Born June 30, 1991 - Died June 19, 2007

I Remember

I remember driving in your Bronco II to a house to see a horse. "Why are we doing this again?" I asked. "I'm thinking of buying this horse, she's two and green and I'm going to train her, sell her and buy another one." you replied.

I remember seeing this brown filly standing in a shed that held lots of crap besides her food. She wasn't much, just a brown filly. No papers, no name really, and those legs. "Did you see those legs?" I asked. "Yes, but look in her eyes." you answered. She had the most beautiful, kind, sweet eyes.

I remember telling you there were better out there you could find. "You know it will be a lot of money to keep her, even before you sell her." I said, "Yes, but it will be worth it." you answered. She somehow spoke directly to my heart.

I remember you called me; you'd bought that brown filly. "What is she again?" I asked. "Thoroughbred, old stock so she is a little stocky, but thoroughbred." you said with pride.

I remember from that moment on, she was part of the family. "Train her and sell her, yeah right." I would say that many times throughout the years. And in one form or another, you would always answer, "Not done training her yet." with a smile on your face.

I remember you teaching her how to jump and wondering if those knees would hold up. "How's Miss Baylee?" I would always ask and you would tell me the tales of all your adventures. I will always remember the day she decided to continue the jump training without my help. She walked over to a 4 foot fence and jumped it like it was 18". She was very proud of herself. Mostly those stories ended with, "Baylee looked at me, Mom, sure you want to do that? And then she would do it anyway.".

I remember hunter paces. The little old stock thoroughbred, now named "Gaspar's Mistress" showing all those huge thoroughbreds a thing or two about heart and trust. "Will she jump into a field of cows?" we would ask. "If I ask her to." was always the answer.

I remember trail riding where we shouldn't have been and swimming where we didn't know where we were. "Have Baylee lead, then we'll follow." I always said. "Let's go, Baylee." and you would lead us into adventure. Swimming with the horses was the biggest fun. Nothing like galloping like a wild Indian bareback through chest high water and knowing Baylee would always take care of me.

I remember team penning. We'd never even seen it done before, but we went anyway. "Think she can do it?" I asked. " I think she just wants to stare at the cows." you answered with a smile.

I remember trail rides and trailer trips and lazy days just grooming and treats. "Still planning on selling her?" I would ask. "Not on your life." you would answer.

I remember when the little mare and her mom decided to tackle dressage. "Why switch gears?" I asked. "Better for Baylee's legs and it gives us something new." you answered.

I remember all the saddles and bits and training apparatus you borrowed and bought and fought with. "How's she doing?" I would ask. And you would always answer with a smile, "She's putting up with me and all the paraphernalia very well...except when she doesn't."

I remember all the tears when she would hurt. All the times wondering what the right thing to do for this loving animal was. "Should I retire her?" you asked. "When the time is right for it, you'll know." I would always answer.

I remember the times you stayed with her for hours making sure she was well taken care of, sometimes just grooming and hand walking with her because you enjoyed her company so much. "I love it when I come out to the barn and she calls to me, even before she sees me." you would say. "She loves you, you're her mom." I would always answer.

I remember that you loved her just as much as she loved you. And when the time did come to make the most difficult decision of all, you did it because you loved her so much. "I had to put Baylee down last night and it was so hard." you said. "The right decisions are always the hardest." I told you as we cried together.

I remember most of all that there is a Rainbow Bridge and when our time finally comes, she will be waiting there in all her glory, sound and healthy with dapples on her coat and so happy to see you that she will be calling to you before she even sees you. "There's your little filly." I'll say. "Yes, she still loves me." you'll say, as you run to meet her and ride off on another adventure.

Heather Hipp

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