Post-Standard,?in their weekly Neighbors section this week.?It was a feature with letters from readers sharing special Christmas memories. One letter from Sharon Ward in King Ferry, N.Y., was just wonderful.

It was about a family of six. Cow farmers.?The daughter, Tracy, was also horse-crazy and dreamed of owning one, but said her mother, Sharon, ?She never teased us as she knew we couldn?t afford one; she had three younger brothers.?

One Christmas Tracy?s dad, Jack, talked with a friend about getting Tracy a horse. He found a black gelding, who had been used for riding lessons and was sweet and kind. They bought him for $75 and kept him at the neighbor?s until Christmas morning.

That morning, Jack said he was going to feed the cows but instead walked to the neighbor?s and tacked up Ace, the new horse. Sharon called Tracy to the dining room and gave her a poster that read, ?Happiness is owning a horse!? Tracy loved the poster.

But then Sharon?instructed Tracy to look out the window, where Jack was standing with Ace. She included a photo of Tracy at that very moment, calling the expression on Tracy?s face, ?Priceless.???What I found even more ?priceless? was that Tracy had Ace for eight years and eventually became a veterinarian.

For me, this story has all the elements of a beautiful Christmas?family, love, sacrifice, appreciation, caring and horses. Who could ask for more'

This week be sure to enjoy your family, your horses and the holiday. Maybe you'll make memories that?will last a lifetime and that will positively?affect someone's entire life.