I've been a part of this forum for 6 or more years now. Some of you may know me, some of you may not. Either way, I want to share the story of me and my boy Java with you all.
I had bugged my parents for a horse my whole life. I just wanted one so bad. In 2007, my father was diagnosed with brain cancer. After that, I became very depressed and in 2009 I tried to commit suicide. My parents decided after that, that maybe I would be able to get a horse to keep myself occupied. And the horse I chose? A skinny 9 year old Standardbred gelding that would be going on the meat truck in the next few days. He was a pacer, racing name was Lisa's Power. His nick name was Lisa (I know, horrible name.) The moment I went to see him, he stole my heart. You can understand that me, being 15 years old, was just way too excited to own my own horse, even though I didn't have a clue what I was getting myself into.
My parents helped me pay for him for a while until I turned 16 and was old enough to get a job. Then it was all up to me. My hometown, a place with maybe 2000 people (if that), had a public barn. The rent was $25 a month, and that just included the water and the lights. You bought everything yourself and did all your own labor; hay, shavings, feed, etc. You cleaned your own stall, did your own feedings, and turned your own horse in and out. I absolutely loved it, minus the one winter where the water froze and we had to go back and forth taking water from our horse to fill his 3 water buckets (he loved his water). It was a constant struggle for me to put weight on him. He was probably about 300 lbs underweight, his feet had haemorrhaged because his horseshoes were on too long. That led to me having to soak his feet twice a day in a bucket of warm water and epsom salts. He did eventually gain weight though, after about a year, and he was just a personality. The moment I walked into the barn he would be nickering at me. I always opened up his stall door as soon as I got there, and he had a rubber chain that went across the door so he could poke his head out. If you didn't open it as soon as you went in, he sulked into the corner and wouldn't look at you until you went into his stall and patted him.
He was the first horse I ever owned, and I loved him. I trained him all by myself, which was quite a feat for me. In January of 2012 we learned that my father's cancer was back, with a vengenace, after being in remission for two years. As my father progressively got worse, I had less and less time to spend with Java. In May of 2012 I made the hard decision to sell him. I regret it so much, I wish I could go back in time and take it back.
But what's done is done. I sold him to a fellow who used his horses to take tourists on moose hunting trips in the woods, and that was what Java was to be doing. Apparently he left his herd up in the hills for the winter, all by themselves. I learned that Java had gotten sick this winter with equine influenza and had to be euthanized.
I miss my buddy so much. You were an angel, and you saved me in my biggest time of need. I love you so much <3
Rest in peace Lisa's Power, aka Java.
May 20th, 2000 - January 10th, 2014
Ps - The first picture is of Java and my father. It's a shame that I don't have a nicer picture of them