Those of you who've spent some time on the backstretch have heard the term Big Horse...the horse who goes out and gives his everything; who you can count on to run hard and come home with a paycheque - the horse who is all heart.
Yesterday, my Big Horse thundered across the Rainbow Bridge.
There is a huge empty place in my and my DSO's hearts right now...at 23, as an OTTB, he was getting older, but was fat and shiny and as fine as frog's hair. The night before he played with my DSO making him stand in the rain while he tried to close his turnout door. He got a double helping of one of his favourites - having his wet face scrubbed dry, and tucked in with a full feed tub and a full hay net.
My wonderful BO found him stretched out the next morning, just gone. I take comfort in that. He didn't suffer, didn't have to ask to be let go. He passed as he lived - independent, single-minded and proud. It took her and her roomie - another dear friend - an hour to be able to call me and tell me. He broke down when I called him back, and I knew in my heart what had happened. I have never in my life been so grateful for the team of friends who gathered around us to help with the logistics of getting him out; of pulling his shoes and saving his tail...of sharing wonderful stories about him.
Boo was one of those hard-knocking cheap claimers who run harder than they should for small purses - but to us, he was better than any stakes horse. He was funny, smart, and proud, and took care of my my former BO's daughter like spun glass. His name was the first word she said as a toddler. He carried me through dreams, a parade, and local shows, and down many quiet country roads. He was the first horse for my DSO, and they were amazing friends.
There are a thousand sweet or funny things I could tell you about him, but will instead share what one friend said yesterday - that he had more personality than one horse could contain.
So, while our hearts ache, they are full with the 18 years of joy and experience he brought into our lives. His Quillins halter - his Christmas present - arrived yesterday afternoon. Typical of him to not want to wait for it .
Please give your horses extra peppermints and carrots on Christmas ... and if on Christmas Eve you hear a bridle jingling, I'd like to think that's him making a high-stepping journey across the Rainbow Bridge. I believe that he will wait for us with tossing head and dancing feet. In Loving Memory of Cee Bee Cee
April 7, 1989 - December 21 2012
always and forever
Thanks so much, everyone...DSO and I just had a bit of a cry and started remembering the good stuff...which is how I think we need to remember them.
I'd like to share a funny, and my Canadian friends will especially get this. Boo had a habit of tapping the side or back of a trailer when he was going somewhere...well, one morning we were following my former BO's trailer to the local show grounds in our small town. Well, Boo kicked the back sliding door, and a ball of manure fell out. PJ (my DSO) said "oooh! Timbits!" and a few seconds later, some more covered in shavings rolled out, and he says "Timbits with sprinkles!" I almost took out a light standard because I was laughing so hard at him and our horse That is part of my wealth of memories that brings me joy.
Merry Christmas, and peace to each of you.
Oh wow I'm so sorry (I have a "Boo" as well). what a lovely,lovely tribute and what a wonderful horse! yep, they give us their hearts in every way, glad he went fast but still. so sorry about your loss.
My most heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family.
Your eulogy to your 'Big Horse' is wonderful. I hope he meets my 'Big Horse' (Bones), another OTTB with a huge heart, and may they gallop through the clouds and let us hear the thundering of their hooves.
Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!
I'm sorry for your loss, dee. What an honor to have a Big Horse of your own :-) it is in a way, a blessing to not have the agony of having to make that big decision for a much loved pet. I know that doesn't make it any easier.
(A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
(he does listen!)