Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tribute To Skipper

After a day like today, I feel like some appreciation needs to go out to one particular palomino gelding named Skipper. If none of you mind.

Skipper belonged to a rather well off family here in my area way back about 25 years ago. He walked in a class and came out with blue ribbons. He worked hard for them and always made it seem easy. He has babysat more of our youth in this area than any horse I know. He was kind, loving, probably more so than most people I've met. When Skipper retired, he was sold for a mere $300 to the girls next door from me. I would go out to feed my horses and Skipper would stand at the fence and watch. He has had his fair share of aches and pains over the years and of course he was the last one of the herd to shed out his winter coat. Once he did, he shined! He was a horse that anyone could ride and everyone wished they had 100 of.

Early this morning, I received a call from the girls asking me if I would bring over some syringes and needles as Skipper wasn't feeling well and they wanted to get the banamine out. It was too early to get hold of the vet. By the time I got over there, another friend had already given him a shot and he stood with his head low and was still in a lot of pain. We recounted his wonderful career and his 28 years on this earth. It was with a very heavy heart but in his best interest that they made the decision to call the vet a few hours later and have Skipper put down. He was old and tired and had a great life here on earth. I watched from my barn as Sherry walked him down the path between their pasture and mine and every single horse called to him and lined up at the fence as he took his final walk to the back of the woods. Not because they were upset, you see but because Skipper was a legend and they wanted to give him his due.

I recalled all the times I stood in awe as he beat our horses in class after class over the years and how angry my daughter would get because she couldn't beat that horse. He was the horse that every other horse aspired to be. When he retired, he had such a wonderful home with people who loved him.

I awoke yesterday after a hard rain to find one perfect flower in full bloom in my garden and I think God put it there for a reason because it seemed fitting that such a perfect horse should get this perfect, beautiful flower in tribute to all he has accomplished in his life. I wrapped it in white daisies and lay it on Skipper's grave this afternoon. So all of you horse people, please keep Skipper in your thoughts today and also Mary and Sherry for loving him enough to make the most difficult decision that we ever have to face.

The view from the back of my horse is Skipper...God has one more perfect gelding in his herd.

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