2005 - July 8, 2012

I remember very well the first time I saw Bribery. It was at a friend of my mothers house, this beautiful grey horse stuck his head out of this old barn/shed that was the horse's shade and shelter. We were visiting my mom's friend because I am a crazy horse fanatic. My mom's friend went up to chase all the horses out so we could see them. Now, I know this may sound really cheesy, but the first time I saw that horse, time literally went into slow motion, as he just moved so beautifully in the sunlight. I told you it was corny; but so true.

I got to learn his story that day. He was a Thoroughbred, my favorite, and a racehorse at that, or he had been. He had one of those owners who only cared about winning, and Bribery didn't win a whole lot, therefore he didn't earn much money and was useless. He ended up being shipped off to slaughter when he ended up being rescued and arrived here where he was now. He was a whirlwind loaded on steroids when he arrived. The nerves in his front legs had been burned, so he had no feeling there. He was on the skinny side too. I immediately felt a big sort of soft spot for the poor creature, and I was quite surprised when his curiosity grew enough to come and check me out. I was even more surprised when I was out at the farm the second time and as I was leaving he followed behind me all the way until the gate. I spent a little more time with him then, stroking him, petting him, hugging him even. I knew then there was a special connection. 

Over the years, it was me and him. I loved him and he loved me. Though it was never an easy road for him. He was skinny, and sick, but from an unknown reason. The subject of cancer came up often, but it could never be found. He was a mysteriously sick horse. Not even Ohio State could figure out what was wrong with him, and they were one of the best. He would rise and fall, gain weight then lose it again. If you ignored how he often looked, you wouldn't ever know he was sick. He would run and buck and play like the rest of the horses. He was a real sweetheart. He loved mints. He was all boy, he didn't take to cuddly mushy stuff. He was also a mama's boy. His mama being me, of course. His best friend was a buckskin Quarter Horse named Dusty and he had a mare friend, an American Paint Horse named Molly. I had plans of when I graduated to get a job so that I could afford him all on my own and he would really be my horse. 

Sadly, he didn't make it that far past graduation. I remember one day, very happily the summer before, going out to see him. The moment I saw him though my smile faded and tears filled my eyes. He was so skinny, the worst I had ever seen him. Apparently he had been worse, but I couldn't imagine worse then that. We only had one more idea we were going to try and if that didn't work, there was nothing else we could do. I had to face the fact that this might really be it. By summer 2012 he was literally a skeleton. I didn't even want to look at him anymore and I just wondered to my self how he was alive. What horrible thing was doing this to my boy? My poor, sweet boy, who didn't deserve that suffering. 

I remember that horrible day when it came. Exactly one week after my 18th birthday. We had just gotten lunch and someone called my grandma, it was my aunt. I knew by what I heard on my end that something was very very wrong. First she asked if it was my mom, then my boyfriend. Though why would my aunt know anything about that? When they hung up I asked what had happened but was told I wasn't allowed to know. You can't just ignore something like that and not want to know. So I kept bugging and discovered it was an about an animal. I knew all of my animals were safe at home and my cat that didn't live with me, he was already dead, sadly killed at not even a year old, hit by a car. So I asked if it was my aunt's dog. It wasn't and I had run out of ideas. So then my grandma just went out with it. Bribery had to be put down. 

My mom said it was cancer. By the time it showed up in him, he was 100% full of it. His white blood cell count was 11. He has a cyst in him the size of a soft ball that had burst after he was down and all came out his hind end. It was so horrible my mom's friend couldn't even stay around, she had to go in the house.

There was no way you couldn't not love that horse, and everything was done possible to try to make him better. There had been the possibility of giving him a shot every day, but it would be expensive and likely wouldn't help at all. There really was nothing that could be done. 

It has been almost a year now. I miss him like crazy to this day. He was a very amazing horse. I learned a lot from him. No matter what he went through, he never quit, he never showed weakness. He always forgave, despite what he had been put through. He was a very strong horse. There will never be another one like him. 

When I last visited him a week ago, on a cloudy, stormy day, I just became so sad. I really missed him and it was hard. Being so close to the first anniversary of his death. I started to cry. Just like that, the sun came out, shown through the trees and right onto his grave. He was telling me that he was okay. 


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