Carina. She was my heart horse. A 2001 Oldenburg mare by the stallion Fernet Branca out of a mare named Lady in Red. I still remember that time Amelia said- “Maddy, this horse would jump through a ring of fire for you,” after one of our lessons. She was a good girl, a great girl.
I didn’t like her at first. She was at the barn for years before I really got to know her. I rode her once before, when I was about 11 years old, and she spooked and bolted down the road with me. I wasn’t a good rider then, no, but Carina turned me into one. Carina was owned by a girl named Roya. Her dad bought her young Carina. Roya fell off Carina once and broke her leg. In 2009 Carina got her leg caught in a fence at night and damaged it. There was an extended rehabilitation program after that, and then Roya lost interest in riding. So when I was 14, I rode Carina in a lesson for the first time in a long time. And, it was a good lesson. After that I no longer disliked her, but, rather, liked her. I started riding that big red mare. She was good to me. I grew fond of her. I kept her at the lower-end stable beside our barn, and I visited her every day after school, racing home as fast as possible to spend as much time with Carina. She taught me how to get a horse on the bit, that was a breakthrough, and we jumped a lot.
I showed her for a summer, it was a good show season, we had lots of fun.
We travelled to Vernon for a barn riding trip, and after a ride one evening, I let Carina loose into massive a rolling pasture with her friend, Mellow. The scene was something; they galloped down the rolling hill, kicking up their heels, not stopping for an hour. The happiest horses I had ever seen. Oh, Carina.
I liked her so much, that I didn’t want to ride her in a saddle, or bit, and I gave her lots of grass. I worked hard to keep that horse, and I would feel guilty when I wasn’t with her, because I knew she was bored in her tiny paddock with hotwire all around. I was only in high school, and paying $1000 a month to keep her. Not to mention, she started throwing big bucks when we were jumping.
Enter Janice. Janice was the matriarch of Jandana Ranch, a 500 acre ranch in Pritchard, outside of Kamloops. Janice came to Southlands to give a natural horsemanship clinic, and we worked with Carina. She liked Carina very much. I wanted Carina to be happy, so Carina was given to Janice.
Carina lived out her days on Jandana Ranch. She was the happiest horse, among her newfound herd. And Janice loved her, loved her very much. They were the perfect pair. When I went to visit Carina in 2014, she was a new horse, happy, and thick, without a tail, for she had lost it tramping through the acres of trees with her friends.
Carina passed in 2018 from a bad colic. She may be gone but she is not forgotten. Thank you Carina.