|Reed’s Fancy Lady 1986 – 2000
by owners, Laura Algranti & Nancy Nard
In July 2000, at age 14, Fancy Lady passed away suddenly and shockingly from acute, rapid onset enteritis, reminding us how truly fragile these horses are and that we should never take for granted the blessing of their presence in our lives.
Fancy was born in 1986, at the Colorado farm of Everett Reed. Her sire, Reed’s Gallant Star, was sired by Gallant King (Flyhawk x Jubilee King daughter). Gallant Star was out of Cornwallis Pat, whose own outrageously beautiful head was inherited by Fancy. Fancy’s dam was Yola, a double granddaughter of Cornwallis. We first saw Fancy in October 1988, while visiting Mr. Reed to meet Gallant King. We were impressed with Gallant King and his son Gallant Star as well as the mare Yola. Fancy was a well-matured 2-year-old and truly named—she was indeed fancy.
She came to live with us by late November of that year and was always an easy horse to get along with. I can’t claim that I actually trained her. She just always did what I wanted with very little explanation. She was light and sensitive, perhaps too sensitive as two friends whom I let ride her just could not get in tune with her and it did not work well at all. But she and I seemed to fit from the start and it remained that way. At one point, when I had the opportunity to ride her often and regularly, she was working off a neck rope for the most part with only the occasional reminder from reins. She had a mouth conformation that made a snaffle bit uncomfortable for her but did nicely with a mullen mouth but did much better riding with a Natural Horsemanship style rope halter.
She also demonstrated the importance of equine chiropractry, correct saddle fit and equine dentistry. The first time I ever saddled her and carefully cinched her up, she fell down. When it happened again, I asked around and was told she was holding her breath until she fainted. I worked around that by giving her a treat to eat while cinching as she could not hold her breath and chew at the same time. It was years later that I finally was able to get a good vet/chiro up here to check her over. Various problems were found and the necessary adjustments were made and Fancy was much happier, although I still fed treats while cinching as it was now a habit and Fancy would shake her head up and down and let her lower lip flap to remind me of the deal. One day she told me the saddle hurt her as we headed down the driveway and she turned and bit at my leg. Fancy never, ever did anything like that so I knew something was really wrong. I got off and checked and saw that the saddle was too narrow and tight up front. A new saddle took care of that problem. The dentistry was a bit longer in the developing and solving. After many years of good riding, she developed a “glitch” in her rear end—never lame or anything to see—but I could feel that something was wrong. At a horse health seminar I learned about dentistry and how the last molars can cause hind end problems. Now I had to find a good dentist, which finally happened. He got into her mouth and did not emerge for some time as she indeed had some nasty problems back there. I did not have the chance to ride her for a month and when I did the glitch was gone. And she was wonderfully smooth gaited again, which also had been lost as she had become horribly rough gaited too. My Fancy Lady was truly back.
I will remember Fancy for the riding we did. I could ride alone or with others and she was equally great. She was always eager and responsive. One hot June day I found a new trail and took it. I got to a place where I could go back the way we came or find a way across a creek bed and be home shortly. We cast up and down, back and forth and were stymied by sheer vertical banks or impossible willow thickets. I could not find a way across the creek bed complex. Fancy never got antsy or irritated with me. She just kept trying. Finally I had to give up and go back the way we had come, and she eagerly galloped off towards home. She never quit and was always there for me. She was my best and most steady riding horse.
Fancy was bred twice and had two very nice foals for us. SSM Mountain Jazz is with Jeannie Talarico of Michigan. He has had some nice babies there and entertains Jeannie daily, bringing joy to her life. SSM Mountain Song is now owned by Sharleen and Steve Shields here in Southern California and is becoming quite the trail horse for Sharleen.
In late 1999, we were visiting Nancy Nard, Ragtime Morgans, Williams Arizona. She had a black weanling filly that was my horse although none of us knew it for awhile. And Nancy needed a good solid riding horse, as her favorite riding horse was pregnant. Also, Nancy appreciates the old bloodlines and solid breeding and would breed Fancy. So a trade was made—the filly came to me and Fancy went to Nancy. Fancy settled right in to her new home and, well, the rest is Nancy’s story now.
Fancy taught me many things and I appreciated her gentle, easy-going presence in my life. It could be said that her death was one of those awful, meaningless happenings, but it is meaningless only if no lessons come from it and I did learn from her passing. We were staying in Arizona for two weeks when I went to visit Nancy, only the day after Fancy’s death. I stayed the day and we talked and cried throughout the day. But later that week, I “saw” Fancy dancing over the mountains and plateaus of North Arizona. Fancy—your spirit dances with me and I shall not forget.
Laura S Algranti
Sunrise Song Morgans
When I entered into a trade with Laura Algranti for a pretty bay mare named Fancy- I was really blind at first to the really special gift Laura had bestowed upon me.
I am just getting back into riding after a many year hiatus due to bad knee problems- and I have to do many things like mount from a block. Now, Fancy did not like to stand still- but we had already bonded, she and I, and I had a half hour of making her understand STAND meant just that while I clambered aboard in not too graceful a manner. But we cleared that first hurdle and off we went.
To know Fancy was to love her- she smiled in everything she did. She had the happiest outlook on life of any horse I have ever met. Her attitude on the trail was “let’s go”- just a quick light step and a smile- a day with Fancy was a memory forever. Unfortunately those moments were all too fleeting. It is impossible yet for me to believe she is not there looking over that fence with those huge beautiful eyes- we tried valiantly to save her- but the onset of her distress was sudden and lethal. Her gut had completely shut down. The vet sad he had only had 3 cases in his life like hers- all fatal – but we had to try. We finally cried over her and said our goodbyes- releasing her from her final suffering and asking how and why. Ours never to know. But she left memories never to be forgotten- and, like Laura- I believe she will be waiting over some heavenly gate.
Nancy Nard, Ragtime Morgans