"Risky" joined my life after my freshman year in college, 1998. I had ridden her a few times when she was four, and her owner said, "I will never sell her!". That winter, she called me up, saying life changes were forcing her to sell one of her horses, and she knew Risky and I were a match. Begging and pleading with my parents finally allowed me to have Risky in my life for good.
We sent her to my college where she helped me through the next three years. We rode in lessons, Dressage shows, Jumper shows, and Combined Training events. My Eventing coach loved her, saying, "That b**ch can JUMP!". She was a bit snarky, as most Appy mares can be!
Here is where our adventures have taken us: Washington state, Ohio, Vermont, Kentucky, South Carolina, and then back to Washington. Adventures such as a Training Level 3-Day Event (which she won), being a demo rider/horse for the NW Horse Expo, 4th level Dressage, and fun shows in the Sit-A-Buck class and the knock-down-and-out jumping classes. Risky loved to gallop and jump, but Dressage was my passion, so she gratefully obliged. She helped me get my USDF Bronze medal, and we learned the piaffe, passage, and pirouettes together.
She never really quite liked the flying changes, so we retired her at age 16 to breed her to Donarweiss, a Hanoverian stallion standing at Hilltop Farm. She was bred the spring of 2011 and we were looking forward to having a baby from her, my best friend. We hoped for black with a few white spots over the croup. Over the summer she was ridden lightly, given some lunge lessons and advanced Dressage lessons to some of my students, and the occasional bareback ride through the fields.
On October 13th, everything changed. She was not eating her breakfast, so after taking her TPR (which were normal), I called the vet. Not long after, she started showing signs of pain and distress. The vet suggested surgery, so we loaded her up to the best vet hospital in the area. As they were examining her, they showed me the heartbeat of the baby on the ultrasound. Her colon was twisted and the tissue was too far gone to save. It happened so fast! My baby doll was euthanized on the table and she was gone. My best horse who knew me inside and out was gone. And baby was gone. And my hopes for the future of a descendant of my best friend was gone.
I miss everything about her. My husband misses the grooming sessions where she would almost bend herself in half to get her haunches curried, her morning "nicker nickers" for her breakfast, her disapproving "Squeal" when petted while eating. We have planted a weeping willow tree on our property in memory of this amazing mare. A bench will be placed under it next year once the tree has established it's roots. The bench will have her stall plaque on it.