I thought it was time to recount here the story of Pip. It started back when I had been involved with Parelli for about a year. I had Chloe already when a friend from our local driving club had discussed with me that to go through the levels of the Parelli program that it would be better for me to have a horse that I could ride instead of a pony. As I was already in the draft club, Jody was extolling the virtues of the draft as a riding animal. She had her clydesdale named Breezy Jane. BJ was the love of her life, with her husband a close second.
Every day I would search sites that had drafts for sale, paying especial attention to anything that said "FREE" or possibly "RESCUE". But the rescues were asking as much money as they were for good young stock. The slaughterhouses were running at full bore and there was a pretty hefty price for anything that had hooves. Whatever I found I sent pictures of to Jody and she would send pictures to me. Oftentimes Jody would send me pictures of $10,000. Gypsy Vanners. I told her, "no".
Amidst the excitement and hub-bub of horse shopping via the internet, I found a group of people on the Parelli site that called themselves the Carpe Diem group. I took up the role of resident smart ass.
Meanwhile, in real time I had found a horse that looked promising. It was a haflinger/ quarter horse cross in Wisconsin. Photos were emailed out. Jody said,"Hmmmm, maybe" The Carpes said that just wasn't the horse for me. I was told the look in the eye wasn't right. I was thinking,"But it's a bay... I LOVE bays!!". So I went to draft club meeting to whine to someone who would listen. That night I sat next to Cindy and Parmer and told my story of woe. "I found a horse that I really can't afford. It's seven hundred dollars and it's in Wisconsin. It's just a yearling....yadda, yadda, yadda" Cindy leaned over and whispered to Parmer. With out moving his head he whispered back. Then she turned to me and said,"So, you like haflingers?"
It turned out that she had some haflingers for sale. One, only one, would be available for the price of seven hundred dollars and they would deliver. I went out and visited. She was called Callie and she was downright aloof at our first meeting. I got in the habit of taking the long way round and sitting at the pasture in my car and watching them. She started getting curious. This I had learned through Parelli was priceless. Pictures were taken and emailed to various enthusiasts. In the meantime Mac was in the background telling me I didn't need another poop machine. This was his label for any critter that caught my eye.
I moved forward either on faith or idiocy. I told Cindy I wanted her... though there were days when I had doubts. Doubts in myself, doubts in her, doubts in the dream. I started selling recipes to raise the money. I knew she just didn't look like a Callie to me... the name just made me uneasy for some reason. I kept selling recipes. I remember the day that I told Cindy that I was up to a hundred dollars! I was excited! She was dubious. I kept hawking my recipes. The money trickled slowly in. then I got the news from Parmer that I had a bit of a deadline. I could still have her but the jack was getting turned in with the mares in May. If I took too long , she might come home in foal for a mule. I relayed that info to the Carpes, who had weedled their way into my hearts. I was on the verge of giving up.
Then one day I brought in the mail and there was a card. The return address just said Carpe Diem. Inside there was a card and inside the card there was a check. It was the money to purchase Pip, who used to be Callie. I put the check back into the envelope and stashed it on my desk. I would take it out several times that day. The next day, I took it out and had myself a good cry. The following day, I called Cindy and asked when I could come over. Two days later the check was cashed and I got a slip of paper saying that I was the owner of a unregistered haflinger.
Then I posted to the Carpes.
In case you don't see it. I want to be plain on this score. The real miracle of Pip are the people, who barely knew me at the time, who had no reason to believe in my abilities or even me as a person, yet they were the ones that gave me the one thing I had wanted my whole life. They are my heart friends. I will always love Parelli because he gave them to me.