Third Time’s A. Charm
Absolute Charm is the sister of With Wings and Reign Day. See their family album on the Bits & Bytes Farm Web site. Also visit Absolute Charm’s Facebook page to see photos of her racing and at Bits & Bytes Farm in training.
We have had a lot of people wondering just who got our special girl – Absolute Charm.
Let me give a little background to her story first.
Absolute Charm’s new family has had a rough few years. The mother was diagnosed with a terminal neurological disease with no cure. Her husband is a critical care nurse and he searched for every possible solution or possible cause for her condition. The mother grew weaker and weaker until she needed two canes just to walk and she spent most of her time in bed.
In trying to relieve some of the family’s stress, the then 13 year old son took up riding dressage at a local stable. His father and mother had both been professional horsemen and were very proficient in dressage. Dressage takes lots of focus so it was a good way to forget the sad situation at home – at least for a few hours while riding. Dad spent hours training the son at the barn, along with the barn owner. It soon became apparent that he had not only, talent but also a real love of the horses and needed to have one of his own to progress further.
As is the truth with most of us horse lovers, money was an issue. With a sick mom and all the meds she needed daily, the budget was not all that large. The dad found the Bits & Bytes Farm Web site and gave me a call about a nice big black mare on our site. In discussing that horse, it was determined that another mare might be a better match for the son and a purchase was made for a three year-old Thoroughbred mare. It was a great match and the son is getting ready to compete on her.
Dad was happy for his son but wishing for a horse of his own. He had not forgotten about the big black mare he first called about. In the updates on his son’s horse he would often ask if we had found a home for her yet…
Dad was still in love with the black mare he had first called about but there was no money to purchase a second horse even though they could afford to board her. The mare’s breeder, a former world class dressage rider for Canada, learned of this family’s story and donated the beautiful black mare to the family. A ride was arranged with a very special professional hauler who lives in the same state as this family. By coincidence, he was on his way to Lexington and had called us to see if we had any horses going back his way. He was returning empty and said he could give us a special price if we had a horse that needed a ride. He was able to give the buyers a break on the shipping the black mare! It was a match made in heaven. Everything fell into place and the mare was soon on her way to the family.
The dad and the son could now ride together and work on their dressage. Mom was able to come out to watch on her good days and it seemed to lift her spirits and gave her the will to live.
About the same time the black mare arrived, the father learned of an adverse reaction to the drug Lipitor that caused neurologic problems similar to what his wife was experiencing. His wife was on Lipitor. She was already deemed “terminal” so they took a chance and took her off the drug.
Within weeks she regained much of her strength and the canes were left behind when she went out to the barn. Mom was even strong enough to get up on the son’s horse and be led around. Months went by and she got stronger and stronger. She participated in helping her son and her husband train their Thoroughbreds. She decided that she wanted a horse of her own to do dressage on. As she put is so aptly for everyone else and now for herself, “Living and life is not about drawing the next breath but about the dreams that give you a reason to”.
“Living and life is not about drawing the next breath . . .
. . .but about the dreams that give you a reason to.”
Once again they called Bits & Bytes Farm to find a match for the mom. Together, we decided that Absolute Charm would be the perfect horse for the mother. It took a little bit of time and effort to find the money but soon the mare was in transit with the same shipper that took the black mare to the family.
You may have guessed by now, that the family is the Dixon family in Bangor, Maine. Chuck and Carrie and their son Patrick each have their own Bits & Bytes Farm horses.
Patrick and Muchu learned to ride together-Patrick only having ridden for months before getting Muchu straight from the track and just weeks after her last race. Chuck is still in love with his beautiful black mare, Great Game and Absolute Charm (see her Facebook page) is the third horse they have purchased from Bits & Bytes Farm – hence “Third Time’s A. Charm”.
During the past year, their stable owner Jill purchased Sir Leonidas aka “Leon” and a boarder purchased Yada Yada Yada.
Chuck’s black mare, Great Game, is the mother of our baby – Saint Lawrence and Absolute Charm is the sister of With Wings and Reign Day. Absolute Charm’s breeder is the same wonderful woman who bred and donated Great Game to the family in October 2011. I guess you can say that we are all a part of the extended Bits & Bytes Farm family.
The story does not end here – rather we hope that it is just beginning. Carrie still has neurological impairment and she will ride Charm with one hand for now. We tested and trained Absolute Charm to ride this way so that Carrie will not have a problem. She has ridden Muchu and Great Game.
Carrie has a dream . . . to ride Absolute Charm in the 2016 Paralympic Games. We will be looking for sponsors in the near future but for now, Carrie just needs to get on and take her first ride on Absolute Charm.
Thank you to everyone who help make this story happen. – Elizabeth Wood, Bits & Bytes Farm
Special thanks to Tony Lepore of PDQ Horse Transport (207-314-2310) for all his assistance in getting our horses to Bangor, Maine. He is one of our preferred shippers and an excellent horseman himself. Be sure to give Tony a call if you have a horse that needs a ride. Tony is also experienced in delivering horses across the border to Canada. He knows the regulations and paperwork required.