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Team #574 Nancy Sawyer and Frisbee

Team #574: Nancy Sawyer and Frisbee
From: Long Lake, Minnesota
Ages: 77 & 24
Combined Age: 101
Test: First Level Freestyle
Date: July 23, 2022

I’ve had a strong love of horses since childhood. I began riding bareback on my uncle’s farm as a seven-year-old but had no formal lessons until moving to a small hobby farm in my 50s. My greatest lessons about horses, though, have come from the horses themselves.

Khourismaar (barn name Frisbee) was born literally into my arms on May 4, 1998. Little did I know that this spunky chestnut colt would teach me volumes about understanding horses and their needs as he grew and matured.

What I didn’t anticipate upon his birth is the multitude of challenges, physically and emotionally, he would present as his life unfolded. His extremely low IgG level (prediction of immunity) after birth necessitated a transfusion of IgG serum at one day of age. Though better protected, he tended to overreact to vaccinations and had frequent episodes of colic and allergic responses to typical allergens in his environment. 

A kick in the shoulder at age two was even more life-changing, as the treatment required months of stall rest and routine irrigation of his wound. I added physical therapy to his injured limb to increase his range of motion and increase the probability that he would be rideable. Through all of these challenges, he showed an incredible ability to read humans and other animals (his best friend was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever). Stall rest boredom was a clean slate for learning tricks such as fetch, pick it up, drop it, show me, step on it (wood, plastic, etc.), which came into great play as he grew.

Contrary to predictions, Frisbee proved to be not only rideable, but able to compete in lower-level dressage. His greatest achievement was that of Reserve Champion First Level at Regionals in 2015. This is in spite of being blindsided by the occurrence of an ethmoid hematoma (benign tumor) in his sinus in 2008 necessitating surgical removal. The stress and frequent treatment continued through 2011. This guy has proven to be not only a champion but a stalwart survivor.

A side note: we have a non-profit organization on our property (The Garden of the Sleeping Angels), serving families who have lost babies and children. Although Frisbee has never been an exceptionally warm horse, he has proven to be a true ambassador for our mission.  He has shown amazing sensitivity and awareness to those enduring the death of an unborn baby.  A beautiful example of this was his gesture of love when he put his head over a bereaving woman’s shoulder and held her to him.  She reports to this day that his tenderness helped lessen the extreme heart pain she’d tried to cope with since her loss.

So on July 23, 2022, with indescribable gratitude, joy, and celebration I rode a Century Club ride freestyle to the jazz brass version of Barbara Ann with my heart horse and friend, Frisbee.

Thank you to judge Sue Vikstrom who awarded us a percentage score of 81.33 with the comment, “I honor you and your Frisbee!!”