Sunday, November 21, 2010

Perfect Day

It snowed today.

Just enough for the trees to be beautiful, but for people in Seattle to not lose their heads and still be able to drive.

It was beautiful.

My loving, amazing husband took the day off from doing school work to spend the day with me. He let me sleep in and we missed church. I was upset when I got up because I wanted to go talk to the big guy about taking care of one bay thoroughbred mare. The hubby reminded me that I can talk to him whenever I want. I have been talking to him a lot lately, lots of "why's" and "why are you punishing her for my misdeeds."

I'm sure there is a reason, there has to be a reason, that Denali is leaving this world. Yes, part of it is my decision, but this decision wouldn't need to be made if she were healthy, and able to be a horse. I'm hoping that someone in heaven wanted the most beautiful horse in the world, and we all know that in addition to beauty, she sure is funny. I just hope there is a reason.

Ms. Denali has taught me more in 2 years than I could have asked from any horse. She was the result of 22 years of hoping and praying for a horse. We won't be getting another horse. Not for a while. My husband and I have emptied our bank account twice to try and save Denali, so for once we are going to actually have some money. At least I hope so. I know that there is another horse out there for me. Someone once told me that when a horse leaves you, it's because there is another one who needs you more. Something like that.

I could keep rambling. I won't.

Went out to see Denali. She was so adorable, and of course, as soon as she heard my voice started nickering, and I started crying. I ACE'd her so she would be safe. We groomed her up, and took her out to see the snow. It was the perfect day. We took some nice pictures of her, I will post them when I can. She was a camera hog and kept stopping to pose for pictures.

So adorable.

We took her back into her stall. She got jealous of the horse next to her and tried to kick the wall. Denali! Seriously, you don't need to make things worse.

Trying to finalize things on the weekend is difficult. Thinking about what it will be like is harder. I did a lot better than yesterday. Much less crying!!

It's suppose to snow again tomorrow. I hope!

Thanks again for your comments and support. I really, really appreciate it.


Ashley said...

I started crying when I read this because I know without a doubt that my sweet Nicole will take care of Denali just like she did Ella when she was here on earth. She will take care of her until you meet her up there one day. Don't think of it as a good bye, think of it as a see ya later.

whew! now I can't stop crying lol

Denali's Mom said...

I hope Nicole finds Denali, I know she loved Ella. Now I'm bawling too!! Perfect, just what everyone needed.

Dom said...

It is incredibly hard to watch you go through this.

"A heart so big, god wouldn't let it live."

My thoughts are with you and Ms. Denali.

Sydney_bitless said...

I am with Ashley. Normally I am the only dry eye in the house but I know what it is like. My first horse Naigen when I had to make the decision to euthanise her I don't even remember whole days after she died. Only bits and pieces.
I hope you can enjoy the rest of your time together because although it may be harder than the sudden goodbye I had with my old gal I really hope you cherish every moment.

Frizzle said...

Please don't think God is punishing Denali, and certainly not for any "misdeeds" of yours. I know that right now you're confused and probably trying to make sense of all this -- but, sometimes, there just isn't an answer. Sometimes really terrible, tragic things happen to great people/animals, and there isn't any way to make sense of it. It's just part of this crazy world.

Personally, I've lost quite a few beloved animals over the past few years, so I somewhat know what you're going through. It's terrible and heartbreaking and you're going to hurt a LOT -- but you will get through it.

This coming February, it will be exactly two years since I lost my sweet boy Mac. And, let me tell you, I wish that he would have had the peaceful, painless passing that you will be giving Denali. I'm not saying this as a, "I had it worse than you" thing -- I just want to point out that you are doing a really loving thing for your sweet girl, something that I wish I could have given to Mac. You're in my thoughts and prayers, girl -- and I'll let Mac know that there's a really cute bay TB mare on her way up there, and that he should show her around. I bet they'll be great friends.

And, yes, I am sure that there will be other horses for us when we're ready (emotionally and financially).

I'm glad that you and Nawlers had such a great day together! :-)

Denali's Mom said...

I know Frizzle. God has done wonderful things for me, and I shouldn't think like that. I always wish I could know his plan. I hope this is his plan.

I thought of your boy Mac, I wanted her passing to be peaceful and painless, for her at least. I have many friends who lost their horses tragically. I don't want that phone call.

Tami said...

My thoughts are with you both. Everyday I open my emails hoping to read a post that things have gotten better.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

God, I'm sobbing...I just feel for you like I'm loosing her too. I'm just so sorry that you have to go through this even though I know it's part of loving an's just torture.
Ashley, what a beautiful thing to say. I'm sure Nicole will love Denali's funny personality and mare-ish flair.
Beautiful Mac will definitly bring out a squeal or two in Denali.
I agree with's better that you can do this and mourn slowly with her before you let her go to her next life.

Amanda said...

I am sorry to have to put this into two comments... but it is too long for just one, and I think it is awesome... and I dont know how else to get it to you....

God gives us horses and compels some of us to love them. Yet why does the horse, an animal with such a big heart, live such a short life?

Perhaps it's because if our horses lived any longer, we wouldn't be able to bear losing them. Or, perhaps it's because God wants to jump.

Perhaps God looks down on the fine horses we raise and decides when it's His turn to ride. He gives us a few good years to care for and learn from them, but when the time is right, it's up to us to see them off gracefully.

OK, perhaps not gracefully. Blowing into a Kleenex is rarely graceful. To have a horse in your life is a gift. In the matter of a few short years, a horse can teach a girl courage, if she chooses to grab mane and hang on for dear life.

Even the smallest of ponies is mightier than the tallest of girls. To conquer the fearof falling off, having one's toes crushed, or being publicly humiliated at a horse show is an admirable feat for any child. For that, we can be grateful.

Horses teach us responsibility. Unlike a bicycle - or a computer - a horse needs regular care and most of it requires that you get dirty and smelly and up off the couch. Choosing to leave your cozy kitchen to break the crust of ice off the water buckets is to choose responsibility. When our horses dip their noses
and drink heartily, we know we've made the right choice.

Learning to care for a horse is both an art and a science. Some are easy keepers, requiring little more than regular turn-out, a flake of hay, and a trough of clean water. Others will test you - you'll struggle to keep them from being too fat or too thin. You'll have their feet shod regularly only to find shoes gone missing.

Amanda said...

Some are so accident-prone you'll swear they're intentionally finding new ways to injure themselves. If you weren't raised with horses, you can't know that they have unique personalities. You'd expect this from dogs, but horses?

Indeed, there are clever horses, grumpy horses, and even horses with a sense of humor. Those prone to humor will
test you by finding new ways to escape from the barn when you least expect it. I found one of ours on the front porch one morning, eating the cornstalks I'd carefully arranged as Halloween decorations.
Horses can be timid or brave, lazy or athletic, obstinate or willing. You will hit it off with some horses and others will elude you altogether. There are as many "types" of horses as there are people - which makes the whole partnership thing all the more interesting.

If you've never ridden a horse, you probably assume it's a simple thing you can learn in a weekend. You can, in fact, learn the basics on a Sunday - but to truly ride well takes a lifetime. Working with a living being is far more complex than turning a key in the ignition and putting the car in "drive."
In addition to listening to your instructor, your horse will have a few things to say to you as well. On a good day, he'll be happy to go along with the program and tolerate your mistakes; on a bad day, you'll swear he's trying to kill you. Perhapshe's naughty or perhaps he's fed up with how slowly you're learning his language.

Regardless, the horse will have an opinion. He may choose to challenge you (which can ultimately make you a better rider) or he may carefully carry you over fences...if it suits him. It all depends on the partnership - and partnership is
what it's all about.
If you face your fears, swallow your pride, and are willing to work at it, you'll learn lessons in courage, commitment, and compassion, in addition to basic survival skills. You'll discover just how hard you're willing to work toward a goal, how little you know, and how much you have to learn. And, while some people think the horse "does all the work", you'll be challenged physically as well as mentally.

Your horse may humble you completely. Or, you may find that sitting on his back is the closest you'll get to heaven. You can choose to intimidate your horse, but do you really want to? The results may come more quickly, but will your work ever be as graceful as that gained through trust? The best partners choose to listen, as well as to tell. When it works, we experience a sweet sense of accomplishment brought about by smarts, hard work, and mutual understanding between horse and rider.

Nicku said...

This is just hard. I think maybe you answered your own question sweet girl. Denali has taught you more in 2 years...God uses experiences in our lives to teach us how to be more like Him and to learn complete reliance on him and his good plan for us. It's not fair and it doesnt feel good but it's admirable that you're open to tying to understand what there is to learn and grow from given the situation. He's smiling that through this difficulty you're even choosing to come to Him right now. He will perfect that which concerns you (Psalm 138:8 NKJV).

Amanda said...

These are the days when you know with absolute certainty that your horse is enjoying his work. If we make it to adulthood with horses still in our lives, most of us have to squeeze riding into our oversaturated schedules; balancing our need for things equine with those of our households and employers. There is never enough time to ride, or to ride as well as we'd like. Hours in the barn are stolen pleasures.

If it is in your blood to love horses, youshare your life with them. Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears. A barn is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, a sheltered place where life's truepriorities are clear: a warm place to sleep, someone who loves us, and the luxury of regular meals...Some of us need these reminders.

When you step back, it's not just about horses - its about love,
life and learning. It's is celebrating the birth of a foal, a blue ribbon, or recovery from an illness. That same day, there is also loss: a broken limb, a case of colic, or a decision to sustain a life or end it gently. As horse people, we share the accelerated life cycle of horses: the hurried rush of life, love, loss, and death that caring for these animals brings us.

When our partners pass, it is more than a moment of sorrow.
We mark our loss with words of gratitude for the ways our lives have been blessed. Our memories are of joy, awe, and wonder. Absolute union. We honor our horses for their brave hearts, courage, and willingness to give.

To those outside our circle, it must seem strange. To see us in our muddy boots, who would guess such poetry lives in our hearts? We celebrate our companions with praise worthy of heroes. Indeed, horses have the hearts of warrior and often carry us into and out of fields of battle.
Listen to stories of that once-in-a-lifetime horse; of journeys made and challenges met. The best of horses rise to the challenges we set before them, asking little in return.

Those who know them understand how fully a horse can hold a human heart. Together, we share the pain of sudden loss and the lingering taste of long-term illness. We shoulder the burden of deciding when or whether to end the life of a true companion.

In the end, we're not certain if God entrusts us to our horses or our horses to us. Does it matter? We're grateful God loaned us the horse in the first place. And so we pray:

''Dear God,
After You've enjoyed a bit of jumping, please give our fine horses the best of care. And, if it's not too much, might we have at least one more good gallop when we meet again?"
Author Unknown