I got news today that one of the lesson horses at my stable passed away during the holiday, he was very old and had started to get thinner (his hips poked out a little bit) but he was still working everyday teaching beginners to ride. I had only known him for a short time, and havent ridden him much, but he was the first horse I got on when I restarted lessons after 8 years, and the first horse I jumped (albeit over a 20cm crossrail). He was always so careful with the younger kids and not always easy to get moving for them, but in spite of that he was everyones absolute favorite. The stable is closed for summer at the moment, and the horses were out in a field outside the city. I am so glad he spent his last days outside with his buddies. He deserved that.
The weekend before christmas he was ridden in a competition (again, over 20cm crossrails only) and he was as wonderful as always, just watching him with the kids on his back made you realize how careful he was with them and how much he loved his job. In the lessons he was hard to get moving, and sometimes he chose his own direction, but in the ring he was the best horse anyone could ever wish for.
After the competition I gave him an extra carrot since I knew he would be retired after that and I wouldnt see him again, the idea was that he would stay in the campo when the other horses come back to live out his days there.
R.I.P. Zaino, it was an honor to have known a horse like you.
Here is a picture of me riding him, its not the best quality, but its the only picture I have of him, so it will have to do.