Frosted Sugar cookies
We knew Little One and Bertha before they became “our” horses. We knew them, in fact, before we became horse people. You see, these were my sister-in-law’s favorite, most dependable horses.
They were the ones you’d throw your beginners on because they’d put up with people kicking their sides to tell them to walk forward at the same time as pulling back on the reins, effectively sending the “don’t walk” signal.
Some horses, like our personal mare, Lucy (depicted above!), have no tolerance for beginners. Bertha and Little One, however, tolerate and cooperate through it all.
So my husband and I spent many Christmas vacations at my sister-in-law’s house riding her horses through her snowy Connecticut woods and when the day came that my husband and I purchased a farm and were ready for horses of our own, we asked my sister-in-law if we could have Bertha and Little One. I know that’s a shocking statement – asking her to give us her two horses – but she had offered to give us two horses of her herd, so we figured why not put in a request?
We ended up with Cinco, who is Bertha’s son and Little One’s grandson, and an unrelated mare, Lucy. Cinco inherited his mom’s gentle and caring attitude. Lucy is 180 degrees opposite of those three horses and provides a constant source of personality around our farm. That isn’t to say that she doesn’t care for us – she absolutely does. She just doesn’t’ tolerate fools (that’s the Arabian in her).
I mentioned at the beginning of this post that Little One and Bertha were to eventually become our horses. Due to a series of unfortunate events, my sister in law was forced to leave Bertha and Little One here on our farm in South Carolina (a long hike from Connecticut!) this past January. She said she’d be back in a month or two to pick them up. We, however, had the luxury of keeping them for almost a full year, saying goodbye to them just a few weeks ago.
My husband and I are new riders – having dipped our toes into the sport just 2.5 years ago. We’ve each had exactly 2 horseback riding lessons and the rest we’ve learned from trial and error and Youtube. But did you know that a well-experienced horse can be an amazing teacher as well? Knowing that Bertha and Little One behaved only in full understanding that there’s a human upon their backs (a quality not yet learned in my Cinco who came to me unbroke and a quality Lucy does not desire to learn ) gave us the ability to try things while riding that we wouldn’t have had the courage to try on our own horses. Bertha and Little One taught us how to canter, cross streams and wade in water, and even jump logs in the forest. They gave us the confidence to trust the horse beneath us and our horsemanship grew 10-fold in their time with us.
When it came time for them to return home, we knew it was best for them. We were super sad to see them go but understand that their time with us was a gift.
I had a lot of fun decorating these cookies in the likeness of our herd. These cookies stay true to their shape when baking and the dough can withstand lots of rolls and re-rolls!
Sugar Cookies (from Annie’s Eats)
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 ½ tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 ½ cups sifted flour
- Cream butter in your mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar. Mix thoroughly.
- Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour.
- Turn dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and cover tightly. Chill dough until firm, at least an hour.
- Roll dough to ¼” thickness on well-floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 min. Cookies should not brown.