Zalezhar Halima+

Registered Purebred Arabian

May 21, 1992 - June 25, 2016  11:11am

You are my story.
.....My letter to Zhar.

It's strange...the things you can remember about your life and the things you can't. And there is so much I've forgotten over the years. So much. However, one thing I do know is that I remember every single thing about you. Over almost 2 decades I can remember every second I spent with you.

The universe led me straight to you on a hot and humid Midwestern spring day and you instantly became my religion. We seemingly belonged to each other before we even met and it was the kind of feeling that everything was as it was supposed to be. It was a tumultuous time and in the blink of an eye we saved each other. Literally. Me, saving you from the torturous world of horse slaughter. You, saving me from the torturous world of my life. We had both given up on asking love to come...

But then you did it. You made my dreams come true. Dreams I didn't know I had. You were my Black, my brave warrior... my mighty torchbearer and my hilarious, indomitable Thelwell pony. My ancient free spirit of your desert ancestors. My 14 hand giant with the heart of a lion. The sky always looked different and brighter from your back. You smelled like comfort and freedom and love.  I would watch my hand glide through your dark fur thinking how perfect your are. And from my childhood movie dreams you leapt into real life. While you weren't easy to ride, I didn't care and we flew. Your back was my place and where I belonged. 

And I imagined what it would be like for you to someday be draped in champion roses... And then you were. Seven times in your 20's and earning your Legion of Honor at the age of 21. You gave that to me. You didn't care about the wins, but it was your gift to me. As was your trust, effort and willingness. 

You talked to me all the time and told me what you needed, thank you for that.  I loved calling you and seeing your head snap up from the grass and hearing your voice from across the field. Strolling over you would stare at me with twigs in your long dark mane. Even though you sometimes pinned your ears and flared your nostrils at other horses I always knew it was because you wanted me to yourself. You were impossibly strong and always made me feel safe. Neither of us cared how small you were. Those days when people called you cute and little, and then you were the one wearing the champion ribbon... it always made us both smile as we quietly disappeared. 

But our life together wasn't about competition. In fact we never set foot in a show arena until you were 18. Your gift to me was always just existing. But it was my job to protect you from the world and I tried, I really tried. I hope you know how very hard I tried.

I owed you everything and I always knew the greatest gift I could ever give you was a relaxing retirement being sound and pain-free. I'm so grateful every single day that we never pushed it too hard or rode too much, and played more than worked. Even though you were invincible and immortal to me, I was always worried about you. People thought I was being overly cautious about you, but I didn't. I'm thankful I listened to my gut. Even though it wasn't long enough, I was able to give you that gift. But it will never compare to what you gave to me. I'm who I am because of you. You weren't my horse, you were my heart and my soul. And no one will ever understand exactly what that means for me.

Thank you for waiting for me to get there. The memory of my forehead pressed hard against yours when I couldn't break free is burned into my heart but I got to tell you thank you. For every single instant of happiness you gave to me, thank you.

But your eyes told me you had to go...down your inevitable path with the sunlight shining through the red highlights in your tail. And now I'm figuring out exactly who I am without you. While I will always want to break through what separates us and find my place upon your back and my hands tangled throughout your long mane, I will be waiting in my dreams like I promised you. I will always be waiting there. You were never a reason or a season... You were my lifetime. You are my story. I see you in everything that is beautiful... always.

Forever my beautiful Zhar, forever... your Missy

Tis a fearful thing to love what death can touch.
To love to hope to dream, and oh to lose.
A thing for fools this,
But a holy thing.
A holy thing to love love.
For your life has lived in me,
Your gaze once lifted me,
Your trust was a gift to me.
To remember this brings painful joy.
Tis a holy thing, love.
A holy thing to love
what death can touch.

By Yehuda HaLevi

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