JR was my first and only
horse and my first loss. Every Christmas since I was young, at the top of
my list I wrote "A Pony". All I ever wanted was a pony. My family could never
afford to give me the gift of my very own.
Years of lessons, working for riding time and my bold passion gave me the
chance to train a three year old Morgan gelding named JR who eventually
became my first horse. He was big, bold and stubborn at first. Months
of peeling away his layers revealed the true character that I always knew
was inside him. He had a sparkle in his eye, you could see it in every one
of the hundreds of pictures I took of him to save our memories forever.
He learned to love people and trust people. He carried friends and family
for joyful rides around the ring. His big goofy ears, his smile and the faces
he made when he bent his big neck around to watch me brush him were
unforgettable. He had a presence, the biggest one in my heart.
At 23 years old I wanted to give him the world. I paid for his board, his
feet, his shots, new saddle pads, pessoa boots and we had fun. We didn't
show, we went for trail rides and learned more about each other in the ring
practicing transitions and jumping and bareback riding. It was a girl and
her 16.2 hand "pony". I felt like the luckiest person in the world for knowing
him and feeling his love and loving all his quirks. I went to work every
day to save money to someday have a house with a barn in my backyard so he
could run and play outside my window all day.
Two days ago his fight against
his diagnosed Botulism was failing him. He couldn't breath and he lay in
a stall at Tufts hospital sweating and pawing. I made the decision for him
to make the pain go away. At 3:30, the day before Mother's day, I had to
make the hardest decision a mother ever has to make. My pony, my "muchkin",
mearly 8 years old, JR, now gallops through the pastures of heaven
with the wings of angels.