Last year, I wrote “A Barrel Racer’s Letter to Santa,” and Santa really listened. He didn’t necessarily bring me exactly everything I asked for exactly on Christmas morning, but “he” certainly delivered throughout the year.
First, I asked for a year’s supply of Lubrysin. Ok, so I never got that. BUT, I did get plenty of ActiFlex 4000, which has been working great, and is used by the #1 and #2 cowgirls in the IPRA World Standings, both of whom you’ve met on this very blog.
Second and third, I asked Santa to bring me an Ed Hardy tack set from Bar~N~LLC and an Ed Hardy halter from Billie Ann Sexton. No Ed Hardy set, but the wonderful Nikki who runs Bar~N introduced me to Renee Clair Bearss of Cowboy Couture, and I got an ever more fabulous set than I could have ever hoped for, plus a matching halter.
The fourth item I asked for, a Cowgirl is the New Black shirt, I just had to have for myself right away, so that was already taken care of. And everytime I wear it around the office (Yes, the perks of working for a Western magazine include being able to wear all of the fun Western fashion I can!) it draws comments from my coworkers. Plus, I’ve gotten to sport all of the new Cowboy Militia gear I can afford, because thankfully their team works to keep fashion affordable.
Last but certainly not least, I asked Santa to bring me a new horse. Yes, it’s the age-old “I want a pony for Christmas!” request that every little girl has made at one point or another. Did I think I would actually get me a pony? Maybe. Did I get a pony on Christmas morning? No. But just a few short months later, Santa delivered. And I’m now the proud owner of Miss Casady De Vor, another awesome black mare who I love with all of my heart and who continues to surprise me and teach me things about myself and my riding.
So, all in all, last year’s letter to Santa was a smashing success. And in reflecting on it this morning, I’ve learned a thing or two about myself and my friends. First, “Santa” is a really great metaphor for exactly what Saint Nick stood for in the first place. The amazing people I’ve met throughout the horse industry served as great “Santas” year round, looking out for me, helping me, and making my life infinitely better simply by knowing them.
I’ve also learned that through these friends and plenty of hard work, I can be my own “Santa.” That new horse didn’t come free; paying for her took hard work, and it still does. But because of a few people that believed in me and in me and this horse, I was able to buy her for myself, making the whole deal a lot sweeter.
With this reflection on last year’s wishes, I’m thankful that every single thing on my list came to me one way or another, and I’m even more thankful for those amazing saints who made it all possible. On that note, I’ll start thinking of my next letter to Santa, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got everything I need in the people who helped me with last year’s.