Two weeks ago, I lost my best friend. His name was Forty (Storm the Fort!) and he was the horse I had dreamed of having since I was little. I had always wanted a paint horse with two different coloured eyes (I was always pretty specific, even as a kid), who liked to jump and had a goofy personality. He was all of that.
Forty was the sweetest horse ever. He loved to cuddle and get hugs. His eyes would light up at the sound of the treat jar being opened. I work at the barn where I boarded him, so every day, I would take trail rides out and he would be my guide horse. I literally got to spend all day at work with my best friend. Forty loved to jump and I was so comfortable on him that I felt fearless. Even when I fell off of him, I just got up and laughed. We would gallop through the fields, the both of us having the times of our lives.
I worked to adopt him all summer, getting closer and closer to him every day. I was so happy the day I officially got him. I couldn't stop smiling and telling everyone. I owned him for about a week before he had to be put to sleep. He was fine in the morning when I brought him in for his breakfast and by that afternoon, he was gone. It turned out that Forty had some kind of lymphoma in his intestines and they had twisted beyond repair. The vet told me that there was nothing that we could do and that it was a problem that had been developing for a long time. He wasn't in much pain at the end, just a little discomfort, but he couldn't eat and he was just going to get worse. I would have just been keeping him around for me, not for him. I cried for days.
I miss Forty every single day and it doesn't seem like its getting any easier. I don't like to go out and ride anymore because I feel wrong out at the barn. I feel out of sync riding random lesson horses. I feel like everyone out at the barn either is tiptoeing around me or is asking when I'm getting another horse. I've been trying to continue to ride because I feel like I'll be upset in the future if I give up on it, but right now it just seems like an impossible task. Maybe posting about this on here and showing pictures of him will help me feel a little better because I know there are a lot of you going through the same thing, not just watching from the outside.
Here are some more pictures of the best horse ever.
He always needed sunscreen on his nose, but it made him grumpy.
Here we are having some fun jumping.
Jumping Forty - YouTube
Forty jumping a course - YouTube
We won some ribbons at a gaming show, but Forty wasn't impressed.
When we went on the trail without his buddy, Captain, he would always whinny for him.
Forty on the Trail - YouTube
These are from the last day I rode him (as well as the galloping ones above).