Midnight Cowboy

Black Thoroughbred

Born January 1, 1988 - Died July 15, 2006

Cowboy was an arranged marriage. I had an "unsuitable" horse at the time and when I finally cried uncle, everyone breathed a sigh of relief and jumped at the chance to find me a new horse. The process that I thought would take months took just 2 weeks. A 12 hour drive with the unsuitable boy in tow brought us to a sale barn in the middle of the night. We pulled a very skinny, sun bleached, badly shod Cowboy out of his stall. At first glance I was not impressed and tried to devise ways that I could tell my friends who I drove 12 hours cross country with that we would be leaving with the same horse we rode in on.

The next morning Cowboy was no more impressive, even after I rode him. My trainer thought different. The tears welled up in my eyes as they led "the unsuitable" away. She grabbed my shoulders and pushed me into Cowboy's stall telling me to cry on my new horse's shoulder. This was the first time of many that I had that strong black shoulder to lean on.

Cowboy unloaded at my house with the look of a foster child that has seen too much, "Ok, so here I am. Now what....". Time changed that. He was the first horse who truly looked at me. He watched me when I walked the course, or gave him to someone else to hold. He would gallop up to me in his turnout, look me straight in the eye, buck really hard four times and run away. He saw me completely for who I am inside and out. I have never had another horse see me that way. Nor do I expect to.

We had too many adventures to recount. From local to international horse shows, we traveled all over. Whether we drove all night, or spent the night in a fairgrounds rough stock pen, he was the perfect traveler. I had the best jumper rounds of my life on him and fell off five times in one lesson. He taught me patience, to be quiet in my mind, and to put the trials of the day outside the arena. He lived in my back yard and was a constant presence in my life. Sometimes I would look out and he would be standing touching his friend Sam all day, other times I would hear him blow out of his nose and watch him flip his tail over his back, head high and bound across the turnout like a prong horn antelope.

He was a once-in-a-lifetime horse. My own personal black stallion, even though he was a black gelding. Our relationship was a true partnership, as close and intimate as any I've had with a boyfriend. I loved him fiercely and fully. And will miss his sense of humor and his seriousness for a long time.

Go in peace, my Little Man. You could not have lived your life any better. Thank you for sharing it with me.


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