We'll Miss Sabrina
Letter from Nick Warhol to Andi Schreibman
(webmaster comments: ok, this isn't a ride story but the content is so rich with club nostalgia I think it counts!)

My sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved.  There isn't much to say except to try and remember her through who she was, and what she did.   I have a few Sabrina stories that I remember that I'll share with everyone.

Chapter one – the sore knee.

Way back when, in something like 1992, we were on a club ride at Grant Ranch with about 8 riders or so.  I was on the old man Rowan (who was a sprite 18 or something back then) and was having a fun time, since that was the first time many of us had been at Grant Ranch.  We were all walking along when someone decided it was time to trot.  Andi and Sabrina were leading the group, or maybe were the second horse.  At any rate, once the pace picked up, Sabrina decided it was time to go!  And I mean go, right now!  She kicked up her heels to take off at a run and inadvertently whacked Rowie and me with one of those rear feet.   Her hoof glanced of my knee and just caught Rowan in the soft part of his chest.  What I remember was what Andi looked like when Sabrina took off-  She almost came off the back of the horse, the acceleration was so quick.  When Andi got her slowed down (just a few seconds), she looked back and smiling, said something like  "Whoa! That was exciting!"

Chapter two – the turkey rodeo.

We were on the infamous first club ride and tick fest (another story)  at Lake Sonoma, maybe 1995?  It was a small ride, only me, Judy, Andi, and Susan D.  We were walking along in the beautiful green grass single track trails above the lake, all four horses just taking it easy in the beautiful surroundings.  You know the scene- sun shining, birds singing, blue lake water glistening, trees swaying with a cool breeze,  just perfect stuff.  I was leading the ride on Marilyn's horse Centur when suddenly, out of nowhere, a wild turkey comes flapping out of the long grass, just a few inches from the trail.  If you have never seen one of these things take off, it is not the most graceful display of flying you have ever witnessed. Nosiree, not a falcon taking off here.  Noisy, flapping,  squawking, wings flapping, just plain noisy!  All four horses decided it was rodeo time. Centur was pretty cool- once he did one big jump, he relaxed, being the cool, savvy trail horse he is.  Not Sabrina, though.  I remember watching Andi, thinking, "oh man, she's done for."  Sabrina was bucking, and jumping, big time, with Andi hanging on for dear life. What I remember the most were Andi's legs, bending back at the knee with each buck, just like those cowboy dudes on the pro rodeo circuit.  After a few moments, and well longer than the required 7 seconds or whatever the rodeo's make you stay on, Andi got Sabrina calmed down.  The white horse stood there, breathing hard with her nostrils flaring, while Andi regained her balance.  I think what Andi said was something like:  "Whoa! That was exciting!" (Actually, it was Indy Nick was thinking of, but the story's great anyway!)

Chapter three – the beach dump.

Andi mentioned when she fell off Sabrina on the beach at Big Basin – I was right there, behind her, and watched the whole thing.  She is correct in her description. She was running along when Sabrina saw the seaweed and sort of teleported to the left, leaving Andi in this flying trajectory, still going forward.  There's that physics thing again.  So here's Andi flying along in the air, with Sabrina still running along next to her.  It would have made a great video.  Andi went whump in the sand, Sabrina stopped and came over. Andi stood up, brushed herself off, hopped back up on the horse, looked at us, and said something like: "Whoa!  That was exciting!"

Chapter four – the big jig.

Andi's right about that jig, it was at Big Basin that Sabrina probably set the club jig record.  20 plus miles of non-stop jigging.  But they would just keep going, all bouncy up and down.  At the end of the ride, after several hours, I seem to recall Andi taking Sabrina back out on the trail for a few minutes to see if she would stop jigging.  That was one of those early examples of people doing what they could to improve their relationship with her horse.

And now that I think about it, I think that if Warpaint and Sabrina ever had a jig off contest, you could have hooked the pair to a generator and power Livermore for a month.

Chapter five – the big walk.

I got to know Sabrina pretty well, since I spent a few hours with her, not on her back, but by her side.  We were on a ride up to Rose Peak from Sunol, a long and very steep climbing ride for those who are not familiar with the area.  We got almost to the top, but Andi was worried that Sabrina was not acting right.  She felt a little funny, so rather than chance it, we turned around and headed down.  I volunteered to lead Sabrina back down the mountain, since I like to hike, and was training for some crazy bicycle event somewhere.  Andi rode the old man Rowan back down the mountain while Sabrina and I walked all the way back down.  Sabrina and I spoke of many things on the way back down the mountain, you know how it is when you are with a horse for a long time.  She was a little under the weather when we headed down, but by the time we got to the bottom, she was dragging me all the way down the road.  She had walked herself out of whatever was making her uncomfortable.

Sabrina and Andi were always at the rides – there were many years of Big Basins, Jack Brooks, Point Reyes, Mt Diablo, Sunol, Johnny's pond, Redwood park, all the great places to ride.  Don't worry, Andi.  Sabrina is still there, riding on all those wonderful trails with you.  Godspeed, Sabrina.

Nick