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The Legend of Alibar: A Cup of Joe

February 23, 2010

On The Go

One of my fondest memories of Alibar…

The only time I willingly wake up early is for horses. At my old job, I worked the late shift so I rode Alibar before work on weekdays. Each morning, I slipped out of my warm bed, pulled on my riding clothes, and drove down to the barn.

Alibar was quite the morning person in demeanor but he was arthritic and he needed a longer warmup than he did in his younger years. To make the mornings a little easier for both of us, Alibar and I developed a little ritual. Before I arrived at the barn, I purchased a big cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee. Since I arrived before the barn help, I always gave Alibar some soaked hay cubes and a handful of senior horse feed. Then I tacked up Alibar, I grabbed my coffee, and off we went. We walked around the perimeter of a large cornfield behind the barn and I drank my morning coffee as Alibar loosened up his muscles and old joints.

Alibar’s gaits were smooth and I never spilled a drop of coffee. The mornings were crisp and and bright. Steam curled out of Alibar’s wide nostrils and his tiny, tippy ears swiveled as he took in the sights and sounds. The path around the cornfield was cut but there was tall grass in the middle- large herds of deer browsed on the grass, bathed in morning sunlight. The only sounds were Alibar’s contented snorts and the occasional flock of wild turkeys, twittering to one another as they glided across the field. If there was a particularly tender patch of grass, I allowed Alibar to take a bite and chew as we marched along.

The horses at the farm could see the cornfield through the trees, and they romped and played at the sight of us. Most mornings, Alibar and I would walk the entire way, but if he was feeling especially good, we sometimes trotted or had a short hand-gallop.

By the time we got back to the barn, I finished my coffee and we were ready to meet the day: we could tackle dressage and could take on the world.

Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. - Aristotle

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2010 7:17 am

    Sarah, your thoughts encourage me to find time to spend with my horses. I work all day, come home to a farm with a gazillion more things to do, let alone squeeze family time in there. I pray that when I look back on my life I can see memories such as yours with Alibar. Thanks for this uplifting and most encouraging post.

    • February 23, 2010 4:41 pm

      Matt, thank you so much for checking in on the blog and for all your nice comments. These little moments are the ones that define your bond with your horses and they stay with you forever.

  2. Vickie permalink
    February 23, 2010 9:57 am

    Aw, good times! I think my favorite photos of you and Alibar were almost always taken in that field! So very glad we have them.
    They capture the essence of what you and Alibar had together.

    • February 23, 2010 4:43 pm

      I agree- I always think back fondly on our rides out on the trail… except for the time he dumped me in the cornfield and pulled off his bridle! Maybe that will be my next blog post :^P

  3. Alise Lamoreaux permalink
    February 23, 2010 5:06 pm

    What a cool memory…. And you are lucky to have the photos to match. I think coffee and horses go together. I know one of the best parts of my day is heading to the barn in the morning with coffee in hand to sip while anticipating the whinnies that await when I open the barn door. I enjoy the sounds horses make when they eat and listening to them while I drink my coffee is better than any meditation tape out there:) thanks for continuing to write about Alibar.

  4. oregonsunshine permalink
    February 23, 2010 6:06 pm

    I went outside in the rain just to kiss Casey’s nose after I read this. Someday, maybe, we’ll get to where I can enjoy a morning cup of coffee on his back.

    I don’t think any horse has known a greater love than your love for Alibar.

  5. February 23, 2010 9:20 pm

    Guess who I thought of last Thursday when an “Allybar” won at Meydan. 😀

    From DRF:
    European turf form proved the key to Round 2 of the 1 3/16-mile Maktoum Challenge on Thursday night as Allybar held off Crowded House in the $200,000 Group 3 trial for the Dubai World Cup on Meydan’s synthetic Tapeta surface.

    Godolphin owns him so expecting more noise from across the pond.

    And Dunkin Donuts, well that strikes a responsive chord also. 😉

  6. February 27, 2010 5:27 pm

    What a sweet story! 🙂

  7. February 28, 2010 6:55 pm

    I have given you a ‘Beautiful Blogger’ Award :o)

    As per always, the sentiment in your post is just lovely 🙂

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