Monday, December 28, 2009

Fresh Reminders of What Has Passed

It snowed here about three weeks ago. The snow stayed on the ground, fluffy and deep enough to provide some cushion over the frozen earth. There's something special about the first few snowfalls that come before the first thaw. Hacking in the snow, or during a snowfall is just about the most fun that can be had with a horse. After the first falls there's no need to worry about hidden ice until the thaw comes. There aren't any layers of crusty snow and ice to scrape the horses' legs. Just a bouncy trotting horse spraying snow into the air as he asks for a gallop.
My boy hadn't asked for a gallop for a long time, but we did a lot of hacking in the snow over his last few years. It was great exercise for his stifles. With the first snow came the reminder that I will never take him out for a hack in the snow again. He won't reach out as we pass a snow laden cedar and bend back a branch that will fling it's load all over me as it snaps back when he lets it go. We won't head out into the glow of a moonlit snowscape, or wander through a forest of bare limbed trees as snow gently falls.
First snow hack without my boy. First Christmas without my boy. I miss him still. These firsts bring back the loss, but without the tearing intensity of the first days after he was gone. It's a bittersweet sadness as the first snow, first hack, first Christmas without him remind me of the times we had together.

Friday, December 4, 2009

In Memory of my Horse

I know I will make the shadow box to hold his halter, but I've been thinking I'd like to do something else to remember my horse by. One of our friends made a donation to the charity of my choice in his memory, which is one option. I think I would like something tangible, useful and visible.
Another friend plants trees for her dogs. The tree idea appeals to me a lot. It would be alive, long standing, and cast some pleasant shade once it grows large enough. Perhaps I could plant it out at the barn in a place where shade would be nice to have. I would see it often, and it would remind me of him.
I have also been looking at horsehair jewelry and pottery sites on the internet. There are some beautiful items out there. I don't wear jewelry, and probably wouldn't even if it were my horse's hair so that seems a bit pointless. Something will catch my eye and work it's way into being the right choice.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Spirit That Was My Horse

It's been a month now. The hole is filling with memories of life and I find myself drawing him back by telling people what he used to do, what he was like. Some of us were talking about our horses reactions when we go out in the field - variations on walking or turning away until we get close and then turning to us as if surprised to see us there. My boy used to watch for me at night and his distinctive whinny would come out of the darkness when he saw me take my other horse back out to a different field. As if to remind me not to forget to come down and bring him up for his dinner.
I remember more details. Things to remember for next time, for sure as I loved him I will be making the decision again for other horses. His issue caused him well hidden pain for a very long time, even before we identified the problem. His subconcious, instincts told him that a lame horse was vulnerable and I used to call him my quarter horse, three quarter chicken because he was such a chicken. I wanted him to know that this pain and the fear it caused did not define who he was. The pain and fear must be left behind. He should take his great courage and generosity for these defined the spirit that was my horse.
I still miss him dearly, but the great gaping sense of loss has eased and I now remember him in life before death.