Conversations with Customers: Meet Sarah

Conversations with Customers: Meet Sarah

Published by Caracol By Elizabeth Paul on 7th Jul 2020

Name: Sarah

Location: Monroe, West Virginia

Occupation(s): Teacher, Retail Salesclerk, Photographer, Newspaper Reporter, Direct Selling, Retired.

What is your favorite horse breed?

American Saddlebred

Who bought you your first horse?

I bought a Morgan horse with my own money when I was five. We raised sheep when I was little. If we had an ewe who died or could not nurse her lamb, my dad gave them to me to raise on a bottle. When we sold them, he gave me the money from the ones I fed. I saved the money and bought Blaze. He was an amazing horse. You could do anything with him. I rode him everywhere with and without a saddle! We loved taking Sunday afternoon rides with him in an old-fashioned buggy.

Have you won any awards?

Not showing horses. I have won lots of ribbons, but only two blues. I did win Reserve Grand Champion in a specialty show in Philadelphia with one of the Norwegian Elkhounds I raised.

Do you still have horses?

Yes, I have three Saddlebreds, all of which I raised. One that I used to show, one that is the only horse I ever trained all by myself, and her daughter. There are lots of other horses (mostly quarter horses) currently on my place, as my big barn is being leased for lessons.

What was your favorite horse show to compete in?

Shelbyville – they treated the participants so well.

What is your favorite breed of dog?

Shetland Sheep Dog. I’ve had several different breeds over the years, but once I had a Sheltie, “I never wanted to go back”, as they say. I’ve been blessed with two. My first one was Ginger, who was truly the world’s best dog! She traveled with me everywhere and made many appearances to my classroom. She was a certified emotional support dog. She died a little over a year ago, and I bought another Sheltie puppy right away, as my house and heart was empty without her. Zorro is a beautiful tri-color Sheltie who has quite a different personality from Ginger but is also very well behaved. Zorro is so full of energy and attention seeking. He keeps me busy playing fetch (he could literally do this 24/7) which is good for us both, since I am now retired! Ginger was laid back and demanded nothing, always practicing unconditional love and wanting to please me. I try every day to be the person that Ginger thought I was.

What is your favorite horseshow to attend as a spectator?

Blowing Rock. It’s all during the day, beautiful setting, is so laid back and relaxed, and great exhibitors’ party every afternoon.

What is your favorite horse show to shop?

Definitely Louisville! I’ve been for 30 straight years! I save all year to “binge” shop there. My favorite vendor is Caracol Silver. Everything they have is such high quality and unique. Plus, they are so helpful and accommodating to their customers. I’ve lost track of how many items I have, from hats, purses, necklaces, pendants, earrings, rings, vests, sweaters, shirts – I have some of everything. I get compliments all the time when I am wearing something (often several things) from Caracol and those offering the compliments are often surprised when I tell them I purchased the items at a horse show!

What is your favorite beverage?

I’m a wine lover, especially red wines. My nephews bought a vineyard a few years ago – Chester Gap Cellars, located in Front Royal, VA. They produce awesome wine, both red and white varieties. I do buy other wines, but they are my favorites. Their Cabernet Franc 2017 just won the Governors Gold Award.

Did you talk about your horses with your students?

My students were always well informed about my horses. They saw many videos over the years. For several years, my students were treated to a yearly field trip to my farm, Irish Hills Stables. They not only learned about the care and feeding of horses, saw several of the horses being groomed, tacked up and ridden, but got to groom on a Shetland pony and go for pony rides (all with the necessary parental permission of course). It was a yearly highlight for them and for me. I loved sharing my passion for horses with them.

Do you think it would benefit students to have an extracurricular activity involving horses?

Definitely! It was fantastic for me growing up. I found it was also great for my stepdaughter and her friends. Horses kept her busy and she was never bored. She was always outside at our stables doing something “horsey”, and her friends were often here doing it with her. She learned so much about the value of hard work and responsibility. Showing horses taught her that it is not about winning but doing your best. She quickly learned that winning a blue ribbon was not the most important thing. I think the aspect of her showing that I loved the most, was seeing her being a great sport and cheering for others, even when they were showing against her. Horses are great therapy and help provide an inner calmness to those who love them. They truly are spirit animals and have helped me through many hard times.

Do you have a horse show on your bucket list?

I have been to the Devon horse show many years ago but would love to go back again. The Grand Prix at the Kentucky Horse Park is on my list, too.

What is your funniest or worst or most memorable memory at a horseshow?

There are many!! Once my horse reared up and I came off landing on my feet. I scrambled back on and completed the class. It all happened in the blink of an eye! It was a pleasure class and I should have been disqualified but ended up with the second-place ribbon. I’ve had quite a few not so pleasant ones, but let’s go with my favorite memory. I first attended the World’s Championship Horse Show at the KY State Fair in 1990 and had always dreamed of showing there. My dream came true in 1993. I showed in Five Gaited Show Pleasure. We didn’t place, but it was a dream come true. My sweet horse, Quasar, didn’t make any mistakes and I was so proud of him. The thrill of coming down that ramp and showing on the green sawdust is one I will never forget! I showed a couple of times after that in Louisville, but those are memories best forgotten – lol.

If you could go anywhere on a horse adventure where would that be?

I’ve seen some beautiful photos of horseback riding in Ireland that look like fun. I’d, also, love to go back to San Francisco, Mexico (better known as San Pancho) to ride horses again. I was there several years ago and got to ride through the surf in the Pacific Ocean which was an item on my bucket list. Would love to do it again!!!

What is your favorite Caracol Piece?

Now this is a really tough one for me. I love them all, so I’ll try to pick one from each category that I own.

Bracelet – Sterling Silver Cleopatra Hinged Cuff, it goes with everything, is a statement piece and fits great.

Earrings – I bought them at the horse show in Blowing Rock. They are dangle earrings with a large turquoise stone and a small orange turquoise stone at the top.

Necklace –A 30-inch sterling silver Navajo-made chain that has the most unique links I have ever seen.

Pendant – A large horseshoe with little starbursts and a purple stone.

Handbag – M&R Moda in Pelle Italian Leather Convertible Handbag (no, it’s not for a car, but it converts into a backpack!!) Mine is red. I love it!!! It’s so great when you are shopping and want to be hands free!

Apparel – Turquoise leather shawl with fringe!! It’s awesome and so soft!

Hats – I only have five, lol. The one I wear most often is the Soaker in a sand color. It is very versatile and works year-round.

Rings – A very simple sterling ring that is shaped like a horseshoe with the end of a horseshoe nail completing the circle, very comfortable and fun to wear!

What do you like about seeing Elizabeth and Paul at an event?

Elizabeth and Paul have become friends over the years of traveling to horse shows, so it is a pleasure to see them. They are always so welcoming and excited to see you. They never make you feel like they are trying to sell you anything, but that they are more interested in spending time with you! I look forward to any event where Caracol Silver is set up, for the awesome shopping, but especially for catching up with my friends Elizabeth and Paul.