So often I get phone calls and emails from customers who have just had to say goodbye to their horse. I can't count the tearful conversations, as I listen to stories of the precious horses who have stolen your hearts and given so much with their lives, but leave their people feeling so empty when they are gone. While I am deeply touched by each story, it's been awhile since I've had to go through that experience, myself. At least until this last June.
Life seems to have a way of taking the way we think things are going to go, and then going in the exact opposite direction.
Many of you probably don't know that I bred miniature horses for several years... It's a bit funny, how that started, since I didn't originally even want mini horses, but I fell madly in love with Fizz when he belonged to a client of mine during my hoof trimming days. I think he was seven years old at the time, and just such a sweetheart, and the icing on the cake was that he was trained to pull a cart, so when they offered to let me work him and his cart off, it was a no-brainer "Yes please!". Since that day, I've always said that getting Fizz was hands down the best horse purchase I've ever made.
Even as a stud, he simply had the best temperament... Trustworthy as they come with little kids and adults, I could even let someone who had never been near a horse in their life take the reins on a cart ride and he'd take care of them.
Fizz was in high demand to appear at birthday parties, halloween parties, and even church fundraisers, and he never disappointed. So when my friends started begging me to make more of him, I found Daisy.
Daisy was a bit of a tougher nut to crack... She was never aggressive in any way, but she also never liked people. When I first got her, the gal gave her to me for free because she couldn't catch her. Over the years, that got easier, and Daisy slowly relaxed more and more around people, and she and Fizz gave us several beautiful foals through the years.
But they got older, and Fizz started showing signs that he was developing a neurological problem, and I decided that it was time to stop. So I was very careful to keep them apart for about a year, and then we moved from California to Colorado, and on the night of the journey out here, we had no choice but to let Fizz and Daisy share a pen, a fact that completely flew out of my brain once we got here.
Fizz got gelded shortly after moving here, and his neurological issues continued to progress, and, even though he's visited with the vet several times, I still don't know what it is that's actually wrong with him... But it got harder and harder for him to get around, and he's gotten more unstable on his feet, and as I've watched this progression, I geared myself up to be ready to say goodbye to him in the near future.
In the meantime, Daisy got fat. I mean, obese fat... Our farrier was scolding me, and I kept thinking to myself that she looked pregnant, but there wasn't any way that she COULD be pregnant, because, of course, I had completely forgotten about their one night together on the journey to CO.
And then one day I went out to feed, and there was a beautiful little colt by her side. I was ecstatic... I mean, over the moon in love! You see, as I had watched Fizz go downhill, I kept thinking to myself that I wish we had bred him to Daisy one last time, just so I'd have a piece of Fizz once he's gone. Not to mention that my riding horse is no longer rideable, so I don't really have anything to work with anymore...
The moment I saw Bobby (I let my six-year-old nephew name him), I was in love. He was my miracle foal. I figured that God must have given him to me because He knew that Fizz wasn't going to be around much longer. Out of all of Fizz's foals, Bobby was, by far, the prettiest (he was the only one who inherited his dad's appaloosa markings), and he was the sweetest, and I spent every second I could possibly spare with him. And he made me so happy.
Bobby was about six weeks old when Daisy got sick. We still don't know what the initial problem was, but she stopped eating, and apparently minis are notoriously bad for assimilating fat into their blood stream really quickly when they don't eat, so within days, she went into liver failure. I took care of her for about a week, during which time I bottle fed Bobby, because Daisy just didn't have enough to feed him. I was pretty sure we were going to lose Daisy, which I was incredibly sad about, but at least I had Bobby.
After several days of having vets do house calls, we finally took them both to the veterinary school at Colorado State University, but it was too late. During the time that I had been bottle feeding Bobby, he had developed a tummy ache, which the vets kept saying was just the change in feed. Turned out that it was a blockage in his intestine.
So the day after I said goodbye to Daisy, my heart broke all over again as I said goodbye to my precious Bobby.
Ironically enough, Fizz is actually doing better.
Of course, I saved all of both Daisy and Bobby's mane and tail hair, and, of course, Bobby's little fluff isn't even close to being long enough to braid with, but it inspired me to pursue some more designs for things that can be make with hair of any length.
I don't know why life goes the way it does... I can't, for the life of me, figure out why God would drop Bobby into my life and into my heart, just to let him be taken away so soon, but I am very thankful for the little time that I had with him.
I found this poem right after losing Bobby, that just spoke to my soul. It's called,