When you lose your mother
or father, I know it can be devastating, like nothing worse could happen.
For me, losing Jesse was worse than that.
We had bought him as a "17 year old stock horse gelding". We found out he
was not only an Arabian x Andalusian, but 33 years old. He was a sweet horse,
a fleabitten grey with a heart of gold. He won me my first blue ribbon at
a show and became known around the show ring as Trasero. Trasero means 'rear'
in Spanish because he would always rear before going into the float
I will always remember that Jesse simply refused to die. But at age 39, he
realised it was time to go. I came home with my mum one day and saw him lying
on the ground. He had collapsed a few days ago, so I felt my blood rush as
I jogged down to his paddock. He was alive, and looked fine and content.
I sighed relief and went inside. An hour later, my mum came into my room
and said "Chloe, come say goodbye to Jess.". We went down to the paddock
again and saw my sweet old man lying on his side, unable to get up, with
my mare Angel watching forlornly. We took her out of the paddock so she didn't
see her paddock-mate die. I cradled Jesse's head in my lap and I swear a
tear ran out of his eye. A few times Jesse struggled to get up, because he
was a fighter. We kept talking to him, saying that it was time to go now.
Three hours later my mum decided that we should go inside in case Jesse didn't
want us around when he finally died. I kept checking on him and by the time
I went to sleep he was still on the edge of life and death. At 5 a.m I woke
up, and I think that was the time Jesse died. When I saw his body in the
morning, I asked him to say Hi to my mum's warmblood, Sultan, who had died
the year before, and my old Thoroughbred Phoenix, who I missed
One of our fillies who had loved Jesse came up to the house and hung her
head, as if saluting her friend's transition to Heaven. Our whole household
and the people who knew Jesse grieved that night, but we knew Old Jess was
enjoying being young again with Sultan and Phoenix. After Sultan's death,
Jesse was our Lead Stallion of our little group we called the Fantasma Herd.
He was the only horse our bossy mare Talitha was second to, and he was the
only one who accepted Angel when she came to live with us.
We love you, Jess, and miss you. And we miss you as well, Phoenix and Sultan,
and hope you are all enjoying your new adventures. Angel misses you even
more now, Jesse, because her old friends have all been sold on, and she is
the only original horse of Fantasma left. No one can replace you, but as
soon as we can, we are going to get another grey gelding or stallion, and
continue our tradition of grey leaders.