December 2020 - Dressage News & Views
Written by by Nan Meek
Wednesday, 02 December 2020 03:31
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Grigio and the Season of Giving.

by Nan Meek

Deciding what to give your families, friends, barn mates, and horses? That’s a topic on many minds during this season of giving, mine included. I don’t think I’m the only DQ who gives her horses a stocking full of treats and a prezzie or two under the tree.

This year, however, I’m thinking about gifting in a different way.

Annamae’s Beloved Horse, Grigio

Before she died, Annamae thought her horse was set for life. But nobody expected that her husband would die a short time later, leaving her horse dependent on the care and goodwill of her friends. If you know horses, you know that love alone doesn’t pay for board and other expenses

Now Grigio’s caretakers are counting on the love of Annamae’s friends, and the kindness of those who read their story. Her friends have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise enough money to support Grigio for the next year or longer.

Grigio’s caregiver Laura wrote the following as if he could put hooves to keyboard:

Grigio Tells His Tale

“Hello and thank you for reading my GoFundMe page. I’m here because I am in trouble.You see, I’m a horse and I was beloved by my owner, Annamae, who treated me like gold. We were together for almost 20 years. Anyone who knew Annamae, knew how much she loved me and how hard she worked to make sure I had a fluffy bed, the best food, and anything else I needed. As for me, I did my best to carry her to a championship in dressage as well as be a good trail horse in my retirement. We were best friends. She loved me and I loved her.

“Last fall, Annamae was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer. I still got to see her and she unfailingly made sure I was loved and cared for when she couldn’t come to the ranch. It was a rollercoaster as some days seemed full of promise and others full of despair. I tried my best to be her lovable marshmallow and make sure I was ready for a trail ride when she had the strength.

“Sadly, ultimately, Annamae knew she was going to leave me. She asked a couple dear friends to care for me and make sure I was loved and had everything I needed. She wanted me to live out my retirement with people who loved me and knew how to care for me as she did. Annamae and my human dad, Mike, set up an account for me that Mike would fund periodically to ensure my board would be paid and my extra groceries would be taken care of. This is how special our bond was and it showed how much she loved me.

“Here’s where I hope you’ll come into my story. Two months after I lost my human mom, I lost my human dad, as well. It was unexpected and took everyone by surprise. The money in my account has dwindled down, as he is no longer here to add funds, and I’m in the unfortunate place of feeling very vulnerable! Her friends have taken such good care of me, but they don’t have the money to pay for me every month. My hope is that Annamae’s community can bond together to help me. I’m close to 30 years old, but I still love to smell the grass and play with my friends. I am, however, not a cheap date! I have missing teeth, so it’s hard for me to eat hay, and I have a metabolic disorder that requires me to get a daily pill. All of these costs (board $675/month, daily medicine $80/month, extra food $150/month, hoof and vet care $100/month) add up to $1,000 every 30 days.

“I know I’m old, and I’m pretty sure someday I’ll be with my human mom again, but until then I really want to stay with the people who love me. I know she wanted me to know I was safe and cared for even though she wasn’t here. Maybe you can help? Thank you for reading my story and for whatever help you can give!”

The Gift of Love & Security

Annamae’s and Grigio’s saga showed me that even the best-laid plans can go off the rails in the wake of tragedy, and that the best gift we can give our horses is a secure future.

Their tragedy is bringing together friends and friends-of-friends to give Grigio the priceless gift of loving care. That spirit of love and community is what defines holiday spirit to me.

Over the years, I’ve given my horses bling for their bridles, buckets of horse cookies, and the latest in winter rainwear.

This year, they will get a gift-wrapped prezzie, because, of course! But I’m also giving them the gift of security with their care covered in my will. I love them, and I want to be sure that their future is secure.

The love and security — what better gifts can we give this holiday season?

I know there are many worthy causes and non-profits who would love our contributions as this challenging year draws to a close. If Grigio’s challenging future touches your heart, you can find his GoFundMe page by searching for “Help Annamae’s Beloved Horse, Grigio” on the GoFundMe home page.

A lifelong horse owner, Nan Meek lives on the scenic San Mateo County coast where dressage courts and riding trails overlook the Pacific Ocean. She competed in dressage to the Prix St. Georges level with her late beloved Lipizzan Andy (Maestoso II Athena II-1), and now practices the discipline of dressage with her handsome Spanish warmblood Helio Jerez 2000 and dotes on the newest family member Mischa (Neapolitano Angelica II-1).