18 years old
March 6, 1992 - November 16, 2010
|Favourite Treat: Molasses cookies
Least Favourite Treat: Sugar cubes
Favourite Hobby: Playing tag and resting her forehead on my chest.
Best Thing About Her: Saving a girl, that needed to be saved.
When I was 6 I started my first riding lesson. I LOVED it. My parents both were total country people…my whole family was. My dad’s side did cattle. And my mom’s was more into the race track stuff, and hobby riding. I was into the language of the horse, and the size of its heart and spirit. When I was 9 I started saving up my money to buy a horse. By the time I was 10, I saved up $2,346. I was ready for my dream. But unfortunately, my money ended up going towards leasing a 10 year-old quarter horse that was extremely overweight, and very lazy. I leased him until I was 11 because the owner no longer wanted to lease him out to me. So I started working at my mom’s spa (I looked 14 but was really only 11) and started saving up all over again. With the dream that I had carried in my heart since before I can remember…to own a horse.
In late summer of 2008 my mom informed me she had found a horse out in Sherwood Park for lease. I immediately started crying because the dream of owning a horse was slowly slipping through my fingers. In the early fall of 2008, I began junior high. Growing up with an older sister, I knew how teenagers could be. Stubborn. Rude. And kinda ignorant. I promised I would never ever be like that. EVER. But by the middle of fall, junior high got to me and, I broke that promise. I was rude to my parents, I talked back sometimes, I hated school, and my friends and my cell phone where the most important thing in the world to me. But one thing never changed. My absolute love and desire for horses. The way they moved effortlessly across the land, floating. Filled with pride and freedom as they took to the land without hesitation. Their big, warm eyes that could heal any broken heart.
By late fall 2008 (one week before my birthday) we went out to see the horse for lease in Sherwood Park. When I got there it was dark, cold and the sky was spitting a snowy rain. I could smell the heavenly smell of horse, but my heart was heavy, and I was in need of saving. A woman and her daughter met us at our car and led us to a rundown beat-up barn that was in need of repair. She walked in, grabbed an apple, then walked around to an attached barn and grabbed a halter. As she led us into a large field, she said it's supper time. But you can still take her for a test drive. I followed the woman over to the large shadows munching away on their soggy hay. The first thing I noticed was how huge she was. The woman put the halter on her and fed her the apple. When I felt her mane brush across my arm, my heart skipped a beat, and I lost my breath. The woman said her name was Tiamo, which means, I love you, in Italian. And right then and there I had no idea what kind of magic I was getting into. The magic of the bond between horse and human.
I followed her into the old run-down barn. She put Tiamo in cross ties and handed me a bucket of brushes to begin grooming. I took a stiff brush first and glided it along her body, feeling her muscles ripple under them. She had beautiful long, black legs with a white sock on her front left one that had little black blemishes all around, almost like a Dalmatian. A chocolate brown coat that went darker on her neck and lighter in the crock between her belly and her butt, with a black tail that reached the ground. Her mane was about 2 inches long, but she still looked like the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Around her nose was light brown, almost milky, with the same color just underneath her eyes. There was also a thin line of black outlining her eyes and black all around her mouth and nostrils. She had a large star on her forehead that went down into a crooked line and cut off on the tip of her nose, exposing a pinkie skin color below it. She had no forelock, but her eyes…her eyes were the warmest brown I had ever looked into. They were inviting with no judgment in them, and I got lost in her eyes, I fell in love.
After grooming her, I saddled her. She was so good. She stood perfectly still, despite the wind howling through. I led her out and followed the woman to the arena. When I got on her back I felt the pure blood thoroughbred kick in. She definitely had power that she knew how to use and I could feel it. I asked her into a walk and felt her stride fan out. It was like nothing I had ever felt before. I went home that night, and fell asleep that night with her on my mind.
The next week flew by. I went out to the stable 2 times more to confirm I wanted to lease. And the day before my birthday we set up a time to go out on my birthday and sign the leasing papers.
The bell rang from school and I raced to the truck. Forgetting my friends. Today I was going to start leasing Tiamo! I got in the truck, with my mom, dad and two sisters. One 14 and one 5. They told me my grandparents were going to meet us out there. I didn’t know why, but I didn’t care. I only had one thing on my mind. Tiamo. It was the longest drive I had ever had, but we got there. As I got out of the truck, my parents said, I think you should open one present first. I wasn’t going to argue with them, but I really only wanted to go see Tiamo. My mom took down one large present, and I began opening it. It turned out to be a large box with a million small gifts inside it. I opened the little presents to find a stiff brush, a soft brush, a curry comb, a hair brush, horse treats and a mini horse statue that looked like Tiamo (I loved it.). But at the very bottom were two envelopes. I opened the first one to find a birthday card wishing me a happy birthday. I picked up the second one expecting to find another birthday card. But when I opened it I found a folded up piece of paper. I curiously unfolded it and read the title…”certificate of ownership to the thoroughbred horse Tiamo.” I started to cry.
I wrapped myself around my mom and bawled. Then I wrapped myself around my dad, and everyone else who was there. I cried for at least 10 minutes until my oldest sister came around the trees with Tiamo. Who had a big green ribbon tied to her 2 inch main. Written on it were the words, Happy Birthday Emily. I ran to her and cried in her neck. She soaked up every last tear. I signed the True Certificate of Ownership, for the other was just for show. And after that, things fell into place.
I went to the barn all the time to ride and be with Tiamo. But I was still hanging out with the wrong crowd. Tiamo was very hard to catch, as the owner said she would be. And she got a bad habit of bucking. The kids who lived at the barn said she wasn’t a very good horse. But I defended her every step of the way. I knew we both had some work to do. After a while of going out there, my mom and dad purchased two more horses. One named Jake, 12 year old Clydesdale/Thoroughbred and one named Indianna, 3 year old Percheron/Thoroughbred/Clydesdale. Indi was black and Jake was a bay. Tiamo and Indi hit it off, but Tiamo didn’t like Jake too much, and her bucking slowly got worse. I was frustrated and every time I went out there I would never ride her. I would only take her out and sit and talk. But after 3 months of not riding her, me and my mom were sitting on a fence watching the horses eat hay. She turned to me out of the blue and asked, “Are you riding today?” I said "No" in a low voice and said, “She doesn’t want me to ride her.” My mom said, "Go get your little western saddle and meet me in the arena." My face went pale and my heart started beating fast. Whenever I rode her I got bucked off.
I got my western saddle and a bridle, and tacked her up in the arena. My mom gave me a leg up. She is 16.3Hh, and I was pretty short then. Then my mom went and took a seat on the fence post. She gestured for me to walk on. I picked up my reins and asked with my voice for a walk. I was shaking uncontrollably. As I walked her around the arena, I leaned forward and whispered, “Please Tiamo, please take care of me, I’m really scared.” I felt Tiamo’s energy shift. And I got a wave of confidence. I whispered one more time to her as I shortened my reins. “Whenever your'e ready, girl.” But this time I said it in my head. Just then Tiamo went into a canter. I hesitated and pulled a bit on the reins, but after a few strides I let her go into an amazing canter. We floated across the earth, her mane waving in my face. A smile the size of Texas peeled open, and my heart flew. I felt free. And strong. Like I could accomplish anything in the whole world. We went on for a while but then I leaned back asking her for a stop, and I immediately fell forward and wrapped my arms around her neck. And the tears started to fall into her neck, and she absorbed every last one. My mom came running and asked what was wrong. I said “Nothing…she listened mom, she really listened.”
During that year, I got lost. Lost in the drama of junior high. I had dug myself a hole with the “popular kids” and was frantically trying to fill it in again. I got a bad reputation due to a rumour that got so bad it reached my parents. I was drowning. I didn’t know where to go. Everywhere I went, there was judgement and criticism. But then I remembered those big brown eyes that were waiting for me. One of my favourite things to do when I needed to think, was to go out in the field with Tiamo and climb up in the hay bales when it was snowing. Then I would cover myself with hay and look up at the stars while feeling the warm breath of the horses as they ate. And every once in a while, I would see Tiamo’s head poke up over the bale, just to make sure I was there.
School ended in 2009. And I knew what I had to do. I went to the farm every day with my mom. I opened my heart and let Tiamo heal me. By the end of a visit, my whole lower face would be covered in dirt from how many kisses I gave her. When I got there and called her name, she would come galloping down, nickering and neighing. I would race to her and do the exact same. Then I would wrap my arms around her neck and breath in her heavenly scent. Running my fingers threw her mane (that was now a little more than halfway down her neck) then I would kiss her on the forehead, right on her star and tell her I missed her. My mom helped me learn to canter her bareback and eventually when I took her out of the pen, we would sometimes go for bareback gallops across the fields. Or go on trail rides with my mom, or play tag in the arena. I cut off a piece of her tail and braided in my hair, then I cut off a piece of my hair and braided it in her mane. Our souls and spirits are linked. And pretty soon the only time I had to use a halter was when I put her back. She never wanted to go. She followed me everywhere. And my new way of riding her was completely natural. No bridle. No saddle. No halter. No reins. No nothing. I held onto her mane and trusted her to take care of me as we went across the land. She is my best friend.
I threw away my cell phone. And stopped talking to my friends. My whole world was Tiamo. I spent all my money on treats for her, and quite my job at the spa to see her more. My mom didn’t mind, because I was me again. I was my redneck farm girl self. I took Tiamo for grazes down the road, I did small jumps with her, I did barrels for fun. The summer had healed us. When I first had her I couldn’t take her on trails, I couldn’t ride bareback. But now things where amazing. But the only problem was summer was almost over. And I had to go to school, where I still had my bad reputation. And worse. I would have friends that would be furious with me for ignoring them all summer. I went to the barn the night before school and had a long talk with Tiamo. I told her I needed her and that she was my best friend. I told her I was scared. When I put her back that night, I stood there alone in the pasture. Just me and Tiamo were there. The other horses where eating their hay. I wrapped my arms around Tiamo and breathed in her heavenly smell, I ran my fingers threw her mane, and kissed her forehead. I spoke in words too soft for anyone else besides Tiamo to hear, “I will love you till the mountains tumble down.” Those are the words that I said. I held on to her mane and cried into her neck, she absorbed every teardrop.
The first day of school was horrible. My friends hated me, but I didn’t care. I held onto my braid with Tiamo’s hair in it and thought of Tiamo’s friendly nicker and galloping hooves when I called her. I thought of her big warm brown eyes that carried no judgement. In the next few months I went to the farm more than usual. Allowing Tiamo to charge my drooping spirit after a horrid day of school. She always knew exactly what to say. I eventually made some friends that were very nice, and they understood that horses were my life. And they excepted that. They knew never to try and put themselves in front of Tiamo, because she was always first in my heart.
I started liking school and I was doing really good in it, which allowed me to take some days off to go to the farm. I always love those special little visits. And then my birthday came around, I took the whole day off and went to the farm with my mom, then my dad came later on in the day. I made a special anniversary horse cake for Tiamo, and every second of the day, I reminded her how much I loved her.
Things just kept getting better, our bond grew even more, which some said was impossible. Together we were unstoppable. When someone else got on her back, she wouldn’t listen to them, she would only follow me around and ignore whoever was on her. She’s a part of me, my best friend, my whole world. That is the only way to describe what we have.
Another summer came and went, I had good friends, a reputation that said I was a total farm girl, and was really nice. School was about as good as school can get…not fun, but o.k. My number one priority was Tiamo. I’m in grade nine now, and my birthday rolled around again. I made an even better cake for Tiamo this year, and she LOVED it. I took her on a long trail and told her how much I love her. I’m broke from how much I spoil her. That girl could get anything out of me. Nine days later we moved stables. It is a nice barn, and Tiamo seemed to like it a lot. We sold Jake to an amazing home, for my dad lost interest, but we still have Indi and of coarse Tiamo…I would never have sold my baby girl. Indi and Tiamo were GREAT friends now. And they went in quarantine pens right beside each other. I always said I would have my first kiss on Tiamo. I would ride Tiamo down to the alter. I would teach my kids to ride on her (wouldn’t be hard, she would only follow me around and ignore my kids.)
Our bond became something that was so strong, my heart hurt when I thought about her. And when I came to see her, she would almost turn inside out to see me, if I left her tied up by herself she would prance in a circle until I came back. And when I walked around the corner and she could see me again she would let out a little whinny or soft nicker saying, “I’m so happy you're back.”
I went out to see her one day with my mom, and I took her out of her quarantine pen for we are still fairly new. My mom and I took Indi and Tiamo up on top of the hill to the outdoor arena, and let them run around. It must of felt so nice for her to stretch her legs. I jumped on my mom’s horse bareback and sat on her as she galloped around and around, watching Tiamo soar. I felt her eyes on me, as if to make sure I’m okay. Her mane flew back from her neck, it was so long now that it reached her shoulder. And her forelock almost covered one eye. She looked so free and happy. I could almost reach out and touch her. It felt like slow motion, watching her soar like an eagle, seeing her braid with my hair in it fly up and down. My heart burst with happiness as I watched my whole life run right beside me.
That night I got her a nice big scoop of oats and poured them in her pen. I wrapped my arms around her neck and breathed in her heavenly smell and ran my fingers threw her mane. I kissed her on her star and said, "I’ll love you till the mountains tumble down and forever after that." I sat with her for a while and then I left her pen. I kissed my hand and blew it to her. That was the last time I saw my little angel.
I was in mechanics class, when a boy walked in before class started and said the office needed to see me. I didn’t think anything of it. I walked down with my friend Cheyenne in my mechanics overalls, when the secretary told me I had better go get my bags, my parents are here to pick you up. I thought my little sister, now 8, was in hospital because she had been sick that morning and hadn’t gone to school. I went and got my bags then said goodbye to Cheyenne. When I went to the office, instead of the secretary signing me out, she led me to a room in the back. I walked in and saw my parents. My mom had been crying. When the words came out. “Tiamo has died.” I hit the floor. I collapsed. I cried uncontrollably. I heard my mom say it was an aneurysm. I felt like my heart had been torn out of my chest and cut into a million pieces. She tried making it better by saying it was peaceful and instant and happened at night. But it couldn’t be real, they were lying. I kept waiting for those words to come out after, the “I’m just kidding” or “Joking!!!!” I buried my head in my hands and screamed out loud. All I kept thinking is why would you have taken her, she was my whole world, she wasn’t yours, she loved me, I loved her….I LOVE her!!!!
I demanded them to take me to see her, but the truck had already taken her away to have her cremated. I didn’t care. I needed to go. My parents brought me to the barn. I looked everywhere, balling my eyes out trying to spot her in the field. But she wasn’t there. I went to my locker and found a big piece of her tail cut off and braided for me. I picked it up and breathed in her heavenly smell. The tears came even harder. But this time she didn’t absorb them.
I went out to see my mom’s horse. I wrapped my arms around her trying to heal myself. I swung up on her back. She walked on. It wasn’t the same. It wasn’t my Tiamo, my baby girl with the big brown eyes. I hugged her, and she absorbed every last tear. I sat on her back telling her it would be ok. But the situation felt far from ok.
I got my parents to take me to the old barn that she was at before. I got out and walked the field that she used to come galloping up to me in. The tears came and I felt sick to my stomach. I whinnied out like I used to do when she came galloping, but there was no answer, and after the whinny, came even harder tears. I walked to the far side of the pasture, where their horses are buried and I tied a black and white picture of me and Tiamo to the fencepost with a long blade of grass. I sat at the base of the post and started to cry even harder. I sang her our song, I told her how much I loved her. And as I sat there, the wind picked up and the sun went behind the cloud making it dark and cold. It started to do a snowy rain. I looked up at the picture and I felt the wind blow on my face. It was Tiamo. I started to cry. My mom came and sat with me. We talked about what a great horse she was. Then I asked my mom if she could leave. I walked the whole farm remembering every last detail and memory. I kissed Tiamo’s picture and said, “I’ll love you till the mountains tumble down. And forever after that.” I collapsed at the post and started to cry, then I scattered treats all around the base of the post. I asked her to wait for me, and I told her how much I love her. Then as I walked away, I turned around, kissed my hand, and blew it to her.
I will never forget my beautiful baby girl, with big brown eyes that had no judgement in them. With her inability to let one tear drop go unabsorbed. She healed me when I had nowhere else to go. She gave me wings and filled my dreams. Tiamo was my best friend in the whole wide world, and she always will be. I may not be on you for my first kiss, but I know you wouldn’t miss it for the world. Tiamo is with me every step I take. She lives on in my heart and my soul. It makes me feel warm to know she was cremated with my hair in her braid. And I will always have my braid in my hair. She was a strong baby girl, who went with no suffering or pain. I don’t know if I will ever love a horse like I loved Tiamo, all I know for sure is she saved me, and in a lot of ways I guess I kinda saved her too. Tiamo, we had lots more memories to make. But I will never forget the ones we made. There were so many I could barely fit a quarter into our story. Like the one where I was getting cocky so you threw me into the mud. Haha, you always put me back in line.
At night when I look across the sky to say my goodnight wishes, and when I put in my word for Tiamo, I will open my window to feel a cool breeze blow on my face. And I know deep down in my heart that it is my baby girl, Tiamo.
Tiamo, you are the wind on my face, the beat of my heart and the spark in my soul. Our love is and always will be pure. I will love you till the mountains tumble down and forever after that. I love you baby girl, with all my heart. I hope you are running free amongst the clouds, with a big herd all to yourself. And every once in a while, I hope you will look down to earth and blow your heavenly smell in the wind, so I can look up and say, that is my baby girl. Every time I feel the wind blow, I will stop and remember you. With your heart and soul that are linked to mine. You are my best friend and my whole world. I love you Ti.
With all the love in my heart,
December 16, 2010
I can’t believe it has been one month since I saw your beautiful soul, and spoke our silent language. I have made it through the first month, and thought of you every step of the way.
I try to stay up at night, to puzzle over any reason why God would have taken you, and whether that reason be for you, or me, we may never know. Your last gift to me was the gift of unstoppable and pure love.
Tiamo, you showed me who I was again, and loved me so deeply, that I felt as long as I had you, I would be ok, no matter what happened. But then this came along, and knocked us flat on our butts, but with a love as strong as ours we can neigh our fierce neigh and gallop together as one to whatever may come our way.
Tiamo, I love you with all my heart, baby girl. You are my wings, and you taught me how to fly. I still look across the star-filled sky every night, to whisper my good night wishes, and when I put in my word for you, Tiamo, I know you are listening. You raise your head and feel my soft hands glide over your cheek, and my lips kiss your star. I press my cheek into your neck and run my fingers through your mane. And breathe in your heavenly scent. As I whisper, "I will love you till the mountains tumble down and forever after that.", you know we will be together again.
Till then, my special little angel.
With all the love in my heart,
January 16, 2011
Today it is -25 degrees Celsius. The sky is white and sprinkling big, fluffy flakes down from the heavens. It is also the day marking 2 months since you, Tiamo, passed away. I have gotten your ashes, but haven’t yet been able to look at them. I feel you all around me, I hear you, I smell you. But with every passing day the feeling gets fainter, the sounds get quieter, and the smell gets further and further away. And I am left with absolute stillness. In this stillness I think. I think aloud, I think to myself, I think about everything we did together and everything we should have done as well. Sometimes in my thinking periods I get angry. Angry with me and God. But most of the time I feel peaceful and happy. Because in your time with me and in your passing, you have fulfilled my dreams to an extent I didn’t think possible.
After your death I told you something. I told you when I begin my search for a new horse I want you to come. I told you I would not purchase a new friend until I felt you there. In the month after your death I looked everywhere. I looked at tall sleek Friesians, big fluffy Canadians, Gypsy Vanner’s, and Clydesdales. Most of these horses anyone would have bought, but I felt nothing towards any of them. I began to give up until I came across an ad. He was a Morgan/Welsh, 15.1Hh, 3 years old and already over ridden. His pictures were horrible, and he didn’t have many hits. On December 9, I walked into a dusty indoor arena and felt something. I felt you. I walked over to the spunky little horse with grey spots and began to glide my hands over his body. He was shy and confused. As I lunged the baby boy named Tacoma around in circles, I could hear my heart beat inside of me, my legs felt weak. As we drove out of the parking lot that night, our star, the one I whisper my wishes to every night, was out. It hadn’t been out for days. The sky was spitting a snowy rain and it was windy.
We went to look at another horse after him. As I stood there petting the Clydesdale, my heart was thinking about Tacoma and I started to cry. He was the one, you led me to him! I went to bed that night, and for the first time, I didn’t dream of that horrible day where my best friend had to leave, I dreamt of Tacoma. After that, we went out to ride him. And when I cantered him for the first time, I felt happy. Happy for the first time in a month.
We had a vet check done to ensure he was healthy. The vet said that he is lucky we wanted him, because if he was to be sold to someone who rides like the previous owner (in shows) he would have been ruined before he was six.
On December 16, one month after the death, I had my new friend. I sat in the quarantine pen with him, as it started to snow. He was in the quarantine pen right beside Tiamo’s old one, and as I sat there crying, Tacoma stopped frantically passing back and forth, and slowly walked up to me. He pressed his warm nose against my cheek in the crisp winter air, and as the wind blew I could smell his heavenly smell. And I was once again home. I taught him to play tag. And braided bright tinsel in his mane for Christmas. And when I cantered him for his first canter bareback, we soared like eagles.
Do you remember our first canter bareback, Tiamo? We were in the pasture riding with only a halter. My mom was acting as the rabbit and I was trying to get my courage up to give that one little kissy noise that would give you your cue. I was bouncing all over the place, but your ears were forward and you played along perfectly. You were probably rolling your eyes, but I couldn’t see cause I was holding on to your mane so tightly my knuckles were white. I was just starting to give up, I picked up the reins and was about to lightly pull back, when you finally took matters into you own hands and pushed forward into a floaty canter. It must have been a sight to see, because I’ll tell you what, that was one of the best days in my life. It was a bright sunny day, and the sun was shining on my skin and your coat. That was the day, that changed who I was.
About a week after having Tacoma, I sat in bed looking out across the sky saying my good night wishes. I was asking for Tacoma to be happy with me, when I lost control and started to cry. At the time I didn’t know why, but now I know that my soul was letting Tiamo go to heaven. I was saying my good bye to my best friend.
My head felt heavy and I rested it on my pillow, and slowly fell asleep. When I had Tiamo there were many things we were to do together. I always dreamed of taking her to the beach and galloping bareback through the water. And most of all, I always wanted to fall asleep on her neck while she was lying down. That night I was there. I was standing on the beach with her, gliding my hand over every inch of her body. She was scared of the waves and kept prancing around. I was laughing and was extremely happy. The sun was shining and I could hear nothing but Tiamo and the noise of the ocean. I kissed Tiamo’s star and swung up onto her back. Just then she went back on her haunches and lunged forward, gliding out into a powerful and fast gallop. Her stride lengthened with every passing inch as water flew up from her pounding hooves. Our wet hair flew in the wind as I put my arms up to the sky and dropped my head back with pure freedom. We galloped the beach and then gradually came down to a halt. I slid from her back and stroked her. Feeling her power. As I kissed her on her star and began to say, "I’ll love you till the mountains tumble down.", I started to cry. Her legs came underneath her and she started to lay down! I laid down beside her, watching the sun set over the ocean. I cried and cried, holding onto her mane. She laid there and didn’t even move. I listened to her steady heart beat and felt her body rise and fall. I finally kissed her star again and said, "I’ll love you till the mountains tumble down and forever after that.". I laid back down on her neck and closed my eyes, and softly whispered, “I love you, my baby girl, I will never forget you. But it’s okay, you can go now. Thanks to you, I think I’m going to be okay.”
Tiamo, you fulfilled every promise you ever made to me. And I promise to fulfill mine. You led me to Tacoma and you led Tacoma to me. You let me say goodbye to you, and you were there every step of the way. I love you sooo much, and you will ALWAYS be my special girl. And now, thanks to you, I have a special little boy too.
Tiamo you are and always will be the wind on my face, the beat of my heart and the spark in my soul. I’ll love you till the mountains tumble down and forever after that.
Love forever and always,
February 16, 2011
Tiamo, the time has flown. Your time here with me was short but sweet, like a delicious piece of chocolate, our love was and is pure and sweet. But with every passing day, I miss you more and more. I call out your name as I kneel in the snow of a big pasture, as the rays of moon illuminate a young girl's tear-stained face, all is quiet. I look across the blurry acres that seem endless and feel a deep tingle in my heart. I know you are gone, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like such could be true.
I remember my smiled lips press on your forehead every time you did something silly, or out of place, I would quickly kiss you and stroke your beautiful face, leaning back with laughter. What I wouldn’t give for more of those memories. But I know today the rain that comes down my cheek, falls on rivers and land, on forests and sand and makes the beautiful world that I'll see in the morning. Even though I understand that rain is a part of how life goes, I can’t help but hope everything will be fine in the morning. For whenever I was afraid, I had you, a gentle someone who always came to dry my tears, and helped me go to sleep when I needed a little sympathy from the world. Tiamo, you still come, I know you do. You’re in the snowflakes, as if up in heaven you are reaching down to let me know I am not ever alone. You are in the wind, drying off all my tears, constantly trying to prepare me for the cruel, harsh world I need to work up the courage to face without you. You are the sun, warming my soul with a little love when I need it. But most of all I see you when I am with Tacoma, as if you sent him to me to help heal my soul, he has soaked up every tear drop, unable to leave one unabsorbed.
As I stand in the field with him, grasping his mane as my heart pours open, I feel you watching, watching your final gift to me from you, slowly start to break his way into my heart to try and bloom into the beautiful bond that once bound yourself and I, and to heal the broken heart and soul who lost what meant the world to her. Tiamo, I feel you in everything I do, and I will never stop loving you. You will always take up a huge amount of space in my heart. Tiamo, I will love you till the mountains tumble down, and forever and ever after that. Though it is true that time can heal a broken heart, it can never change the way one feels. You are my baby girl, that always came first no matter what, and I wouldn’t have changed that for the world. I never wasted one minute with you, for every second was worth gold to me.
Tiamo, you're my best friend and my whole world. I will love you forever and always, my special little angel.
With all the love in my heart,
P.S. I love you
March 16, 2011
Others ask if I still miss you, and I just smile and say I do. When I think of you, I feel sad. But I also feel like one of the proudest people in the world. Because I got to know you. I can proudly say when others ask if I miss you, "Of course I miss her, she was a piece of me. But I got to stay with her for the rest of her days, and shared her with no one." Your wisdom still mindboggles me, and your beauty still feeds my soul. Your love wakes me up at night and leaves me to fall
asleep with a tear on my face, and your spirit lives on in the wind. I know I will never be completely whole without you, but I hope I will one day start to heal, and sometimes I believe I have, but other times, the wound is still deep.
It surprises me sometimes how much you taught me on this earth, and I miss how you knew me better than I knew myself. I discovered something the other day, I didn't teach you, you taught me...everything. You always (well, most of the time) tolerated my young ignorance. You were always patient and kind. You taught me to be myself, and to have fun. And whenever I couldn't take the world anymore, one date with you and the open sky always seemed to do the trick.
I still often have those moments where I need you, and only you. And when I do have those moments, I run into the prairie land and spend a few minutes with your precious friend, Indiana, and my new boy, Tacoma. And just for a momen,t as I stand there with my two best friends, I can feel the wind blow by with the scent of you in the air.
Tiamo, I love you and I always will. Although others may move into my heart, there is always a big piece saved just for you. I promise. I hope to see you soon, my special little angel. I will love you til the mountains tumble down, and forever after that.
April 16, 2011
I feel the effects of having you once in my life every day. A little piece of you will always stay with me no matter where I am. But eventually I need to learn to move on, and I need to realize you are not here with me anymore, and to just know that your soul and your spirit will always be around me. I know you are waiting for me wherever you are, up in the sky with your beautiful herd, or down here on earth watching over me. I know that as soon as my hour glass runs out I will once again hear your wild cry or soft nicker and your pounding hooves and I will once again be able to bury my face into your neck and run my fingers through your mane. Although I have had some very difficult decisions to make here without you, I now know that I will always have somewhere to turn to. Even though your passing was the single most hardest and most pain stricken thing I ever went through, it opened my eyes to the friends I had and the strong family I could lean on. And it also guided me to new friends. Tacoma cantered to me for the first time the other day, you two are so different but so alike at the same time. No matter what the trouble is, he is always there, just like you were. I see a little part of you in him too.
I often think about our long visits and how we would sometimes just sit together to feel each other’s presence. It was as if we could feed off of each other’s souls. I would sometimes imagine you cantering down my hallways at school, coming to rescue me from my drama filled life. But then again you could always be a bit of a drama queen yourself, like whenever I brought the hose near you, and if the cold water so much as touched your leg you wouldn’t touch it to the ground for about five minutes or until I turned off the hose. It was as if you just knew when it was bath time.
I remember when me and my family when to Dominican Republic and I cried the entire plane ride because I didn’t want to leave you, and every night I would go outside and whisper to our star saying how sorry I was for going. And I am sure you do that sometimes now too.
I still think of you often, and love you lots. You are my special little angel, I love you till the mountains tumble down and forever after that. I will talk to you soon baby girl, promise.
With all the love in my heart,
May 16, 2011
Tiamo, it has been 6 months. Exactly half a year, since I was able to run barefoot across our beautiful pasture and hear your wild cry spread out across the open air. I miss you so much, that it hurts the insides of my soul.
Our love used to feel like my last innocence. You carried such a big part of me inside you, and when you passed away, those pieces were lost, and every day it got harder to find them. I live in a world that expects me to be something else. But you always loved me for who I was, for who I am. Even though a lot of days I don’t know who that is. When I look out across the sky at night I find myself again with you. The days where I would lie in the thick grass as you grazed around me. Or the bareback canters through the fields, where we would find a broken tree and you would just quietly listen to the sound of my voice as I read a child’s book to you under the bright blue sky. I find that some days I just need you in my life again, but then there are some days when Tacoma helps me to find another little piece of me that got lost. For the first time since your death I said, "I love you." to another horse, and I actually meant it. When he looks at me I feel as if he looks into me, and feels my pain that I sometimes feel when I have a memory flash back from our past.
The end of my middle school years are coming to an end. Which means my grad is coming up. I remember the long conversations I would have with you about how when grad comes I would come out and take pictures with you in my dress. I looked at my graduation as a hill you and I would climb together. I got you at the beginning of Junior High school, and I was looking forward to lasting through to the end.
Tiamo, I miss you so much, and I still stream my tears at the mere thought of you. I will carry you in my heart forever and always. If I ever have a doubt in who I am I know that I have two special horses that I can go to.
Tiamo, I will love you until the mountains tumble down, and forever after that. You are and always will be in my heart.
Love you dearly, my beautiful little girl,
June 16, 2011
The pitter patter of the rain against the window reminds me of you on this day. They came quickly and left quickly, leaving behind a colourful freshness to the world and the feeling of a cleansed soul. Everything smells and feels better. The leaves are greener, the grass is soft and the earth feels real. These are the feelings of pure and sweet nature, whether it be the environment, nature or the simple nature of falling in love with something of a different species, and loving it as if it were of your own. You will forever be in my heart, and I cannot tell you enough times how much I love you, and how much the time we spent together means to me. My memories of you are what gives me courage to fight a horrible day, and to pick myself up again and fight to make a good day.
On a day like today, at 6 am, I came to see you knowing I wouldn’t see you again until after my camping trip. It was pouring rain, and was bitterly cold. My dad expected the visit to be 10 to 20 minutes, the exact time he predicted it would take before I got tired of standing under the single piece of shelter in the entire field. I ran through the field, water splashing up from my bare feet as I raced to my soggy friends who nickered after me and came trotting up. I hid under her belly as I tried to pet her, and give her kisses. Then I ran with her to the shelter and put down 5 apples on the ground trying to make sure she didn’t follow me as I went to get her oats…it didn’t work. We raced back to the shelter and I placed the oats on the ground. I held off all the other horses, and made sure none of them tried to take her spot in the shelter. I piled high some hay, and made sure she was well stocked with all the goodies she could eat. I brushed her thoroughly and then we went running through the fields. The rain blinded us as we raced each other to the opposite ends of the field. You could hear each of our breathes as we ran with freedom. I stayed with you 8 hours in the rain. I kept you dry, and you turned a rainy day into one of the best days of my life.
Thank you, Tiamo, for coming to my race. You made a perfect entry as you soared like an eagle over my head giving me courage minutes before the gun. As I struggled into the final stretch of the race, I made the big finish for you, I sprinted to the end, you could hear each of our breathes as we ran with freedom.
Tiamo, I love you so much, you are the wind on my face, the beat of my heart and the spark in my soul. I will love you till the mountains tumble down and forever after that. Forever and always, my beautiful girl.
July 16, 2011
Hi my baby girl, it has been another month, and rather than growing further away from you, I have been seeing you more and more. Tiamo, you never fail to be there for me. Whether it be a different feel in the wind, or an eagle soaring over head as I stand in the pasture with Tacoma, you have stayed with me over the months. Things are falling together after all. Dreams are coming true, and my heart is realizing, truly, that you are always with me, even though I can’t always see you in a living form, you are always here, and I love you even more for that. And even the gifts that you used to bestow upon me, that you can no longer give, such as a soft warm nuzzle on my check, you have still managed to do that in some form…you gave me Tacoma, and allowed me to love him, as much as you, without any guilt.
Tiamo, you were always so kind and forgiving. I always felt peace when I was near you. Even in summer, when the bugs were everywhere. In spring when the snow started to melt you would crazily gallop around in pure joy as the warm beams of sun soaked into your dark color coat. But then the bugs would come out, and I swear you thought they were there for the sheer purpose of biting and killing you. I would stand there for hours, just next to your side wiping off the mosquitoes and killing the bot flies, just so you could relax. You would rear and rear in an attempt to flee from them, it was an amazing sight to see, almost like magic. But of course I could never spray you with mosquito spray. Because then you run in a million different directions bucking out and stirring up all the other horses, I knew deep down you were just in sheer joy, and proud to be a horse. I always knew where we stood with each other. Some days you were a wild filly, and others you were a wise and elegant young lady. But you were never old to me. I loved you too much to allow you to be old. You had your youth to the end of your days, and if anything ever caused you discomfort I would use everything, even if beyond my power to remove it, because I always knew you would have done the same.
Tiamo I love you so much, and I always will. I will always hold you in my heart. I will love you till the mountains tumble down and forever after that. I love you baby girl. Forever and always. I will talk to you soon my angel.
With all the love in my heart,
August 16, 2011
Tiamo, as yet another summer slowly starts to fade away, and as high school slowly starts to approach me, my soul feels closer to the times that we shared. When I was lost in that stage between a child, and a “woman” I turned to you for guidance, you didn’t let me down. As I enter this obstacle I feel your presence all around. But I am scared, scared of what is to come, and scared of what isn’t. I am scared of change, and of never being given a chance. I am going to a school in which none of my other friends are…and this school wasn’t exactly my first pick…but I know that with you and Tacoma I will get through this. Tiamo, me and Tacoma are getting closer and closer. I plan on taking him across British Columbia for a 2 month camping adventure. He loves the trails. Indiana is getting better too. I don’t think she misses you anymore, although I know she still loves you too.
I remember taking you on trail rides, you would prance as soon as we were just out of the farm perimeter. I would get so mad at you sometimes for your little freak-out temper tantrums. You hated the trails! You dreaded every time we went out, but you tried so hard to tolerate it. You could only give me your little wiggling worried lip for so long before your energy level would burst through the roof and you sprung up into your fancy dressage style prance as we attempted to go on a trail ride. Whether we had gone on the exact route a thousand times, it didn’t matter to you, it was still scary. Especially when there was a new little bush or potted plant on the side of the range road, that would send you into a sideways hop across the pavement as you let out a snorting shriek. These memories make me laugh out loud!
Tiamo, thank you for always listening, I know you do. I love you so much, baby girl, you are such a special part in my heart and you always will be. Til the mountains tumble down my little angel, and forever and ever after that. I will see you in the stars tonight, baby girl.
With all the love in my heart,
September 16, 2011
I find myself going back to our time together more and more. With so many changes happening in my life I seek comfort in the little moments that have become priceless treasures I hold dear to my heart with every step I take. Tiamo, I miss you. I miss you so much. I just don’t know what to say anymore. I don’t have any poems I can write or stories I can tell that will bring you back. You are gone. It still doesn’t feel real. The only thing that makes me somewhat understand that you are gone, is Tacoma. He is here with me because of you. I have been asked before if I am glad that you passed away because that means I got Tacoma. I can’t answer that. I don’t know how to. I will never be glad that you passed away, but I am so glad that I got Tacoma. He fills almost every thought. My love for him is obsessive. I feel like without him, I am no longer me. When I feel distant and gone from the world he brings me back. And when I feel sad and angry he makes me better. I have picked and prodded at your death, sometimes to the brink of craziness. Sometimes I don’t understand why you left, and sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t even feel it. As if there is a wall blocking me from feeling pain. Sometimes I am ok with your death, and sometimes all I want is you. Tiamo, I started to finally settle in my skin. I am ok. This summer was one of the best summers ever. I remembered our summers together, and felt you in this one.
I remember the first time you came running to me. I mean really running to me. You had come walking up to me and trotting up to me, but this was RUNNING. It was just after the girls at the barn had stopped talking to me. And after I stopped talking to them. They were loading their horses into the trailer and I came up to the fence. The other girl was in the other pasture trying to catch her horse as it ran away from her. She stared me down as I walked up to the fence. I felt adrenaline in my legs, I so wanted you to come running so I could show off our bond. I climbed over the fence and called your name. I held my breathe. Your head came flying up and you flew back onto your heels. You let out a whinny and came running to the fence in a straight line to me. You tossed your head. I darted to the left and you followed quickly after. The adrenaline was gone, we were playing for the first time! I raced around the pasture as you pounded behind me (I cannot stop smiling as I write this). I grabbed your mane and gave it a tug, then darted across the field, we played and played until I noticed the other girls standing by their trailer watching me. Their faces in complete and total awe. The girl in the pasture even stopped trying to catch her horse. She just stood there watching Tiamo attempt to make me chase her. Tiamo pranced around me tossing her head. Then she stopped and came walking up to me. Her ears were calm and she rested her soft nose on my hand. I stopped looking at the girls and focused on the only thing that mattered. It wasn’t the competition of whose horse loved them more. I wasn’t me trying to prove my bond with my horse. Is was me having a bond with my horse. It was the deep ache in my heart I had never felt before. It was first love. It was first true love. I kissed Tiamo on her star, and turned away from the girls. I walked away from them, with my big beautiful baby girl following close behind.
Thank you Tiamo, for a lesson I will never forget. Thank you for loving me, and thank you for showing me how to love back. I will never forget it. I promise. Till the mountains tumble down, and forever and ever after that.
With all the love in my heart,
I will see you soon, my angel.
October 16, 2011
It surprises me how slowly time can go. But then again where has the time gone? In 4 days I would have had you for 3 years. It feels like it has been an eternity! So much has happened in this past year, Tiamo. I am coming to face my 15th birthday. I have not had a birthday without you since elementary school. I am now in grade 10. I don’t know what it will be like. I have, since getting you, felt birthdays as such a magical time, but I am not sure if I can do it. I still cry for you, whenever I get a wave of something real, or I feel a memory I can rarely hold back the tears. You filled so much of my heart, and I filled so much of yours, something as magical as our friendship and love could never just die overnight. It gets tucked away in my heart for special times where I can look back and feel the touch of your angel wings.
Things are going up and down. They fall into place and then are yanked back out. The summer recharged me, and the beginning of fall was pretty bumpy. But things seem to be going ok now. I don’t know what I would do without Tacoma. He comes first over pretty much everything!!! I am entering my first show! It is a Halloween show. I get to dress up Tacoma. I remember this time last year I was talking about dressing you up. I still can’t believe it was only a little under a year ago. I remember my mom telling me we were moving you and Indy to the new stables. I was so against it. I did not want to go, I was scared and skeptical, and didn’t want to leave. But I can now see the journey this has been.
I miss you so much, and feel you with me, but you are also slowly fading. I cannot always come to terms with this, but I am slowly letting you go. My heart is slowly healing, even though I still mourn your loss every night, but I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that you are gone, and you are never coming back. I know you will always wait for me, and when the time comes, I will once again be able to go running to you and I can hold onto your mane and breathe in your heavenly sent. I remember you more than ever right now. Fall was our time. It was the time everything happened. I got you, and lost you. You turned into my little fuzzy teddy bear in fall.
I remember the first time my older sister rode you. It was late fall, I had only owned you for maybe a month. She was on you bareback and my mom was leading you around as I watched. You took my breathe away with every step. Your long legs stretching out, as your short mane blew in the wind. Caitlyn rode stiff and held the reins tight. She was intimidated by both size and power. As you went forward into a trot Caitlyn started bounding back onto your bum! Her legs started to wrap around your back legs, and you started to do a sideways hop. You bounded higher and higher until with a loud thud she hit the frozen ground. You stopped dead. She never saw it, but I will never forget the look of pure and utter sympathy you had. You felt horrible. You knew what you had done. You lowered your head and looked at her, then turned your head back at me as if to hope you were portraying the message to me. I took your lead rope, and walked you away, slowly stroking your soft face. That day my sister will remember as the first day she fell of a horse, but I will remember it as the first day, I was able to look into the soul of a friend, and feel their pain. That day, I became linked to you through something deeper than I had ever felt before. I will always love fall. Because it was when the best day of my life was. It was the day my dream came true. It was the in fall, when I got you.
Tiamo, I will miss you so much on my birthday this year. Just know how much you are still in my life. It hurts so much to not be with you on this day. I know you will come, on our special anniversary. To help make my birthday special again. I remember our first anniversary, I invented a horse cake using marshmallows and honey. It had apples and a special horse icing. I spent hours on it. When I finally presented it to you, you lifted your lip up and walked away. Indyanna and Jake ended up eating it…haha, it made me laugh. You were so picky…and yet on every special occasion, I would try harder and harder on the cake, just so you would like it, and every holiday or special occasion…you did the exact same thing.
I miss you more than words could ever help me to explain. Happy Anniversary my special angel, know every tear that falls is a gentle kiss on your beautiful face. I love you so much my beautiful angel, you are and always will be my first love. I love you, till the mountains tumble down and forever after that. I miss you.
Love you so much, more and more each day.
With all the love in my heart,
November 16, 2011
Baby girl, I know you are here with me today. This exact time last year, my whole life came to a crashing halt. My walls caved in, my Candle burned out. Everything went black. This day was the one where everything changed. But I now know that it was all part of the plan. You knew I could handle it. As you fell to the ground on the day you departed, you were free of pain and full of love. You died under the stars, where your soul was free to fly wherever else you were needed.
You were my angel and I needed you. You shared your wisdom with me and you filled my heart with unbreakable dreams and love. But somewhere else your presence was needed, and you had to go, because only the best of angels get chosen by God to heal the unhealable. But I know you will always be back. Whether it be in a month or tomorrow morning. You will be the wind blowing against my cheeks as I fly across the horizon on Tacoma, or a free eagle soaring through the sky watching over me down below. Or, you may simply be a dream, sneaking your love and comfort into my head at night, leaving a smile on my face and a single tear slowly trickling down my cheek. No matter where I am, or who I am with, I know you will never be far behind. I miss you more than words could ever help me to explain. Your love fills my heart, and my lips ache for one last kiss. All those memories we share can NEVER be forgotten. They live on in my heart, and beat with such love and passion, that with every step I take they will only get stronger. Your presence on earth will forever leave a mark. You will never be forgotten, your memory will always live on. For every great hero there ever was always makes history, and you have truly made mine. You will always be my story to tell. My lesson I learned. I love you so much baby.
With all the millions of kisses, and all the joyful laughter. The whinnies and neighs. The thundering hooves, and the gentle cuddles that we shared, our bond will continue to grow. I remember everything. The first snow fall, watching you gallop with the sprinkling flakes floating down around you. The first neigh you called for me. The first bonding moment. The trail rides. The first canter. The first gallop. The first time I laid eyes on you, and my heart skipped a beat as your mane brushed my arm. The first time I told you I loved you, and wrapped my arms around your neck and breathed in your heavenly scent. The first steps we made as horse and rider. The first time you truly accepted me into your life. The first time you showed me you loved me back. The first story we made together. The first time you carried me upon your back as I spilled my heart out to you as the tears fell uncontrollably. The first lesson you ever taught me. My first dream about you. My first dream coming true. My first true best friend. My first horse. My first love.
Tiamo, here are the words of a few absolutely amazing individuals. These people held my Kleenex and gave me support as I tried to face the world without you. You truly led me to some amazing people Ti. These are people whose lives your love has touched. You are truly loved and missed.
“Dear Tiamo, Emily loved you to the moon and back and still does. I don't even remember a day in junior high when Emily didn't tell us a story or share a sweet memory of you two together. I still remember the day when we found out you passed, Emily's heart was broken and I was almost in tears because I know how upset and lost she was when she found out that you had passed away. One memory I will never forget is when Emily would always carry the small replica toy horse of Tiamo in her pocket everywhere at school. Her locker was always filled with pictures of Tiamo, I always looked forward to seeing the new pictures when she would change them. You will never be forgotten Tiamo and you always be in Emily's heart.”
“Tiamo was so special as is her most beautiful caretaker & rider & best friend. Tiamo you are greatly missed & I learned so much about you from the tributes Emily wrote about you! I never realized an animal your size could touch so many!! RIP.”
“When Tiamo died she came back to earth as an eagle and when she feels like it she goes back to the sky and becomes Emy’s twinkling star. Tiamo was Emily’s best friend but I think she blessed Tacoma upon her. Tiamo I think you were as beautiful as an eagle, and what you and Emily had together was stronger than the mountains bonds.”
Mikayla Buhlmann –
“Tiamo sounded like the horse of a lifetime for Emily. I never got the chance to meet her, but the stories I hear about her daily are always full of joy and happiness. I wish that her life hadn’t passed as fast as it did as I would have loved to meet her. I always go by the quote that everything happens for a reason. We should all be grateful that Tiamo was brought into Emily’s life and made her look forward to the next day that she could spend with her. Their bond was irreplaceable, and I know that it takes a long time to heal, but Tiamo will always live on in Emily’s heart. She’s watching her from green pastures in the sunny sky above every hour of the day. Rest in Paradise beautiful girl.”
“Dear Tiamo. You were a beautiful horse. I liked how you pooped. You even almost pooped on my feet. That would not have ended well, but you pooped with style:) Seriously, your owner, Emily, loved you so very much. Her heart has been broken and I have never seen such devotion to a friend in my life. She has written your monthly tributes to honour your memory and her love shines through with every word. You were a lucky horse to have Emily. Hope you met a hotty horse up in heaven big girl!”
“I didn't know much about Tiamo but I knew that Emily was in love with her horse. The last time I remember seeing her was, I think boxing day, but I don't have a good memory me and Bella. We were very cold, see we had to go sit in the car, but I didn't stop looking Tiamo and Emily. They looked like they were having so much fun. I couldnt believe you could stand outside in the cold. Would do everything to be with your horse. Every time I came to Edmonton I would always hear funny story's about you and Tiamo. It's sad that she had to go.”
“I've never met someone who had such an undying passion and care for an animal like Emily did for Tiamo. Seeing the two of them together was truly beautiful. Emily was amazing with Tiamo (as she is with Tacoma as well), they had a special bond, one that some people don't even have with humans. When I was informed on Tiamo's death, I too was heartbroken. I only met you once, Tiamo, but you were a spectacular horse, and I know everyone is loving you in Horse Heaven as much as we all did here ♥ Rest in peace.”
First off, I would like to say Tiamo was a very, very lucky horse to be treated with such an incredible amount of respect from Emily. All the stories Emily told me were always interesting and I really enjoyed talking about your life with Tiamo no matter what Ms. Saxby says .. lol It was as if when Emily was with Tiamo, they were in a whole other world and their bond was so strong and unbreakable. I truly envied what Emily had with Tiamo, what she still has with Tiamo. Times were hard when Tiamo passed on but Emily knows how to stay strong and make the best out of every situation no matter how much it hurts. I really liked that about Emily. All the things Emily has told me about Tiamo has made me believe in true love, that it really does exist. When I'm having a rough time with someone I love, I think of Emily and Tiamo's bond and no matter what happens, you'll always be able to pull through. In other words, Emily and Tiamo have taught me a huge life lesson, stay strong always. I love you. RIP Tiamo.”
“Tiamo had a ton of try, but she also wouldn't give you something for nothing... she'd almost ask "Do you REALLY want me to?". I remember a couple of those lessons I was teaching you when we were trying to get her to pick up the right lead at the canter (and you complained about how bouncy her trot was...but that's another story). I knew, and she knew, you could do it, but she made YOU get it right. She wouldn't pick up that lead until YOU were correct in your body position and in how you asked. You did get it. And she seemed to say (as she stopped and licked and chewed)... "I knew you could do it." :-)”
“Dear Tiamo, I never met you but I hear a lot of wonderful things about you and how you were a wonderful, beautiful, sweet, loving horse who Emily loved with all her heart and will never forget you. Your memory will live forever though her stories of you. I would have loved to meet you♥
“When I heard of Tiamo’s death I was shocked. I was in math class when my mother called and told me; I instantly burst into tears. When I got home that day my whole family was gathered together to help and support Emily through this difficult time. I remember thinking to myself, “Why Tiamo, why Emily? Whats the reason for this? There can’t possibly be a reason.” I strongly believe that everything happens for a specific reason.
Because Tiamo’s death was so horrible, I couldn’t think of the reason for it happening, and I slowly lost faith in the concept I had grown so comfortable with. Then Emily met Tacoma. Months went by and stories about Tacoma started to emerge, along with my understanding of Tiamo’s death. Eventually Emily fell madly in love with Tacoma and Tacoma slowly grew a bond to Emily just as stong as the one Tiamo had. Today I understand the meaning of Tiamo’s death.
Emily has a big heart, one that she is willing to share with only one horse at a time, and without Tiamo’s death Tacoma wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be in Emily’s life, wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be loved like no other horse has been loved before. Tacoma needed Emily, and somewhere deep down Tiamo knew this, I believe that. She loved Emily, and she was probably so happy to have the opportunity to spend the last two years of her life with Emily, and honestly, if Tiamo wasn’t 100% sure that Emily would be okay without her, and find another horse to love just as much, she wouldn’t have left. Rest in peace Tiamo, Emily is safe and well, today we are all thinking of you.”
“It has been three years now that we have welcomed the horse into our family. The first foray into the world of horses, for me, was as a child growing up on the family farm in Rainier. I think I was about 8 when I got my first Shetland Pony. I can’t even remember what its name was, but do remember the times I was thrown into fences and dirt. In fact, I still have a scar on my leg from one particular equine temper tantrum resulting in my waltzing with a barbed wire fence. For about the next 15 years, we had 2 horses: Lady and Sandy, her son, on the farm. For us, the horses were utilitarian. We used them a few times per year to herd cattle and move them from home pastures to lease land and back. I can count on one hand how many times we saddled up just for the pure pleasure of riding a horse. The rest of the time, we treated them largely like the rest of the livestock; we fed them and protected them, but little else.
These past 3 years, however, have been very different. That difference is solely attributable to the extraordinary love and passion that Emily has demonstrated, first with some horses that she leased, then with her ownership of and friendship with, Tiamo. The difference is hard to describe for me. Emily’s Mom and I were looking for a horse for Emily for some time. We decided that since she had spent several years convincing us that she loved horses, and that her love of them was not a passing fad, we would get her a horse for her 12th birthday. It really did not take us long to find Tiamo. She was tall and long, with a beautiful temperament. Her owner at the time, you could tell, really loved her. She was a thoroughbred, as beautiful as they come, and we knew right away that she was meant to be Emilys.
Through Emily and her love for Tiamo, I grew to appreciate horses more than I ever had as a child on the farm. Emily loved that horse. The depth of her love for Tiamo could be seen whether she was at the farm playing with her, or just at home babbling incessantly about GOING to the farm to play with her. I have never seen anyone, at anytime, anywhere, with such a bond to a horse as Emily had with Tiamo, and now with Tacoma. I have never seen a kid play tag with a horse like Emily did with Tiamo. Or run through a field barefoot, through the poo, while either pursuing or being pursued by Tiamo. I waited patiently, in the pouring rain, for Emily to return to the truck so we could drive home after a several–hour visit, only to have to search for and rouse her from the straw in the barn, where she fell asleep with her horse Tiamo standing over her. I have seen Emily fall from Tiamo’s back, only to get back on; scared and afraid of a repeat throwing, but brave and resolved to try again, because she loved that horse, and she trusted that Tiamo meant her no harm whatsoever. So, in short, thank you, Tiamo, for all you gave to Emily. We were able to trim your hooves, feed you, and rid you of worms. In return, you gave a girl your love and guidance. You helped her to trust and love, and find a safe place on your back from which to view the world with hope and strength. Thank-you, girl.”
“ Dear Tiamo. We lost you a year ago today. I was surprised by the intensity of the sadness I still feel, and the depth of feeling. But I really shouldn’t be - because you inspired deep feelings in me from the first time I saw you. I will never forget you.
Giving my daughter a horse was the biggest thing I ever did. I will never forget the look on Emily’s face when she turned around and saw you for the first time, knowing you were hers. The day I forget how good that felt will be the day I forget to feel.
I will also never forget the first time you threw Emily, and she picked herself up and got right back on. I was so proud of how brave she was, and it seemed almost as if you knew that was a lesson she needed to learn.
I will never forget the first time I saw her canter on your back with no saddle. Together you were both so beautiful, and I loved to see the two of you together.
I will never forget the first time I caught you and her in that silent, loving embrace…her face pressed against your head and you standing so patiently still, both of you so uncharacteristically quiet. I tried so hard to capture that image in a picture, but I never could. It was just too delicate and special.
I will also never forget the day I had to go to Emily’s school and tell her you were gone. In contrast to the joy you brought us all, it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Seeing Emily skipping happily down the hall towards me, knowing I was about to tell her something that would crush her spirit, it almost crushed mine, too.
I was angry for a while - because it seemed so incredibly unfair. You had given her so much, and there still seemed to be so many things you could do together. I wanted to take away Emily’s pain, bring you back - and knowing that would not happen was really difficult to deal with. I was terrified that Emily would never again find the bond she seemed to have with you. I should have learned from your patience, Tiamo, because I was wrong. Your special relationship with Emily gave her the foundation with which to find a new horse, and begin to build a new kind of relationship. Time and a ridiculously affectionate pinto named Tacoma are teaching Emily how to love a horse again.
From wherever you are, in whatever green pasture you now call home, I know your spirit is with Emily forever. She will always carry the gift of having known you, and you will always be her first horse love. Thank you for that gift Tiamo, we will never forget you.”
“I told you all my secrets; I have braided my tears into your mane, and whispered my hopes into your ears. You were my sanctuary in an unsettled world. A sheltered place where life’s true priorities became clear. Our memories are of joy, awe, and wonder. Absolute union. I will always honor you for your brave heart, courage, and willingness to give. To those outside our circle it must seem a bit strange to see me love an “animal” the way I love you. But you are not an animal. You are an angel. You are my savior, my healer, my guardian angel. You were my whole world, and my best friend. And because of you, I now have 2 best friends. I celebrate your life with praise worthy of heroes. Indeed, horses have the hearts of warriors, and often carry us into and out of fields of battle…but you did not only that, but so much more. I love you with all my heart. See you soon. Baby. I love you so much.
Your best friend,
Tiamo, this is not good bye. I will whisper to you every night. I will always dedicate the 16th of every month to you. I will remember your beautiful face that I miss so much. I will remember our sweet love that nourished my soul. I will never forget you. I will never forget the countless gifts and memories that you gave me. All the lessons you taught me. And the love you showed me. I miss you so much. I will take walks down to the rock filled with your ashes, resting in the big pasture and feel your presence there with me every second. I will see your spirit run by, and nicker and neigh.
I love you, Tiamo. I always will. I am so honored to have been able to love an angel. You were the best mare in the entire world. You gave me my first set of wings, and you took me flying. Just like an eagle. You made every season memorable, and made me love the little things. You fill me with pride, and your legacy will never be forgotten.
This is it baby. It is time for me to go. I will see you at heaven's gates when it comes my time. I will run to you and hold you tight. I will see you in the stars tonight, Ti. Be with me every step I take. I love you so much it hurts. Know that I am okay down here. And I cannot wait to see you again. But it will have to wait. I still have a spunky little four legged pinto who still needs me. I love you with all my heart and then some.
You most definitely left your hoof prints on my heart. In fact, they are permanently embedded there, and no force on heaven or earth could remove them. I will love you till the mountains tumble down, and forever and ever after that. I love you Tiamo, with all my heart. I run to your side this night, in your big herd, and wrap my arms around your neck and breathe in your heavenly smell. I run my fingers through your mane, and kiss your star. I whisper our language in your ear, and hold you close to my beating heart, I hear yours beat as well. It is you me and Tacoma, galloping across the horizon, to a place where the spirits of horse and girl can and will live together forever.
I love you Tiamo, with all the love in my heart. I will love you till the mountains tumble down. Forever and always.
Love with all the love in my heart,
Your best friend Emily