Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hole in My Heart

This horse


Was my 13th Birthday present.


This horse


Went to Heaven on Saturday.


"Filly" as she was known, came into my life when she was 10 years old, unbroke and unweaned. She was a wild, wild thing.


However, I was chosen to ride her, i.e. break her, and I quickly fell in love as only a 12 year old horse-crazy heart can do.


My parents gave to her me as a surprise birthday present. My very first horse.


Oh, the stories I could tell about this horse. She tried to kill me, really she did. She was a bucker. And I mean a bucker. I remember the first time she bucked me off. It was an accident really. She hadn't been ridden in a while and just felt good. However, that was the beginning of the end. She realized then that she could get rid of that person on her back. The second time she bucked me off, I tore my groin muscle. But it felt like I broke my pelvis it hurt so bad when I hit the ground.

She also tossed me onto the fence once, and I broke a finger. She took me through trees, bucking of course. She would lit off the ground the minute my hinney was in the saddle. Or, she would wait until 30 minutes into a great lesson then leave the ground. At some point, I got pretty good at hitting the ground. While in the air, I would map out my landing spot, and make sure to roll into my shoulder. Eventually, I got pretty good at riding out the buck, and then she learned to rear. She would rear straight up, so that I had to cling to her neck, then as soon as her front feet hit the ground, she would take off bucking. Needless to say, I was usually a goner.

As much as she was determined to NOT be ridden, I was even more determined TO ride her. Trust me, I was a hard-headed little kid. I spent hours with this horse. I distinctly remember spending around 25 minutes just bridling her once. She was so ear-shy when we first started working her, we couldn't even take her halter off. To bridle her, one person had to tie her down to the hitching rail while I wrestled the headstall over her ears. Once, she decided that pulling back was not working, and charged forward, trampling me. But I never gave up. And I so clearly remember that one night when I bridled her by myself, without a fight. It may have taken 25 minutes, but I did it, by myself and the right way.

Oh, the things this horse taught me. Patience, quietness, consistency, kindness, along with stubbornness and bronc-riding. When I first started riding her, it would take me 20 minutes just to catch her in her stall. I remember I would go in there, while she was eating her dinner, and sit in her feeder with her hay in my lap, just so she could get used to me. I would have to sit on my hands to refrain from touching her once she got close. Eventually, she earned my trust, and no one else's.

I remember when we finally moved her to my house. I was in high school, and completely beside myself.


Things changed once she moved home. She softened, calmed down, actually began to enjoy the company of people. She would hang out in the backyard, eating the grass. I don't think my dad had to mow the lawn for several years.


I continued to hit milestones, doing things with her no one else could or would. Haircuts, bareback rides, gymkhanas.








I have so many memories of this horse. I'm talking sharp, crisp, clear memories. She may not have been the ideal first horse, but she was my first horse.


And actually, she was the perfect first horse for me.


And you know, looking back, I was the perfect person for her. I said to my mom the other day, "I survived her. No one else would have gone through with it, put up with her. I was the only one."










Pain in the Ass,


It doesn't matter what you call her (or what I call her).


She will always be my first horse.


I took these last nine photos on Saturday, while we waited for the vet. I still can't believe I will never scratch her face or rub her belly again. I'll never look out the kitchen window at my parents' house and see her red butt. I'll never have to tell my dad to stop feeding her so much again. I'll never look in this eye again.


Punkin, I know you're up there, probably chatting it up with Fancy and Precious and Wendy and Snowy. I hope your feet don't hurt anymore, and there is no pesky little girl that wants to ride you every day. I hope you get to stand under a big pine tree and not have some high school girl want to give you a haircut. I hope you get to eat all the grass you want and not have some college girl worry about how fat your getting.

And I hope you know, there's a big ole hole in my heart where you belong.


  1. I am so sorry!! I believe there is always a special person out there for that special horse.
    I feel that way with Brandy, that it was meant to be that I have her, and I don't think a lot of people could deal with her "issue's". That is why she has her forever home with me.
    Will be thinking of you!

  2. I am so sorry to hear you lost your beloved first horse, you must be devastated. You're in my thoughts!

  3. I read this while waiting for my carpool ride to show up this a.m., and gah, I was in tears by the end! Despite her challenges, it sounds like you learned a lot from her, and that you truly understood her and made a good horse out of her. Like you said, it took the right person to "get her." Not all horses are so lucky. It must have been a tough decision to make to give her rest, but, you knew it was time. You can find peace in that. (((((hugs)))))
    Her coloring and head were just beautiful. If you don't mind me asking, what breed of horse was she? And how old was she?

  4. I'm so sorry Mama H that you had to let your girl go. I know you had her more years than you thought you would and she was so happy at your parents house. You have such strong memories of your time with her...she will always be with you!

  5. I really admire you for the way you stuck by her in the beginning. Not everyone would do that, and I know she knew she was loved by you. Hugs... You need to send me your address so I can get yur gift sent off! Does Desert Rose have it? Love A cowgirlsgrace

  6. Pony Girl, she is a Quarter Horse/Thoroughbred cross. Her mama was a registered Paint mare with beautiful color. Her daddy was a money winning racehorse, The Comic. She was only 23 (she would have been 24 this year) but had problem feet. She had a bone infection in a front foot that was manageable for a while then just festered. Until the last week her, her body condition and attitude/spirit were great, that foot just got the best of her. She was in a lot of pain, so it was almost easy to let her go. Honestly, the family felt better once she was laid to rest, knowing that she was no longer suffering. But, its still not the same knowing she's gone. As a kid, you think they will be here forever. Thanks for asking.

  7. I'm so sorry Mama H :( It is never easy to let our furry friends go but we have to appreciate them for all that they gave us and all that we learned from them. She was very fortunate to have ended up in your care.

    "In our gardens repose the remains of those that possess beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and the virtues of man without his vices: our pets."

    Lord Byron

    Love you!

  8. I'm so sorry you lost your precious girl. You have all those wonderful memories. I believe they pick us as owners. May she rest in peace. Love ya, sweetie!

  9. Writing this with tears in my eyes. You were as blessed to have her as she was to have you. I am so sorry for your loss, my heart aches for you.




Howdy y'all! It makes The Homestead a warm and fuzzy place when you stop by; each and every word is read with great appreciation. Thanks for visiting!