The next Equestrian Challenge Question is to talk about a ride that impacted your life. One particular ride keeps jumping into my head, insisting that I should think no further, this is the ride I need to write about- so I'm going to go with it.
Do you ever have a moment where you can feel that something bad is going to happen, and you suddenly convince yourself that the car coming at you is going to crash, or the wind outside is really a serial killer coming after you, or there is a ghost living in your basement? I have these once in a while, but they rarely come true. I say rarely, because this is one ride when I had a feeling that- well, you'll find out.
Honey was my first horse and I loved her. I am tempted to put in an analogy here, to show how much she meant to me, but the simple fact is that I loved her. If you've ever truly loved a horse, you know what I mean. If not, (and I don't intend this to be mean) but you wouldn't appreciate the analogy anyway.
She got sick in the middle of January 2008, and I couldn't figure it out. She had colic, over and over again. I had the vet out many times to see her and they would treat her colic. Once she was stable, they left. By the beginning of February, she wouldn't go three days without ending up rolling on the ground, nipping at her sides. I don't want to go into much further detail today, but she had trouble eating more than a partial flake of hay at a time without getting colic. I checked on her about fifteen times a day, giving her bits of hay at each time. She lost weight anyway, and I had stopped riding her.
Finally, she had been doing a bit better for a few days and I decided to take her out for an easy ride. She was amenable, eager even as we went out. We walked the whole way, going for a gentle ride around a bike path near the barn. It was less than a mile total.
The sun was setting over fields dotted with snow, the temperature unseasonably warm for Minnesota. I looked at the golden light, the sparkle in her mane, and I got this deep, gut feeling. And I was right.
Two days later, Honey died. She carried me faithfully and with her usual cheerful demeanor, but I just knew that this was our last ride together. I will remember that ride forever for how beautiful the day was, how calm and lovely Honey was, and for getting to have a last ride on my beloved mare.