I am writing this to you to tell you how very special you are to me. When I found out you had passed from that sudden heart attack a short time ago I felt awful, and continue to feel rather melancholy. I’ll miss you, ya big lug. You know, you were definitely too young to die.
I know it makes no sense to write and post this on a blog as heaven may have many things, but I’m thinking an internet connection is not one of them. In a place of infinite wisdom, it’s probable that the internet is not needed as all the knowledge of all the ages is already there.
When I moved from the barn you managed we hugged goodbye and you told me how sad you were I was leaving because I was one of the “good ones”. Well, you were one of the “good ones” too.
But as senseless as it is to post this online, my heart tells me to honor you in some way, and this was the best my feeble mind could come up with. I guess sometimes we just need to get stuff off our chest, even if the reason for doing so is a bit silly. But you know me, silly to the end. In fact, that was one of the things you liked about me, always wanting to have fun and always being a goof.
I came to your barn not long after my horse had undergone colic surgery and when I moved in, you listened patiently to what I had to say. You made sure the vets advice and suggestions were followed to the “T” and you kept a watchful eye over my horse.
In those years that passed you caught the little belly aches (which no longer happen thankfully) and you took care of my horse when I wasn’t able to be there because of work. You treated untold numbers of abscesses and when my drama queen horse got a piece of hay stuck in his eye and it swelled shut. You gave him his meds every day, in fact several times a day. We both joked how silly it was to amass a one thousand dollar vet bill for some miniscule piece of hay. You always made sure to be there for the vet, with me or alone, as you had a true, genuine interest in my horse’s well being.
You held my horse a million times for shoers and vets and never complained. Every time I saw you I’d see you smile, glad to see me. That was always a good, warm feeling.
Together we laughed at all the torn blankets, disappearing halters and tossed shoes which fell victim to my silly horse. The day we watched my horse tearing around the ring, flat out running with his hind legs passing in front of his front legs, you turned to me, pointed and started laughing your ass off. I laughed too and turned to you and said “I ride that?” You know, I never told you, but seeing him run like that I got a little scared. Just for a second though, as once I swung my leg over his back, he was a perfect gentleman.
You understood the nature of my horse and were never put off by it. You always did the right thing, by me and him, even to the point of changing flat trailer tires so we wouldn’t be late (again) for a lesson. In fact, you’ve done so much helping me with trailers and their mechanical issues that I would have been lost without you.
Do you remember the day of the trail ride and barbeque? They had the auction for the shiny jeweled western buckle you had your eye on. And because you had earned it with all your help, I made sure I bought it for you and I outbid all those other people! But there was no way, no how, you weren’t going to get that buckle. You also earned every single penny of those Christmas bonuses, strawberry cheese cakes and any other silly thing I did in my feeble attempt to repay your kindness.
I’ll miss you dear, kind Bill and I hope your place in heaven is full of your beloved horses. I’ll pray for your loving wife (your soulmate) who is left behind. One day, when I too pass, we’ll go for a trail ride in heaven and we’ll joke and make fun of all the people from the old place.
Many wonder of the definition of a “true horseman”. Well Bill, you ARE the definition of a true horseman and also a true friend. I can give you no greater tribute.
God speed, God bless. Take care of yourself up there.
Dressage For The Rest Of Us
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