A Letter to
It was early in the morning
and the mist was heavy in the air. Moisture was hanging off the branches
of the nearby trees. It was quiet except for the sounds of your feet walking
along the trail.
Occasionally you could hear
a bird calling to its mate. When we stopped you could hear the water rushing
along the creek. It was cold enough so that I was wearing gloves and I could
see the air with each breath you took. So many years we had done this very
thing together. Time alone, time to remember how far we had come and where
we were going. How much longer will we be able to do this? I just don't know.
All I do know is that the last 20 years would not have been possible without
you. So I want to tell you how much you have meant to me even though I know
you will never read this.
It all began May, 1977.
I could see your nose poking out of the feeder hole in the barn. When I saw
you I fell in love. You were feisty, and the most beautiful horse I had ever
seen. When we arrived at home you took a long look around the area while
standing at the edge of the trailer. We stood together, a beginning of the
most wonderful relationship between a girl and her horse. Then, gathering
up all of the courage of a 2 year old colt, you leaped out of the trailer
taking me with you. We had arrived! Our first year was spent getting you
ready to ride, learning how to deal with the clippers, seeing the world and
learning to love each other. We made many mistakes, some costly and some
silly. No matter what, we were developing a life-long bond that would carry
us both through some good times and some hard times.
Once I was able to ride
you I could tell you didn't quite trust my judgment on the trail. You were
sure I was going to get us into trouble and I think you felt it was your
job to set me straight. I'm not sure if this is an Arabian attitude or it
was just yours. After time and a lot of experience I think you decided I
might be able to make safe decisions, whatever, you began to trust me. I'm
sure you do remember, however, that we still got into some very tight spots.
There was the time we were
going down a very, very narrow trail with drop offs on each side, the barb
wire, the rushing creek that came up to your belly and who could ever forget
the cows that came at us in Irvine Park. And, there was the wild ride during
a hailstorm, the many lessons, learning how to jump, the endurance ride,
the sunsets, the coyotes, deer and bobcats, and the friends we made. After
20 years of riding I could probably fill up thousands of pages of all the
things we have done and seen together.
Now as I look back over
the years, I wonder if you realize how very much I love you and need you.
You, my best friend, have known me the longest. You were there for me whenever
I needed you. I have spent many hours telling you my innermost secrets because
I knew you would never tell and you never criticized my feelings. You loved
me as I was. I hope your life has been filled with love and kindness and
you have known how special you are to me. I will always hope that I have
given you a good life and no matter now much time we have left, I will try
to make it comfortable and loving for you.
I will always remember the
time you came and laid down in your stall next to where I was sitting and
put your head in my hands. I had been so sad because of the way my life was
going but to know that you, my friend, could feel my pain and want to help
me through that tough time was probably the most special moment of my life.
To look into your big brown eyes and see the kindness and love is something
that not many people have the opportunity to do and I have had 20 years to
be able to do just that. Certainly my life is so much richer because of you.
You have taught me to care, to develop my sense of responsibility, and to
enjoy the specialness of nature. So many times as we rode together in silence
enjoying the beautiful things that God put on the earth, I knew that my
experiences with you helped me to feel closer to God.
I do believe that we have
made it through this crisis and I can see you getting better. I can't believe
that I could possibly feel more bonded and love you more than in the past,
but I do. How could I not feel closer to you after spending hours holding
your beautiful head in my arms, looking at how sick you were and feeling
how much you needed me. I promise you that I will do everything in my power
to protect you, care for you, and give you everything I can to make your
life happy and healthy.
Ferdosh, thank you for
our wonderful times together, the love you have given to me and the many
lessons we have learned together.
I do hope we still have
many years left to add more experiences and memories to our 20 year scrapbook.
I love you.
Almost nine years have
passed since I wrote to you last. We have added so many more memories to
our lives together. You have come close to death 2 more times since December
of 1996 and because of your fighting spirit you overcame the horrible obstacles.
You have dealt with Cushings, a serious disease that most horses do not survive
long with. You have fought a brave fight with your spirit and love of life.
Because of this we continued to have new experiences. You lost your buddies
Moe and Magic but after grieving you fought on.
You fell in love with Amber
and have spent the last 9 years with her. I must remember our rides in the
hills, stopping at the top to watch the sunset, feeling the wind in our faces
as we raced up the hills. the power walk you and Amber developed to leave
the other horses in the dust and the sheer joy that you felt being out in
the hills. We saw so many of God's creatures and enjoyed the rain, fog and
wind as we quietly rode feeling the love we had for each other.
We moved to a whole new life
for you where you enjoyed the pastures with the freedom to move through acres
of trees, streams and other horses. You were able to experience what horses
are all about but you never forgot your love for me. Every day I came to
see you, you greeted me with love and excitement, you made my heart melt.
Then your best friend, Amber, came to join us and I could see how happy this
made you. You celebrated your 30th birthday, something many Cushing horses
are not lucky enough to be able to do. But now you are beginning to lose
that fighting spirit and life is beginning to be very hard. I can see the
change in you and it breaks my heart. I know that you are happy to see me
and happy to be free to roam, but moving is much more difficult and that
is understandable at your age. I will continue to do my best to provide for
your comfort and to give you the love you so deserve. I will understand if
and when life becomes too difficult that I must let you go to be with Moe
and Magic. Do not worry my precious boy, I will keep going because you will
ALWAYS be with me, in my heart and soul so until that time I am here loving
you moment by moment.
You are still having more
good days than bad days and this is good.
I have seen the changes
in the last 6 months in your body and blood work. Not all tests are back
but when they are we will decided what our plan is to make you comfortable
until that time that you tell me you are ready to go. Until then you will
have the pasture to roam, wild grass to munch on, sunsets to experience and
my unconditional love. I have to smile at the things that are happening now
even knowing the sad reasons. Trying to get a urine sample was challenging,
your funny mad face after after the bute and your knowing face to see the
vet drive up and you taking off to the corner of the pasture. What I would
give to be able to climb on your back and go off into the hills to see once
more the beauty of our earth and share this moment with you. I know I will
never be able to do this again with you at my side but you have to know that
every rain storm, every sunset, every walk in the woods, and every time I
smell that special horse smell you will be in my heart, my soul and my very
being. I will carry you with me always.
After all the tests have
now come in we are suspecting kidney and/or bladder stones. This, I am sure
is painful, but still you are a trooper. I watch the days to see what kind
they are for you. You have had several good days but tonight is not a good
night. You are in some kind of pain. Colic, stones, I don't know. Lyn has
had you trotting some and that seemed to help and now we will see how you
do. If you get worse I will be on my way to be by your side and if you are
better then I will be there in the morning. I wish you could talk to me and
tell me what you are feeling. Your eyes do talk and that is what we watch
closely. I am here for you my precious boy.
The time has come my special
friend to say good-bye. You are tired and unable to fight and I must let
you go to God and the beautiful pastures in Heaven. You have been an elegant
and proud boy and I will not let you down because I know you hate being the
way you are right now. My heart is breaking because I will not have you to
touch, kiss and be by your side. But I do know that with every sunset, you
will be there: with every rainstorm, you will be there; with every breeze
in the trees, you will be there. I will never look at a hill without seeing
us riding up the many hills we conquered. I will never look at another vista
from the top of a hill without feeling your presence. My life was forever
changed when you became my partner and friend and I will continue to feel
your presence each and every day. I know that you will be young and healthy
again and you will be charging through the green pastures and meadows with
your friends, Moe and Magic. Some day we will be together again. Thank you
for the memories, thank you for your trust and thank you for your love. Good-bye
my special friend and I will love you and forever.