Born in 1982 - Passed away July 2, 2006

My dear Buddy, you were that and so much more. You showed me what trust could unfold, you showed me the meaning of hope and courage. I gave you commitment, patience and love. You gave me all there was to give; your grace and beauty, your heart and soul.

Our Story

My sister lived in the heart of Melbourne's hustle and bustle!! I said to her one day, get a horse and come trail riding with me! I lived on the Mornington Peninsula, Australia, which is about one hour south of Melbourne city. It's near the beach and semi rural. I had always loved horses! We grew up in New Zealand, but our parents were Dutch.

Even in Holland, as a child, seeing some of those big, beautiful Warmblood horses left me in awe, and my love of horses became a lifelong passion. This passion brought out a wonderful talent within me, and I developed skills to paint horses in pastel, in all their moves and moods!. What a gift!! Horses. Such magnificent creatures! I loved horses.

I had spotted a horse running wild on 150 acres and made inquiries. The woman that owned him had not sat upon him in 2 years and was keen to sell him, so we got together and had a lot of trouble catching him. What an ordeal!! We finally caught him, got him saddled, that was an even bigger ordeal!! But she was too frightened to ride him. So I got on, he was nervous and jittery, and we took it quietly. We bought him, my sister and I and took him to a new home the next week. I had a horse at the time and put Buddy in with the other one. As my sister lived in the CBD area of Melbourne, I was his care taker. He was a real bossy boots with the other horse, alright! Didn't like people at all. He was very aloof and would keep his distance at all cost. We had a lot of trouble trying to bridle him, he had cracks in his teeth, and was extremely head shy, we had to pull the bridle apart, piece by piece and he would back into a corner. He was a dark bay horse, and he had scars in the girth area that were so pronounced that he had pink skin and white hair, the girth scars were the sizes of double 50 cent pieces! He had them also across the withers.This went on for about a year! And later, we were to find that he was a bit of a bronco bucker! WOW!

My horse had an accident and broke her neck in the stable, and I was feeling really down, and my sister asked me to take Buddy. He had bucked her off a few times. What was I supposed to do with him? I took him anyway, and we did a bit of trail riding. He tried to buck me off at every turn and run!! I realized this was something he had learned. He learned this to escape pain and discomfort. However, he still tried to dump me and I realized he had a problem, mentally from abuse. I had the saddler make the saddle to fit. Still, he tried to buck every turn. I tried lunging him and I needed another person to hold him from the outside, it was a nightmare! Eventually, I was able to get him to go full circle. It took a lot of patience on my behalf and a lot of trust on his behalf. This took month and months. On the lunge, slowly, he started to free up a bit, and when a little relaxed, he showed me some lovely movement, and he was very intelligent. I introduced him to side reins, ever so slowly, and he went on to show me great stuff! This horse was a rough diamond.

Very slowly, our relationship grew and blossomed and grew and blossomed. It really is a very long journey, 15 years in fact. We went on to become best Buddies. He was always cautious of other humans and no one else could get near him in the paddock. He would not take kindly to anyone approaching him even when haltered and tied to the gate. He would blow and snort and show the whites of his eyes and he would suddenly grow in stature as all his muscles pumped up! He would let them know he disapproved. Right up to the day before he took ill. He was a very proud horse and I think he may have been cut late in life, he was very stallion-like in his action and had great presence. He had a natural way of moving, always engaging from behind, arched neck and great big strides and movement, floating and suspending in mid air. He was beautiful and proud.

We went and did many trail rides, all over the place. He would travel like a dream in the float and settled in any strange place. We camped together, swam together. Talked in the dark together. Never stressed and was never clingy to other horses. We were together, we knew it. We shared so much in so many new and exciting places. We went on to compete in dressage, open classes and he always did us proud. I will never forget the day we competed against 50 horses and riders and we went home with the first place trophy just to mention one! He gave me all his trust, his courage, his beauty, his power, and presence. Over time, we were just simply...one...Buddy and I WERE ONE. We had such a great respect, unity, understanding and acceptance of each other.

Buddy would wait for me every day, for all these years. I would be there for him every day, for all these years...15 years. I would always hear his greeting, it was the biggest ROAR. The trees would always block his view, but he knew when I was coming, and by the time I got out of the car, he was already galavanting around in sheer excitement. I was there for him in rain, hail or thunder, drying winds and blistering sun and he knew and trusted that I would always be there, no matter what. We truly had the most special friendship, for life.

Buddy, you will always be that..my dearest, special friend for life.

Rest in peace, my Buddy...Till we meet again.

Trish van Kesteren

A special thanks to my dear friend, Myra, who was beside me every moment on that dreadful day, when Buddy was taken by colic. I don't know what I would have done without you.

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