American Quarter Pony/Shetland Pony

Born in 1969 or 1970 - Died January 6, 2005

It seems like such a short time ago when we first saw you. The chocolate dappled palomino pony built like a tank with dinner-plate sized hooves. We knew that day you were perfect, so you became ours. I could not have asked for a better first pony for my daughter. She could not have asked for a more perfect best friend. You were my first pony, too, the one I had to wait until my adult years to finally have. You were the most patient, kind, understanding mare. You took my daughter from a fearful, shy rider, to a confident young lady who knew the joy of cantering with the wind in her hair, and the breathless excitement of jumping. You took her on quiet, calm walks through the neighborhood. Everyone knew you. People kept carrots in their house so when we came by, they could give you treats. People picnicked in our yard in the summer to watch you. You were in the local paper, you gave rides to the youngest of children in the neighborhood. Toddlers wove in and out of your hooves and you never flinched, never moved a foot, just patiently and kindly looked at them and waited. You made everyone laugh with your silly tooting.

For all the abuse you suffered so long ago, you bravely learned again to trust people. Thank you, Nina, for your kindness and love to Sugar through those times. You learned that with me, barns were safe places, brushes felt good, halters came on and off, and nothing would ever hit or cut you again. You taught me countless natural horsemanship lessons through the hours we spent together in the pasture, just hanging out. Through you I learned how horses communicate, how they think, how they feel. You amazed me with your trust in Brittany as you were going blind, but still took her for rides and went wherever she led you.

Though you were well into your 30's, you still loved to gallop wildly about in a moment of joy, kicking up your feet and tossing your head, prancing around like a filly. I knew our move would be hard on you. Somewhere down inside I think we both knew you wouldn't make it. Only three months at our new place and you slowed down. The prancing, silly pony I knew gave way to an old pony who was stiff in the mornings and no longer enjoyed moving about the pasture. Laminitis and colic hit you New Year's Day. You fought bravely through the medication, the injections, my clumsy efforts to tape pads to your feet. Five days later, x-rays confirmed what we knew. Too much rotation, too much pain, too much damage. We let you go on a snowy, Thursday morning and you were buried on the hills overlooking the beautiful Columbia River.

I miss you, Sugar. Brittany misses you. She still sleeps wrapped in your blanket, the wonderful smell of pony fur fills her room. Your halter and lead hang on her bedside. Your portrait hangs in her room. A lock of your mane is with her always. Some days it doesn't seem real, I expect to hear you nicker as I come into the barn in the morning. I expect to feel your warm breath as you nuzzle for treats. Our only comfort is knowing you are free from pain and the effects of age and abuse. You run in pastures of green with the other horses who have crossed. And I know one day I'll see you again, running to me, and I can hug you and once again we'll be together. We love you, our beautiful, magnificent, very special pony. We will always love you.

Karen Erikson & Brittany Ward

Sugar's Support Group Honoree page.

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