By Yvonne Barteau
Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that Christmas is my favorite time of year. It always has been.
Each year, I spend the day after Thanksgiving transforming
our home into Christmasland, and whileSnow Queen my children do enjoy the end product, they have all decorated enough to know that on the morning after Thanksgiving, they need to run for the hills until dark.
Something about a decorated home, some Christmas music, candles and a fireplace, brings out the best in me. I spend a lot of time doing what I love, training and working with horses and their people, throughout the year. When I am not riding or teaching, I write about those very same subjects.
Things slow down just enough around the holidays for me to take a pause from all of the projects that demand my attention and reflect on all that I am grateful for.
What I am most grateful for is my family. Family is everything to me, and holiday time is family time. The horses in my life are also part of my extended family, so maybe it was inevitable that The Spirit of the Horse would emerge as my first full screenplay for equine theater productions.
Hudi 1The Spirit of the Horse is a holiday fairytale about two orphan girls searching for a family to love them. The Snow Queen sends her guardian angel out on horseback to find two trusting and worthy souls to carry the magic and spirit of the horse into future generations, and the story evolves from there… villains, fairies, a royal couple and a grand ball are all part of this charming tale about love, acceptance and the importance of family.
Originally, we brought this story to life right here at the farm for our long time sponsor and friend, Ginna Frantz, who has also become family to us, along with so many of her special horses. Since then, the show has been seen by thousands of people, many of whom have made it part of their family holiday tradition.
This year, we are once again back to where it all began, with three performances this holiday season at Grand Prix Equestrian during the first weekend in December. Whether or not you are a horse enthusiast, this story is a tribute to all the things that make the holidays special…with the added magic of some very impressive equine superstars!