• Fiona Darling

Coming Full Circle: A Young Girls Dream Comes Alive a story of Fiona Darling Seven Keys Horsemanship

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

I am like my Mum in truly loving all animals. One case in point I remember being with my family out on the bay in a small boat for a fishing expedition. Dad endeavouring to fish unsuccessfully and unbeknowns to him my Mum at the other end of the boat happily throwing the fish bait out to the circling seals. Mum and us children enjoying the interaction with the seals and a frustrated Dad giving up his fishing plans.

I more specifically however was born with the horse gene.

Early in my life we lived in Vermont, at the time an outer suburb of Melbourne, on a road that down the other end had pastures holding horses. I loved to visit those horses. A white horse down the road called Star and owned by a friend of my older sister gave me my first ever ride….well sit on and walk really. I liked to go out walking with our family dog Mr Chips or Chippy as we called him who was an Irish setter crossed with a boxer but more looking like a black Labrador. One day we were gone so long the police were out looking for me and I returned home disgruntled with Chippy sitting beside me on the police cars front seat not to be separated from me. My guess is that I was out and about looking for horses.

I so wished for a horse of my own and one year, I cannot remember whether at Christmas or my birthday, as these days are only 11 days apart, I became very excited when getting all these hints that perhaps my wish would be coming true. By this time we had moved to Canterbury a suburb closer in to the city and so a horse in my life was less likely however the clues I was getting could not be denied. The day arrived and Mum gave me the present from herself and Dad, a rectangular box. I opened it to find the model of a horse to make up. Disappointment masked with a thankyou although Mum could read my lowered enthusiasm. I made up the model glueing the pieces together ensuring that the mane and tail fitted in properly. I placed the stickers on the model horse’s rump and painted over in white paint then pulling the stickers off when the paint had dried. There he was, quite a striking model horse a black appaloosa with a white blanket. I enjoyed looking at him and brushing his mane and tail.

Fast forward to November 2018 and I am attending the wedding of a Melbourne Parelli friend Penny. Penny had often mentioned her family friend who bred Friesian horses. At some point I realised this was Sharon a lovely lady I had met and gotten to know at Sydney Parelli events. Friesian horses are magnificent horses so full of presence I had always wanted to go and visit her stud. Well here she was today and not too many guesses for the time it took for horses to come up in our conversation. Sharon and Peter got out their mobile phone and showed me some of their latest crop of foals, beautiful youngsters but there she was standing out. Now 2 months old Gramayre Honey Bear just as my striking model horse all these years later. A cross between a Friesian and a Knabstrupper. A Knabstrupper? I have to say I hadn’t heard of that breed before. I had to go and look at Honey Bear.

Sharon and Peter have created a wonderful, natural environment for Honey Bear to have the best possible start in her life. Her Mum Gramayre Shep a ¾ Friesian with some TB and her father Gramayre Flashdance a ¾ Knabstrupper stallion are together in a small herd with two other Friesian cross mares, one with a foal at foot the other as yet to foal. It was wonderful for me to see them all in a beautiful treed pasture relaxed and happy together. Honey Bear happy to come straight up to us curious and friendly in her approach and then joined by her father with her unconcerned mother grazing nearby.

I hadn’t been looking for another horse in my life but I was immediately drawn to Honey Bear so coming full circle a young girls dream comes alive as a mature woman. Honey Bear has now joined my small family of mares weaned with my Maggie at Gramayre before coming home.

Thankyou to Sharon and Peter for this opportunity and providing Honey Bear with the best possible start to life as nature would intend.

Picture of the model appaloosa I put together and a slide show of Honey Bear as a foal below.

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