HI---I know exactly what you mean about the loss of a dear horse friend. It's a devastating loss, but the memories are beyond measure.
There's lots of bad press out there about Arabian horses, and most of it is from people who have neither owned, known, or loved one. Like any animal, you get what you give, what you put into the relationship is what you get back, and I sure get tired of people hassling me about my favorite breed. They're beautiful, intelligent, loyal and loving, and FAR more so than most people you'll ever know. I just got my beloved mare, Sassy, back and she showed me once again why I absolutely adore her very hoof-prints.
I had rescued Sassy from an idiot owner who wanted to destroy her. She had been starved to the point of emaciation, but she was pregnant, due to foal any minute and while her corral-mate was up for sale, the people who owned her wanted her to foal, then breed her back immediately and sell her as a 3-in-one package (one mare, 2 colts= 3-in-one pkg) Never mind that the poor horse was a skeleton and barely on her feet. In due course she foaled, but the little guy died after struggling 30 hours. Sass couldn't feed him, she was unbelieveably hungry herself, and the kid who owned her wanted to shoot her because "she's a bad mother". I grabbed his shirt and told him to get his damn hands off MY horse. That was 16 yrs. ago.
About 2 yrs ago, Sass hit 20 years old, which is reasonably old, so I sold her to the neighbor girl thinking she would have a soft retirement in the hands of a 12-yr-old girl who had serious Horse Fever and desperately wanted a good horse to learn on. Sass was only a couple houses down from my place, so I could see her every day. She was well looked after, until the girl discovered boys and hormones, then Sass went by side. The girl's mother called, made arrangements for me to take her back again, nice and tidy. Two days later the girl threw a king-sized hissy, ordered??!! her mother to get HER horse back again, and meek little mom came and got Sassy. (since when do kids order parents around? not in my world!!)
For the next two months, Sass was dazed. She thought she'd done something INCREDIBLY, HORRIBLY bad, but couldn't figure out what. She'd been as good a horse as she knew how to be, she was back home with me and her daughter, Sky, and was happy just being home again. But now she was away and miserable, and in her mind, she bore the blame for something she understand, but she knew she had to have been really bad. She wouldn't eat, she wouldn't drink much, she just stood and grieved over a mistake she must have made, else she wouldn't have sent away from home.
She dropped from 800 lbs. (she's a fairly petite, delicately built horse, so 800 is a good weight for her) down to about 675---a rack of bones. The folks thought her teeth were bad (can happen w/ older horses) and that she need vet care. They bought special food, pampered her this way and that and the poor old girl just didn't care. In her mind she'd been unforgiveably bad, so she wasn't going to live with the shame she felt.
One Saturday the Mom wanted to go riding, so I picked her up w/ my truck & trailer and off we went. When we came back, Sassy was absolutely SURE beyond all measure that I"d come to get her. When (new) "Mom" didn't load her up into my trailer, Sass hung her head over her overflowing feed bin and just about cried out loud. All night she stood, her head drooped, her whole body dejected, and "Mom" finally said ENOUGH! in big red letters. She wasn't about to watch that poor old horse die of sorrow and she ripped into her daughter.
About 10:00 a.m. the next morning, here comes Mom, Daughter and a dejected old mare, sure she was never going to be "home" again. I watched from my front window and from their house to mine, Sassy moped and hung back and didn't really want to walk down the road, but obedience is in her very bones, so she came along. When they turned into my driveway, that sweet old girl perked her ears, her eyes lit up and she hoped things were going to be better. SHE WAS HOME! She nickered and talked and rubbed and loved on me as hard as she could to say she was so glad to be here, so sorry for whatever she'd done wrong, and please, could she come home forever????
Well, that was a month ago. The Old Girl is back home and being treated to every delight I can think of. She's gained a good 50 lbs. and while she's not hale and hearty yet, she's well on her way. (and only just a teensy-weensy teen-ninesy bit spoiled--just a smidgen, y'know!!)Today we went for a little ride together, just Me-n-Sass, like the old days, and y'know, there were two old ladies who were incredibly happy this morning. We managed to do a little gallop together, we climbed a couple small hills (she's part mountain goat, I swear) and we were just us, the way it's always been between. She's not ready for a whole lot of work yet, at 23 (that's about 85 in people years) it takes a while to come back to full capacity, but she knows now she's really, really REALLY home for good and she can still work and do good things for me just like the "old days" when we both were young and sassy. Neither of us can barrel race any more, we can't race down the road at 35 mph (had her clocked out one time) and we can't climb the mountains quite like we used to but by golly we'll ride until one of us drops, and be grateful for a true friend. She's HOME, that's all that matters. ger ran into some difficulty.
PM: I am so grateful for your help here to ensure that Anne's message reached me. With your permission, I would like to see if I can post it this week to my site.
Anne, I am so touched that you too the time to share such a beautiful story told from the heart. This also resonates with me about how people (and horses) need to be not only loved, but loved well. Your message is one of healing to me and while I never saw it in my blogger chute, I shall surely post it.
Blessings to you and to PM!
The problem occurred when Bloger couldn't accept the length. I tried to manually paste it in, but it exceeded 4,096 characters and was rejected. Let me see what else can be done.
Thank you Michael for your kind words and interest in posting this for Anne.
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