Saturday, June 11, 2011

Carmelita (I wrote this 3 years ago.)

Carmelita by Hammer out of Carmen from Joy to me.

I wasn’t even looking for a horse. And now, I can look out of our home and see Carmelita, my four year old Nokota mare, in our humble pasture. She seems too majestic for our nook carved out of a hill in the “holler” on Providence Road in good ‘ole Cecil County, Maryland.

I first saw Carmelita in some photos in a home made “horse for sale” flyer. I was perusing Joy Cully’s shop, The Merry go Round Room, at Fair Hill International 2006 where I also set up and sell my artwork. “What a neat looking horse,” I remember remarking. “What is a Nokota?” Joy suggested I look up the Conservancy website to find out. I was thrilled to learn about the breed and the efforts to preserve it. But, I wasn’t looking for a horse.

Some Nokotas on Seth Zeigler's Pennsylvania farm: they have to most wonderful colors.

Two months later, I ran into Joy at a Taco Bell in the Perryville outlet mall. Christmas shoppers were hungry and the line was out the door. I didn’t know Joy very well but was still surprised that she was at an outlet mall and in the Taco Bell to boot. We said “hello” and before she left she stopped at my table to talk to me about an art trade. I love to trade so we arranged for me to come to her place.

With the trade completed, the conversation turned from art to animals. “Do you still have that mare you were selling?” I asked. Joy said, “She’s out back. Would you like to meet her?” Of course I would.

One of our first trail rides - I LOVE that she loves water

Despite the fact that I wasn’t even looking for a horse, I visited Carmelita several times that winter, fell more deeply in love, and began to plot how she might end up out my back door. Joy and I got to know each other that winter as well. I realized that Joy was selling Carmelita while still wanting to hold on to her with all of her might. When she realized that Carmelita could be with me and still be a part of HER life, Joy did everything she could to make it easier for me to decide to buy Carmelita. I had work to do though: fences to fix; grass to grow; hay to buy. A horse was coming!

She is everything that other Nokota owners know and are familiar with; strong, brave, curious, calm, noble. And through my relationship with her I get to see that she is even more. Every day I marvel that she is here. I walk up my hill to her and bury my face in her and try to steel some of that strength and grace that comes so easily to her.

Pay attention to what fate throws in your path. I wasn’t looking for a horse, but in a Taco Bell, in the middle of Christmas shopping mayhem, I found one.

Recent trail ride

Thank you Kuntz Family - gaurdians and advocates of the breed. Thank you Joy for making the path to Carmalita as smooth as possible. Thank you to my husband Dave for encouraging me to spend the time and money that horses require so that she can be a part of my life.


happy internist said...

what makes a horse person a horse person? because clearly there are and clearly there aren't such people. and you my dear are definitely the former.

Vicka said...

What a great story, and Carmelita is beautiful. I have never heard of that breed before so I've learned something new.

Sara Jo Renzulli said...

Good question, Beth. You're right; it's a pretty black and white thing.