We have a beautiful new family member. And she’s a love bug.
We named her Brielle, which means “God is my strength.” Her name is French just like our other mare, Savez (pronounced Sah-vay). Brielle is a flea-bitten grey…technically not white, but close enough for today ; ) How she came into our family is inspiring and not the least bit planned.
The week we lost Peter’s father, our oldest daughter and her pony were scheduled to attend a week long equestrian camp at our favorite barn near Chelsea, called Cameron Oaks Farm. If you’re in the Birmingham area, you must go ride there it’s amazing! Originally we planned to drive our daughter up there with both of our horses and stay as a family for a week to celebrate my birthday and play. Our plans quickly changed and Peter headed straight to Atlanta to be with his mother and siblings. At this point, I wasn’t sure how to get my daughter and her pony to Birmingham? I couldn’t exactly drive 4 kids and 2 horses five hours all alone. Friend and Cameron Oaks Farm owner, Susie, happened to be in our area and offered to take our daughter and pull our trailer (with pony) back to the barn. This was such a gift!
Susie mentioned that she was looking for a large pony for one of her new riders. I told her to please take one of my trainer’s large ponies for sale, Brielle (who had a different name at the time) because she was extra special. Kind, sweet, patient, smart, auto lead changes and top performer – a hard combo to find in one horse.
Brielle performing at PHJA this April…
Susie and her husband drove Brielle, along with our other pony and daughter back to Alabama for camp. It didn’t quite work out for the family who was looking at Brielle, so it was a no-go there. I was bummed because I knew Brielle needed a mommy. Susie sent me a text the next day, “you need this pony for your family, she is amazing.”
Hmmm. Wasn’t expecting that.
The day before the funeral, my youngest and I drove to Cameron Oaks Farm to cheer on oldest daughter at her end of the week horse show. No ribbons or competition, just fun and smiles. All the ponies and kids were together in the arena, trotting and cantering in unison to a Michael Jackson song. It was adorable. And there was Brielle, packing around her tiny (green) rider who only rides once a year. They were trotting, cantering, and jumping crossrails with no effort and Brielle was taking care of her every step of the way. I was amazed.
After the show, we gave our youngest daughter a chance to ride Brielle. You have to understand our daughters are complete opposites – oldest is vivacious and likes to go go go and youngest is quiet and reserved and prefers a slower, safer pace. Brielle carefully rode at the speed my little one asked.
It was a match. I knew she was coming home with us.
I texted a video of Brielle trotting with our little one and Peter texted back “let’s take her home.” I had butterflies in my stomach!
After we were settled back in at home, we saddled up Brielle for a ride. We have no arena, so this made me a little nervous. Ten acres of freedom and potential to run off. I stood very close with a lead line in hand, ready to rescue any moment. But Brielle was calm and gentle. As I watched our little one walk in a circle around me, the sun came in a unique way through the trees that gave me goosebumps…it felt almost as if Peter’s father was watching. I stood in awe and snapped this pic. I added the sparkles at the bottom ; )
Brielle is certainly a surprise, but one we welcome with love. I jokingly fussed at Susie when we loaded up Brielle and took her home. Susie just laughed and said, “you told me to find her a good home.”
I’ll keep you posted on Brielle and her new life with us. So far, big sister Savez isn’t happy about sharing all the attention. If you go on my instagram, you’ll see the latest stunt Savez pulled on her. Our pony, Marlee, on the other hand is so happy Brielle is with us.