Cody is dead. My school master,the horse who carried me for endless laps in the round pen. The horse who taught me to ride. The horse whose talent amazed me when I learned to appreciate it. He's dead now.
After a two day battle with colic, he fell down in his stall at the vet's around 8:30 this morning. He struggled only enough to leave a small rut in the shavings by his feet. One stroke; one attempt to get back up.
I flung myself onto his body and rubbed his shoulder while his owner cried and stroked his head. I pressed my face into his coat and left a patch of dark, wet fur behind when I pulled away. His master, whose grief was so much greater than mine, cut off a section of his mane and handed it to me. She got his tail. I bound the red chestnut hair with vet tape.
I moved to his head and began to choke on my own breath. His eyes were opened, wide and staring. I sat beside him and held his lids closed. "I can't stand to see his eyes... I want him to sleep..."
His muzzle was so cold to the touch... He was just so cold all over... I lay against him, still holding his eyes closed.
He was amazing. Talented, beautiful, and sweet. He was the most amazing English pleasure horse I've ever sat on. He handled fences, Western pleasure, trails, and everything inbetween with such skill and ease. His owner loved him for his talent; I loved him as a teacher. After teaching me everything in the world, his final lesson to me was the beauty and fleetingness of a horse's life.
An animal loved by so many. A horse whose effect on my life is still revealing itself. RIP Cody.
In time's own space,
There must be some sweet pastured place....
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow,
Some paradise where horses go.
For by the love that guides my pen,
I know great horses live again.