After a few months of videos, pictures, secrecy, trips to Indiana, vet inspections over the phone, and hundreds of texts and emails….the day finally came for Kate to get her Christmas present. Jeff and I surprised her with a 6 year old Hanoverian/Percheron cross mare from Forresthill Farm in Indiana.
Here’s how it went down……..
Jeff and I pretended to be taking an “anniversary trip” last Thursday and Friday. My mom and my in laws were in charge of the the kids while Jeff and I headed to Indiana. It was perfect timing because Jeff was supposed to install a bridge a half hour away from the farm where the horse was. On Friday, while Jeff installed his bridge, I hung out in the hotel lobby. After Jeff was finished with work, we headed to Lafayette to pick up the horse.
She loaded well, and we headed home. The “story” was that we weren’t coming home until Saturday. I called my mom to tell her that one of my horses (Murphy) had been sick and needed his blanket put on for the night. Elizabeth supposedly had forgotten to do it earlier in the day. My mom said that she would run Kate back to our farm to put it on him……it was 10:30pm by that time.
Jeff and I got the horse out of the trailer, threw her into Murphy’s stall, tied a big red bow on the door, and put a sign that said “KATE’S NEW HORSE” on the door. My in laws showed up to witness the surprise, and we had them park behind the barn so no one would see their car. We ( Jeff, me, Ann, and Jim) hid in Cavalier’s stall —-with Cavalier—-across the barn aisle. We turned out the lights and waited for Kate to arrive with my mom and Wade.
They finally arrived. Kate was a bit confused by the trail of peppermint pieces that led to Murphy’s stall.
When she got to the stall where Murphy usually stayed, she found a card from us, a big red bow, and the stall sign. She started to get the hint. It was fantastic! We videotaped it all from Cavalier’s stall without her seeing us. She threw the stall door open and ran in to hug her new horse. Wade finally saw us, and we all started laughing. Kate was still in shock, but smiling from ear to ear! We spent the next hour and a half taking pictures, calling friends, and petting the ginormous new mare.
****Kate spent the next several hours awake in her bed trying to come up with a name for her new horse. The next morning she declared her name to be “ISABELLE BLUE”. The names came from one of her favorite authors and one of her favorite book characters.