I have a good friend at work, Amy. who has three horses that she has ‘stabled’
or taken care of during most of the week, when she has long hours. Amy’s horses
include an all black one with some white details, like a beautiful star on his
forehead and white “boots” on his hooves.
The black horse is from “champion breeding” and is named Spirit.
Amy’s little horse that she has her grandchildren ride on is named Lokie.
She says that horse people call him a “paint.” Not that he is painted! But he
has brown and white patches that are more like a wild horse or one that Native
Americans may have raised. Lokie is friendly and tame. He allowed her to put
bunny ears on him. Each of her grandchildren rode him and got an Easter picture
the day after an exciting escapade occurred.
The third horse is a beautiful golden one that is named Sapphire. She is a mixed
breed with a Palomino father. She has been in parades with a pretty turquoise
blanket or cape on with a side saddle which allows Amy to ride her. She is very
well trained and has no problems with listening to directions, feeling the reins pull
one way or another or the rider’s heels nudging a non verbal message or direction
Amy came into work very excited today, April 1st. I thought she was going to tell me
an April Fool’s Day joke. Amy has a great sense of humor so I did expect a trick. She
had a big smile on her face and waved to me to come over to hear her news. She told
me that a real French director had been up in Morrow County and wanted to film
country raised horses.
Amy was asked to fill out a release statement for the filming. She was very proud to
have her horses have a chance to be famous, if only in France! This occurred on this
past Saturday, March 30th and she reassured me, it was not a joke!
I told her I was excited, too, could she bring in the French director’s calling card so I
could see, or write it down and I could look it up? She said, “Of course, I should have
thought of that and brought it in!”
The French film crew were driving around the county roads and just happened to see
her horses along with the others that stable with them out in the field.
I mentioned to her the same Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day up in Cleveland.
My family had taken 2 of my grandsons to the Cleveland Art Museum and the
Westlake City Park.
At the same time, I had taken my mother to the grocery store and out to lunch. It
was such a lovely Spring day for being out and about.
Amy told me that Spirit was very curious about the cameras and went right up to the
group of people involved with filming the horses. Once Amy mounted him, though,
he became his usual, ornery self. He even tried to buck her! (Yes, this was caught
on film also!) She put him through his paces. The director asked, “Can Spirit jump?”
Amy answered, “He is not well trained and is ‘oppositional in his behavior.'”
She thought Spirit may be interested in the audience so she tried to get him to do
some of his lesser tricks. He did not cooperate with jumping, though, and
went right up to the hurdle (she may have called them a different name…) and
stopped short of jumping. The crew filmed him with and without her, since he is
very attractively marked for over 30 minutes.
They were excited to see what Lokie could do because he is so gentle and appears
so unusual. I have seen pictures and I think a little boy with a cowboy hat or a
Native American feathered headdress would look so natural while riding him.
He is good at prancing and he can jump little hurdles. They spent 20 minutes or
more watching and filming him.
Then, her “pride and joy” due to her very charismatic behavior is, of course,
Sapphire. Amy explained that she does not have her gear and costumes for the
horses kept at the barn. She brings them over for pictures and for special events
and that the horse is parade trained and does well with noise around her.
I asked her if she ever had to ride Sapphire near a marching band? And she
“At the Delaware All Horse Parade.” (It is a misnomer because they do have
bands and wagons in it.)
Sapphire soared over tall hurdles and did all her stunts, even getting down
on her “knees” to show how she can really follow directions and ‘show off.’
They filmed her for over 40 minutes. At this point in the story, I had to ask,
“Were you getting tired, Amy?” She said she often on Saturdays goes over by
herself and ‘plays’ with her horses for hours. So, in other words, “No!”
When they were finished filming her on Sapphire, she dismounted and went
over to tell them that although they wanted to see country raised horses there
is a very wonderful program especially designed for children with disabilities
and special needs, called the Flying Horses. This program is one I had known
about as a preschool special education teacher and had 2 or 3 students with
Asperger’s Syndrome and one student who was diagnosed with Autism, take
advantage of this remarkable program. Sometimes, with state funding or local
donations, the cost is minimal or free.
I appreciated that Amy offered the French filmmaker and his crew that option
to include the program in their film. They were polite and actually said they
would like to check it out, if they had time.
When the filming of all the horses running around, eating their hay and just
plain standing around was a “wrap” Amy told me almost 3 hours had elapsed!
She had offered to brush out the horses or to demonstrate other everyday activities
like mucking out the barn, but they were satisfied with their choices and declined.
I am hoping to find out the director’s name, just so I will be able to recognize it and
keep my eyes open for next year’s Academy Award’s Foreign Film category or the
Academy Award’s Short Film category.
It would be wonderful for Amy’s family and their horses, Spirit, Sapphire and Lokie
to become internationally famous!