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ª It started as any ordinary Christmas a few months later, but it was about to prove to be a Christmas that changed Ariana' s life, and saved another. After


Ariana opened all her presents, her mother handed her a small, beautifully wrapped box. Inside was a letter from Chy, written by


Ariana' s older sister.


`I belong to you now and together we will run the fields and trails forever. Love, Chy.' º


“I have no words for this mare. She is the love of my life.”


moment. Ariana spent countless hours brushing and fussing over Chy, hiding her tears in her thick mane. Ariana and Chy’s love for each other continued to grow, and Ariana dreamed of ways to keep her at the farm so they could stay together forever. She was convinced that must happen when one day Chy’s owner decided to ride her in the ring. For whatever reason, Chy promptly deposited her in the dust. No one tried to ride her aſt er that, though Ariana wanted to. She knew Chy would never do anything to hurt her. Finally, she convinced her


mother to let her ride Chy. She slipped on the mare’s back bare- back, a little worried but hap- pily confi dent too, for she knew Chy would never harm her. As her mother led them through the pasture, Chy was a perfect gentlewoman. The feeling of togetherness between young


girl and horse was forged even tighter that day. Ariana insisted her mother take her to visit Chy every day aſt er that. In less than a week Chy was walking, trot ing and even cantering under saddle. In a few more weeks they jumped their fi rst fence together. T is is even more incredible when you realize Ariana had only ever had a few riding lessons. Ariana said, “We just fi gured it out together.” But the fear of loss was still there, as the search was still on for a rescue that would accept Chy.


THE CHRISTMAS THAT CHANGED THEIR LIVES It started as any ordinary Christmas a few months later, but it was about to prove to be a


Christmas that changed Ariana’s life, and saved another. Aſt er Ariana opened all her presents, her mother handed her a small, beautifully wrapped box. Inside was a let er from Chy, writ en by Ariana’s older sister. “I belong to you now and together we will run the fi elds and trails forever. Love, Chy.” T ey set out to explore the world as only a girl and her horse can. At least the world as big as


the boarding farm. But there was plenty to do there and they did it all. T ey rode the pastures, played games in the ring, started to bend poles and run barrels. Chy loved to run. T en the horror returned. Ariana noticed Chy had problems in her right eye. For a year she


and her mother bat led to save the sight in that eye. T ey seemed to be holding their own. So it was perfectly natural to accept the invitation to go on their fi rst-ever trail ride with friends. It was a 12-mile ride and the excitement was high. Down the trail they went, Ariana confi dent and high-spirited, Chy as strong and safe as ever. But as they traveled along, things happened that tore at Ariana’s heart. Chy stumbled, and she never stumbled. Instead of jumping a small jump, she ran right through it. Ariana took great care to guide her beloved horse back to the trailer. A vet check that evening proved the worst: Chy had lost all vision in the right eye, too, suddenly and unexplainably. Blaming herself, Ariana never took Chy off the farm again. She never took her to shows and


certainly would not risk hurting her on the trails. So for fi ve years they just played together at the farm. But it was much more than play. Ariana talked to Chy for hours on end, and together they made plans and invented ways for a blind horse to “see the world.” Ariana knew Chy loved to play. She knew she loved to run barrels, bend poles and even jump a lit le. So, learning from each other, they set out on the next phase of their journey. Ariana would help Chy to do all the things she loved to do by “seeing through her heart.”


66 | December 2012 • WWW.TRAILBLAZERMAGAZINE.US


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