Sep 13, 2009


Way back, before even moving to the country had ever entered our minds, Grace wanted horses.

She was resolute and determined. Horses.

As a toddler, it was horses.

As a kindergartner, it was horses.

She knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she was meant to own horses.

I never understood that. Even when I was a kid, I never quite "got" the fascination that some kids had for horses. Those horse tales that every girl supposedly loves, "Flicka", "Misty", National Velvet"...did nothing for me. I always thought that "horse people" are made, that they have it instilled in them at a young age, but I learned by being Grace's mother, that this is not true. Horse people come out of the womb as horse people, period, and Grace was exactly that, a horse person from day one.

When we moved out, Grace was single minded. Moving to the country meant only one thing--a horse was in her future. When her father and I took livestock and farm management classes and heard things like "it takes six acres of pasture to support a horse" we came home and said "no WAY!" Grace knew different.

We got to know our neighbor. She took Grace under her wing and commenced to feeding Grace's habit, training her up to be a more dedicated horse person. Our neighbor also committed to driving crazy distances, multiple times weekly, to help Grace find just the right first horse.

It was Seabiscuit, a 15 year old Thoroughbred.

It was amazing how having a horse on the property changed the feel of the farm. Everyone enjoyed riding placid Biscuit. Except for Tim, who experienced how even the most placid horses can lose their footing, pitching one into the ground. Gravity is alive and well and Tim's collarbone has never healed.

We have since added two more horses, Ladybug and Cowboy. Biscuit remained boss of the pasture.

Over the past few months we began having some issues with Biscuits weight. He had always been thin, but now nothing worked to maintain any kind of normal weight. We had the vet out for exam and blood work. We followed her recommendations, but he still went downhill.

Finally last Friday he could no longer stand. We had the vet out for another exam. The conclusion was that that there was likely something systemic at work, keeping him from absorbing nutrients. We could try--but prognosis was guarded at best and would take months. We put it before Grace, Seabiscuit was her horse. I was really proud of her. I never would have had the courage that she had at seventeen. She decided to let Biscuit go.

She is sad, but relieved. She knows that he is no longer suffering. He will never be forgotten. He was the horse that took her from a horse-crazy kid to a horse owner.

1 comment:

Mrs. Laughter said...

From one horse crazy kid to another, my heart goes out to Grace