Those of us who blog here are passionate about two things: horses and writing about them. Most of us ride. We live all over the world and interact with horses in different ways, but we all love everything about the horse.
While we love all horses, some inevitably become more special to us than others. You have probably found that to be true as well. It may be that one horse has a funny personality quirk, or is kind, or is exceptionally beautiful. Those special horses get pulled into our hearts and stay there forever.
I am fortunate. My heart is filled with many special horses. I have written a lot about my first horse, the white Appaloosa mare Snoqualmie, and her son, Ben, in some of my books. Valentino, the little rescue horse who could not relate to either horses or people and who eventually became the 2011 PATH International Equine of the Year is another horse who fills my heart. I have written about him in several books, too.
There is another very special horse on the cover of my most recent book, Therapy Horse Selection. Baby is a black Tennessee Walking Horse/pony cross. At just 14.2 and twenty-plus years, she is the senior mare in her herd and plays the grandma role very well. No drama. Lots of patience. She is also polite. Each time a human comes into the paddock area for the first time on a given day, Baby whinnies in welcome. I always half expect her to pull out iced tea, lemonade, and cookies, as any Southern hostess would do.
Baby also makes her people do it right. Whether it is teaching therapeutic riding instructors how to ground drive, or a teenaged girl with disabilities to ride, or a young man with autism to longe, they have to ask correctly. Baby is the very best teacher and I love her dearly.
I use present tense, but that is not exactly correct. You see, we lost our beloved Baby last Saturday. A neighbor waved to her in the pasture while she was grazing peacefully with the rest of her herd at eight in the morning. By ten o’clock she was in the throes of a bad colic, so bad that her veterinarian could not save her. Hours later she was buried in a corner of the pasture, near a wooded area and stream where she liked to hang out on hot days.
All of Baby’s horse and human friends, myself included, grieve for her. Today when I went to the barn there was no welcoming whinny from a quiet, patient little horse and my heart did a number of sad somersaults inside my chest. Yes, Baby was, is, special, and she will always remain in my heart. My remembrances of her and all the lessons she taught me will live on through me, and in everyone else, horse and human, that she impacted so positively. RIP Baby. Good girl.