An Entrepreneurial Mom and a New Horse Inspire 13 Year Old
It is no secret to those of us in the horse world that horses and everything that goes with them is expensive. Really expensive. Like so many of us who have horses today, I was once a little girl who dreamed of having a horse someday. But, I always heard the same story from my parents – “horses are too expensive” and “we know that you won’t look after it”. So I grew up riding every horse that someone would let me ride and dreaming of someday owning my own horse. I was always grateful to have friends and relatives who were willing to share their horses with me.
Fast forward to 2018. I was a solo parent to three incredible humans and my youngest daughter, Kacey, who was 10 at the time, started asking if she could have a horse. To make sure it wasn’t just a passing phase, I signed her up for riding lessons with a local coach, Taylor Folkerstma of TF Show Horses (Stewiacke, NS).
Like all first lessons with new riders, Taylor started her on a bomb-proof horse with a lunge line. About 20 minutes into that first lesson, Taylor unhooked the lunge line and had Kacey jogging around the arena on her own. My heart went into panic mode for a few minutes watching my
little girl ride around, controlling a very large animal all by herself, until I saw Kacey’s beaming face … and I knew she was hooked.
Kacey continued to take one lesson a week for the next year but her love for the sport kept growing and she wanted to do more. She wanted to have her own horse to take to shows and to ride more often than once a week. Taylor helped us find the perfect horse, Sadie (Hot Time to Invest), a 2006 AQHA Chestnut Mare. Although we were warned about the stereotypical personality of the chestnut mare, we knew that Sadie was one of the good ones. Sadie was quiet, kind and patient — the ideal first horse for a little girl.
Over the next year, Kacey and Sadie spent a lot of time together. Sadie taught Kacey so much and helped improve her riding skills tremendously. She loved Kacey and would follow her around anywhere, without the need for a lead-line. They bonded the way every horse owner dreams of bonding with their trusted companion.
In February 2021, Kacey and I were at the barn and her coach and mentor, Taylor, said in passing, “you guys should buy Nora”. I had no idea who Nora was so she explained to me that she was a two-year old bay filly from Krymsun Farm named Ms Good Tyme Krymsun and that she was definitely going places. No one had ridden her yet but she had been saddled and had tons of ground work done with her. She was quiet and had a great personality. Because this
conversation happened in front of Kacey (of course) it then became constant begging and pleading from my now 13-year old – “Mom, can we get her?”, “Mom, she is so pretty”, “Mom, pleeeeaaassseeee”.
Again, I am a solo parent and I am also a solo entrepreneur, struggling to make ends meet through a global pandemic, in addition to supporting my son who was battling cancer. I knew that Kacey would benefit so much from going through the process of training a young horse and that it would help take her mind off of what a hard year we were having. But I couldn’t afford the horse and all of the expenses that go with her.
So, I challenged Kacey to come up with a way to help pay for Nora. The next day we sat down and brainstormed ways that teenagers can make money – Google showed us lots of ideas! As we scrolled through the ideas, Kacey had a “lightbulb moment” and said, “Mom, you published a book last year, I could do the same as you! I could write an inspirational children’s book with a horse as the main character!” And, the next morning, Kacey sat down and did just that!
The final product is called Sadie’s Story: It is Okay to be Different. Sadie’s Story uses horses as characters to focus on how it is okay to be different and on the power of the unconditional love between a little girl and her horse. It was adorably illustrated by another young Nova Scotian horse girl, Megan Johnson, making her dream come true of being a children’s book illustrator. It is quickly becoming a favourite for all horse lovers, young and young-at-heart.
And, of course, Nora (Ms Good Tyme Krymsun) and Kacey are now teammates and are working hard to get ready for western pleasure shows this summer. In addition to working with Nora, Kacey spent the summer of 2021 learning more about reining and had the opportunity to show at her first reining show on our friend’s horse, Henry (Twistology), owned by Dr. Laura Buckland. And she also learned about liberty, horsemanship and how to connect with your
horse. She is passionate about learning everything she can about horses and is fortunate to have some amazing mentors.
‘Kacey hopes that this story helps other young horse lovers dream big and find creative ways to try to make those dreams come true. And, as her mom, I am thrilled to be watching her live her dreams, which were once my dreams that I never got to live.
Submitted by Karen Dean (Facebook and Instagram — @karendeanspeaks)