I first saw my Prince when he was just a year old. Running with a herd of horses that ran wild. Some farmer had about 35 that he just had for the fun of it. It was love at first sight, at least for me. I was 12 at the time. I begged my dad to buy him for me, I just knew I could tame him. So for $35 and over a hour of chasing, we loaded him up and away we went home.

For two weeks I just sat by his stall and talked to him. I went in, fed him and cleaned his stall. He just stared at me. Then that "day" came. He walked up to me and let me touch him!! I thought I had just won the Kentucky Derby. A few short weeks later he was halter broke and I even put a bridle on him.

After about 6 weeks I decided it was time to ride. At the age of 12 you're invincible. I got on him bareback. Nothing. I gave him a nudge and he started walking. Never bucked once.

Prince was my horse for 4-H for 10 years. We won lots of ribbons. Nobody could believe that I could handle such a big boy (16 hands). After 4-H we "retired" for a few years as I got married and had babies. After 8 years, we went on the open show circuit. We did pretty good.

Prince was always a healthy horse, until one day, my daughter called me to say he was down. She thought he had colicked. I was over 60 miles from home. I drove very fast and all I could think of was, "You can't go without me being able to say goodbye.".

When I got home he was down. I jumped out of the car and just yelled his name. His head came up and he fought with all he had to get up. The vet came and it was a very long night but he made it. He was 18 at the time.

Then the day came in November of 1989. Two days before Thanksgiving. I came home from work and he was down. I ran to him and he tried so hard to get up for me. He tried at least 6 times. He just couldn't. My heart was breaking. I knew I was losing my best friend, my love, my "poo".

The vet came and listened to his heart. She just handed me the stethoscope and said, listen. His heart sounded like a water balloon. One of his valves had given way. My options were. 1. Put him on medication and hope he lived another 6 weeks. 2. Put him down.

He was 28. We had lots of years together and lots of love. There was no way I was going to make him suffer. I put his head in my lap and said, "Let's do it.".

As I brushed his beautiful face and kissed him and told him how much I loved him, he went to "sleep". My vet was even crying. I'll never forget the look in his eyes. It was if he was saying, "It's okay, I love you too, thanks for loving me enough to let me go".

My big boy was gone.


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