It seems that we lost so many great friends in 2008, so I decided to start an "In Memoriam" thread. Feel free to add your own tributes.
I will begin.
In loving memory of Chutney
March 7, 1977 - November 8, 2008
Chutney crossed the Rainbow Bridge at the age of 31 years, 8 months. She was a beautiful, regal Kentucky thoroughbred. She owned me for 23 wonderful years.
Some of you may know Chutney from "Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover's Soul" or from my own books. And some of you may have been fortunate enough to have met her. Chutney was a beautiful soul who touched everyone who knew her.
She lived a long and fulfilling life, excelling in hunters, dressage, and eventing...enjoying trail rides through the woods...spending her golden years relishing retirement...and spending her last months pampered at a beautiful farm with her own grass field and an apple tree, enjoying her favorite treat, oatmeal creme pie cakes.
Chutney is now running in endless green fields with her friend Thistle, alongside the likes of her grandfather, Nashua, and the great Barbaro. And I know she will always be with me.
Run free, beautiful friend.
In loving memory of Chutney (1977 - 2008)
My newest book, "Sandsablaze," to be released in the summer of '14
This spring we lost our beloved Stella shortly after giving birth to a giant stillborn full term Sagnol filly. Stella was the perfect mare, with never a pushy moment in her life or a lapse in manners. She was the #7 KWPN mare in N America and as beautiful as the rare lily that she was named after.
RIP Stella de Oro and your perfect filly
filly April 4, 2008- April 4, 2008
A gentle giant of epic proportions, Dan The Man was (still hard to say that in past tense) truly the horse of my dreams. He was a stakes winner, a champ in the hunter ring, and then a dressage schoolmaster.
But above all else, he was my friend, my partner, and my guardian.
He loved grass, food of any kind, and pretty young fillies! He loved to hack out and lived for brisk trots and fun canters around the pasture track and through the fields. He was kind enough to tolerate my toddler, and was the first horse my husband truly took a liking too. He was part of our family.
He was a stoic, tough horse who surprised his humans time and again by coming back from the brink of difficult circumstances. Even at the end I selfishly hoped he had one more rally left, and I know he tried his heart out, but it was his time to go. He was the epitome of grace, and confidence.
Dan showed me what it was like to ride a 10 mover, and to jump a horse that could knock me out of the tack. Hands down the nicest horse I've ever sat on, and probably ever will.
He reminded me that it was ok to trust a horse, and that riding could be fun again. He renewed my faith in horses, and in humans.
I am forever grateful to EqT for having shared him with me, and I am blessed, to have been loved by such a truly great horse.
Specific dates unknown...crossed in late October, 2008.
Kilo was one of those unpapered, plucky lesson barn QH ponies who taught many a rider in his day, and over the years got passed from owner to owner, finally ending up boarded in our barn by his last owner. Every vetting would age him further, and we never really knew how old he was. Finally, arthritis and the effects of multiple founders earlier in his life made it too painful for him to stay with us, and he was humanely euthanized late this fall.
He was loved deeply by his owner, and he's missed greatly by us all.
So if you see a gamer of a little QH zipping around on the other side, send Kilo our love!
Ebony, my beautiful friend, i met her the day she was born and she was our horse for 20 years, everyone who met her thought she was stunning.
But to me it was her gentle soul, she was a good friend to all horses she met, a benevolent alpha mare who welcomed new horses, showed them the ropes of the pasture politics and cut them a break if they messed up.
Ebony was unsound for riding for most of her life, but her great spirit and even temperment made her invaluable to us.
Over the years, she fought on through several illnesses and calamities, she was stoic and accepted treament with dignity and resiliance, on her last day though she said she had enough, so we ended it for her on a stormy night
this past spring, my husband and i holding her and loving her.
She is missed by all her human and horse friends.
- one horse, Feather, a rescue that we managed to fatten up but could never make comfortable (had foundered many times in the past). Euthanized.
- one dear sweet baby llama, Llama Bean, who was a surprise (we didn't know the mama llama was pregnant when we got her) and a delight in her short time on earth. Died of unknown causes at 5-1/2 months old
- three dogs, Melody, Poppy and Dally... Poppy died of parvo before her full shot sequence was completed. Melody and Dally let's just say misadventure. Too painful and fresh to go into.
- four barn kitties, Simon, Tootsie, Flame Boy and Tux (to predators)
Farm life can be hard for people and critters alike. To a better 2009 for everyone!
Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf
Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?
The horse your lucky to find. Contrary, ornery, but always, and I mean always, a lady. Bought her as a 5 year old and kept her with me until she passed this past September at the age of 28. Twenty-three years wasn't enough. I could have done 23 more.
She taught me more about riding, compromising and learning to get along than any horse I ever owned before or will ever own again. Being tossed around before I got her she lost her trust in people early on, but took care of me on more than one occasion and I always got a big whinny of greeting in the anticipation of the carrot/apple/treat I carried. I always knew when she was happy because she would ignore me most of the time unless I had a treat or scrached her in her favorite spots. When she was hurt or had something wrong she would start hrmp, hrmp, hrmping me as soon as I came into sight to tell me her woes and her faith in me to make things better never failed to warm me from the inside out.
When I got the youngsters to replace her as she aged she quickly became the 'perfect horse'. When I needed calm and steadiness I would grab her out of the pasture and just enjoy her quiet and well behaved companionship as I brushed and groomed without a fuss. It would shore me up to go back to dealing with the youngsters whose only crime was that they were young, and that alone made me appreciate her more. She taught them as much as she taught me about being a well behaved horse and I can now rely on them for the same steadiness and calm.
I miss her, will always miss her, and she will never be forgotten.
-A few barn kitties...Elmo, Feather Duster, and Louise.
-Norad....a horse that one of Team CEO's clients lost this year to a broken leg. She purchased him with some "issues" and worked sooo long and hard to get him to where he was before his death. He was an incredibly sweet horse and would have anything for her.
-My corgi, Roxie, who died of liver cancer.
-And my Daddy, who decided he wanted to go to the greater place in the sky...much too soon.
In memory of the Great Gray Mare, "Katies Jet Chase" -- aka, Katie, Kmart, K, big cow and St Katie.
I know you still regret zigging when you should have zagged, and Blosem is so so sorry to have hurt you beyond repair. I miss your big white face every day. Thanks for sending Largo my way, now you need to send me the courage and confidence to deal with her, and her the patience and restraint to deal with me. Granddaughter Lily misses you too and I deeply regret that I won't see you packing her over her first tiny fences because I know she'd have the nerve to jump that I lack. I will never forget the look on your face that said "You owe me BIG for this" as she dragged the stool over to be able to groom your tall places and you didn't twitch a muscle while she was next to you...just glanced back and forth between her and I, so I would know that you were being oh so careful. I hope you're stuffing yourself with grass and dandelions on the other side and trading stories with Teddy, for you two must have crossed the bridge at nearly the same time of day. More people knew his name than yours, but I'm sure that doesn't matter to you, you'll befriend him anyhow as long as he minds his manners. The barn girls miss you and Pacman points out that he was an excellent boy toting me around after you left, so you should cut him some slack. Namaste' Wind Singer. May your spirit ever guide me.
Hugs to Sasha too, though it's been a year now....and Woody and Trapper. Even Dynamo. Can't believe I'm dogless....
My own Genuine Risk, approximately 1 year old, a calico barn cat with white socks and a "blaze." I named her for the great Derby winner, the first individual horse I ever fell in love with in childhood.
Jenny and her black sister Ruffian were rescue kittens late spring 2007. They were sweet and sociable with everyone, utterly beautiful, and Ruffian especially defied her name and never saw a stranger. This was, I think, her downfall. One day, the kittens were gone. They never wandered off and were totally bonded to me and the place, would accompany me on fence walks but never left the region of the house/barn unless following a person. I looked, called, walked the perimeter, walked the road - no kittens. Mom reported that she had heard a car stop that afternoon, which might or might not have been reality. Jenny returned alone 36 hours later absolutely shell shocked. She was exhausted, hungry, thirsty, and footsore. I never saw Ruffian again.
Jenny was never the same after the loss of her sister. Formerly friendly, she now disliked people and would hiss at strangers and arch up at them. She wasn't afraid of the outdoors at all, but people set her off. She still loved me and would stay close, but all her sociability was gone. She never went looking for Ruffian; I actually tried to get her to "lead" me off the property, but she wasn't interested in going anywhere. I moved her into the house to physically recover until she told me some time later that she most definitely wanted back out.
She was a fine hunter and a good barn cat. She always loved the horses, would go into the pasture to admire them while staying carefully out of the way. She would still always accompany me on fence walks. I noted the passing of her namesake this year, but my Jenny was doing progressively better, it seemed. And in the last week, the tension finally left her, she no longer spooked at the sound of every car, and she seemed much more at peace. Her last day, she "helped" me with a bonfire, toasting while never getting too close and supervising.
The next morning, I found her in the front yard, curled up just like she went to sleep. There was not a mark or wound on her. Totally curled and resting. She wasn't more than a year old, but at least I know she was happy her last days, and she finally had found the peace she lost.
To both Genuine Risks, the horse and the barn cat, happy gallops and hunting over the bridge. And maybe, at last, Jenny will be reunited with her inseparable companion, Ruffian.
I haven't really 'talked' about it, but on October 30 I had to put down our wonderpony. Farnley Catena, a.k.a. "Angel" was the the perfect pony in so many ways.
She was exactly the pony you would make for a child if you could. She was kind and gentle, but never pushy. She was tolerant with her kids on the ground and in the saddle. I don't think she ever even had an unpleasant thought, and she certainly didn't have a mean hair on her body. She would do anything her child asked her to do - but they had to ask. She wasn't a robot. She was totally trustworthy in any situation. I've never known a pony that was so close to being a saint. We were so lucky to own her and I was honored to care for her until the end....
I'd like to remember two Saddlebred trainers from the Midwest who passed this year.
Tony Ray and Monty Wallen - we will miss you.
Let's not also forget Marty Mueller. The saddlebred world lost some great people this year.
I miss my old school horse Magic every day. Registerd as Night Ruler in the saddlebred registry, he was 24 when I put him down in August. he had Cushings which was being managed but he just lost control of his hind end suddenly. He was a grand old boy who never knew how old he was and he left this world as a winner having carried a student to the blues just a few weeks prior to dying.
Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts. Bernard M. Baruch
My beautiful roan Standardbred mare, Samantha (Broadway Illusion) was released from her pain in June after a long battle with EPM. She joined my old TB gelding Flynn (who passed 10 years ago) to wait at the Bridge for me along with the other pets I have loved and lost in my life.
Sam was a lover and a fighter, having survived abuse and starvation in her early life. She was the gentle "den mom" to me, my kids, and every other horse/pony on the property... and yet the wild geldings wouldn't dare to push her around in their rough play
The barn is full of horses, with 3 of them in my life, yet there is still such an empty spot left both there and in my heart by Sam's passing.
I just want to say that I really appreciated everyone's support here, far more than I can ever express.
Legacy Lady, aka Leah
Standardbred mare age 28. Died after getting hit by a car at her retirement home in Late April. For several years she was a demo horse for the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Org of MA so if you went to EA in Springfield you may have seen her in the breed pavallion, the kids area for a breed spotlight, or the standardbred demo. Other places we performed demos: Saratoga, Plainridge Racetrack, Farm City Festival, to name a few...
She was very loved and her family still cries over her passing. RIP beautiful girl.
Rescued donkey, unknown age.
Purchased for a measley dollar from a foreclosure auction in terrible condition. She rated a body score of about 1.5. We put her down in Oct a fat and sassy girl but her legs were failing her and she could no longer rise without struggle.
She inspired me to never give up 'Hope'. RIP old wise lady, my rose bushes miss your pruning technique.
2008 was a hard year for us too - we lost 3 horses in 3 months at the beginning of the year.
First we lost a friend's dear hunter Rocky, at the age of 30. He'd lived with us for many, many years. We always joked that he had more lives than a cat - survived a tendon problem, major colic surgery, heat issues . . . only to suddenly go blind (probably from a tumor).
Then we lost Garth. He wasn't mine either, but he meant the world to his owners and so many other people. Garth was my horse Comet's pasture buddy for 2 years before my barn was completed. One morning he couldn't get up in his stall - it was like his hind legs were paralyzed.
The hardest for me was the loss of my beloved Comet after 22 years together. He was the most wonderful, frustrating, talented horse I'd ever ridden. In his prime he carried me over jumps that scared the pants off me. In his old age he'd still run off with me if the mood struck him. I knew he was 28. I knew the time would come. Still I agonized over how I'd know. We fought against his metobolic issues for months. One morning he looked at me, and I knew he was telling me to let him go. Making that call was the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm not sure how I'd have gotten through it without everyone on this forum.
A few nights after I lost Comet I had a dream that he was grazing in a huge field with Rocky & Garth. It's comforting to think of them together.
~ A true friend knows all there is to know about you and still likes you. -E. Hubbard