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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 7, 2007
    SE PA

    Default I think I am ready to do this now

    The world lost a wonderful horseman on September 2nd. He was my dad. He wasn't famous, or a trainer, or anything like that.

    My dad was the best horseman I ever knew, all biases aside. I will never know a fraction of the wisdom that went with him. He had a fundamental sense of horses - it's hard to explain, but you had to see it. Though he taught me that every day you learn something from your horses.

    He rode when he was young, did a little eventing, a little polo, and when we were kids, did some reining with his horse, and some lower lever dressage with my ottb.

    From wild thoroughbreds, who would be docile as kittens with him, to the "problem" horses, my father was, in the truest sense of the word, one with horses. In 47 years of my life, I never saw him strike, spur, or came close to losing his temper - he never had to- it was eerie.

    When I was a little girl, my first horse was an SPCA seizure with a then 45% survival chance. He had been chased into a disc plow(by a person), and had horrific injuries. With my father, and daily vet visits, he recovered to be my pony - we had years of fun, and when I look back at my childhood, it seems to be always through that pony's ears.
    We watched races together, and one day, back in 1973, after watching a race on tv, he turned to me, and said" I'll tell you something- those horses that came in last? You could probably go buy them for a dollar - and you'll have the most wonderful horse - there is nothing like the heart of a thoroughbred" On my 12th birthday, he made that dream come true for me- a 10 yr old who had raced 172 times, with an old bow and a HUGE heart. Dad and I rehabbed him together -I learned so much. It's funny, looking back now, my first two horses I could not ride for the first 6 months I had them. Maybe that was Dad's way of gently showing me the true worth of the horses.

    There are a few horses who would not have had the chance to live their lives if not for my dad- elsie, stoney, brandy, gidget.
    My dad was kind to all animals, but the horses, well that was something else.
    We cheered together for Riva Ridge, Red Rum, Seattle Slew, and all the others. We mourned and cried for Ruffian, Barbaro, and Go for Wand.
    Sometimes he would sit in on my lessons, and I remember him laughing and enjoying just being there - thanks - Torrance, Denis and Bill.
    He consoled me and we cried together when Tim passed last year - one year to the day before Dad.

    I hope someday to be half the horseman my dad was.

    Dad- I hear you with me, I see you in the eyes of my horses. I hope I will make you proud.

    Since I hadn't the strength to say this at the service, Dad, let me wish you:

    May the road rise to meet you,
    May the wind be always at your back,
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
    And, until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
    My big man - April 27, 1986 - September 04, 2008-
    You're with me every moment, my big red horse.

    Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting a battle of some kind.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Baltimore, MD


    Its obvious you know how fortunate you were to know someone like that, let alone have him as your father. I imagine his lessons were not lost on you and you can carry on his work into the next generation. Thanks for sharing him with us, godspeed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2004
    Rolling hills of Virginny


    Brandy, he sounds like a wonderful man, and I know you feel extremely blessed to have had him as your father.

    My deepest condolences and prayers of peace for you.

    God apparently needed your father to look after all the horses waiting for their owners at the Bridge.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It was beautiful, and showed the love you have for this amazing man.
    Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2005
    WA state


    Brandy76- Your father sounds like a wonderful man and horseman. I am so sorry for your loss.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 27, 2006


    Brandy76 Your words show the love in your heart, and have moved me to tears. Condolences to you and your family.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2008


    Brandy, what a beautiful tribute to your father. I am so very sorry for your loss, but what a gift to have had a wonderful man like that in your life.
    In memory of Rebuff (1974-2009)

    Rest in peace, my sweet man

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Dallas, Georgia


    Spoken from the heart of a little girl to her Daddy.

    (( Many hugs ))
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003


    A lovely heartfelt tribute Brandy. It's plain to see you loved and respected your father very much, as I'm sure your father knew all along. And that's the greatest gift a child can give a parent.
    My deepest condolences on your loss.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001


    what a beautiful moving tribute to a beautiful kind man.
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003


    I am so sorry for your loss. That is a beautiful tribute to an obviously wonderful father and horseman. I am sure your father is very proud of you.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2002
    Midwesterner in Yankeeland


    I'm so sorry for your loss, and glad you had each other while you did. Take care.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 1, 2006


    Sorry for your loss, it sounds like you had a wonderful relationship with your father. Take that to heart and keep it with you.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2007


    I'm so sorry for your loss. That was a beautiful tribute. My deepest condolances to you and your family.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Upstate NY


    What an amazing tribute! It most certainly shows that your father was an amazing person and he managed to pass along to you the ability to know amazing when you see it.

    My deepest sympathies for your loss.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2001


    Beautiful words written about an obviously beautiful person. I am so sorry for your loss, but how wonderful that you were able to call him Dad.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2002
    Dungeon of the Ivory Tower


    Brandy76, you brought tears to my eyes. I agree with everything everyone has said, they just said it for me, and better than I could. And hugs to you.
    Last edited by DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"; Sep. 17, 2009 at 02:06 PM.
    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2004
    Earlysville, VA


    What a wonderful gift you just gave him for all the gifts he gave to you.

    Many hugs coming your way.
    \"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.\" Anne of Green Gables

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2003
    The rolling hills of Virginia


    By your tribute alone it is so obvious your father was the very best kind of horseman. It makes the world a poorer place to lose the likes of him. What a lovely man. I am so sorry for your loss.

    The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2006
    An American Living In Ireland


    That was beautiful. You are very lucky to have had him in your life and thanks so much for sharing him with us.

    Many hugs,
    COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

    "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2008


    I'm so sorry you lost your father, Brandy.

    How comforting that he passed all of his wonderful horsemanship and wonderful humanity in general on to you. The world needs more people like your father.

    So sorry for your loss, and what a lovely tribute to a great man.

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