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12 Western & English Today PUBLISHER'S forum KRISTI BEEM/FINAL TOUCH MR 3767 DEBI LYNN D E S I G N S D by Debi Lynn debilynndesigns.com • (281)861-9292 over fences, late in her pregnancy, with such bold moves it lef me breathless. Lynn was not only a tough taskmaster; she was a fearless rider who fused with her horse into one f uid being, and she intimidated the bejooses outa me. But she, too, I would learn, had a sof spot for April. Anyway, as my 20 stable charges would of en have to stand in stalls between lessons during the day, my habit was to turn them out to pasture at night for a bit of freedom. T e South Pasture had been declared of -limits by Lynn, as unbeknownst to us, one of the part- time summer counselors — unnamed here to protect the guilty party of decades yore — had been growing a prolif c marijuana crop there, and it was not determined that was fact until the next day's morning saddle-up came about, and all 20 horses on my string (who had happily munched down his entire f eld) were on the DL. T inking proactively (so I thought), I decided to turn my charges out on the upper cross-country course. It was frequently mowed, so went my thinking, and there was no danger of illicit part-time-counselor crops towering above an inch or three. I groom and clean my charges, and lead them up two by two to the upper course in the encroaching dusk. T e grass is fat, fragrant, verdant. Champagne-bubble stars sparkle above. T e horses saunter of . I stride down the hill to clean up the barn, and shortly, Lynn peers in to check on my lock-down: "Where did you pasture the horses?" she inquires. "Why, the cross-country course," I reply, only to see the fright in her eyes. "No, no, you can't let her go there," says Lynn. "We have to go get her right now. She will kill herself." I had no idea what Lynn meant, as I trail my f t-but-hugely- pregnant boss, breathlessly running up the hill to the upper meadow. Lynn is frantic, crying, screaming at me. But then she stops, as if mesmerized, as April, eyes f ashing, takes each jump she comes to … tail f ying, nostrils f aring. Over and over and over, clearing each one with ease, obviously hearing the Madison Gardens applause roaring in her ears; playing to crowds that only she can hear. Lynn runs pell-mell out onto the course and croons to her — some secret song known only to the two of them — and April halts, whickers and comes to Lynn, burying her nose on Lynn's pregnant belly, as I stand, humbled, at a respectful distance. We walk April back — the other horses would be f ne up there on the cross-country course, she tells me — rub her down and water her. Lynn is trembling, livid. She weeps as she massages the old mare's legs. "Don't ever do that again," she fumes. T ose are the only words she spoke to me af er our return to the barn. I see now that her anger was only to disguise her fear. April taught me a life lesson there, about dancing in the moonlight: Do what you do best, and love it. Do it for pure joy! Dance until you ache! Do it as long as you can! T at's where passion spawns, and where it lives forever. And when you touch it, the way April nosed Lynn's pregnant belly that night under the stars, you teach others how to dance in the moonlight. Here's hoping 2015 is your best year ever. Susan L. Ebert, Associate Publisher & Editor sebert@wetoday.com

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