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All About Indie -- Progress Journal

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    11-26-2012, 05:11 PM
India has passed on.

I have extracted what I personally feel to be important for you at this time of grief:
Out of all the horses, I found one three year old mare who/which did catch my eye.
She looks to be the opposite of Indie, but she's still quite pretty. SEE BELOW
I feel like putting my energy into another horse could be the best tribute to Indie,
and perhaps, knowledge of her, will guide me along the way with her successor. Indie will lead me to a horse who will bond with me.
I want to be able to love another horse again. I feel numb at times, and the smallest things remind me of Indie. Whenever I start talking about her, tears well up in my eyes. SEE BELOW

Jore, be advised that you are not alone in your anguish at the premature death of your Indie. Thanks to your writing skills your grief comes across powerfully to the readers of this thread. Many of us have passed along the same path which you are now treading. We share in your sorrow.
Sadly one of the events we humans inevitably have to get used to is the death of a pet with which we have developed a bond. If we have found such a horse which has offered its love and companionship in return for care and the provision of food, shelter and safety which only a human can offer, then we are indeed blessed. A true bond between horse and human is precious and a relationship not experienced by all riders.
Jore, you were indeed blessed by your Indie.

What comes next is up to you. Yes, keep riding and steadily improve your skills and knowledge of horses. Resist the temptation to rush quickly into a new purchase. Go ride lots of horses: mares and geldings, warm and cold blooded, young and mature. The colour of the horse is immaterial - what is important is the health and temperament of the animal. It is best to have a true history of the animal from birth to the day of purchase. A vet’s examination and written report is also essential.

But the most important characteristics of any horse which you might think to buy is the look in the eye of the animal whenever you appear and the feeling in your groin whenever you have mounted up. Can you make with this horse a partnership? That feeling is an instinctive reaction expressed by the part of your brain which controls your reactions and which keeps you up in the saddle. What also is mandatory is that the horse you choose is fit for your purposes in the future.

Incidentally, looks aren’t everything. I’ve owned some very pretty horses but my favourite ride was a common Welsh/Hannoverian bay cob gelding - the plainest looking of them all.

As for your grief, then sorry there is nothing to be done. In time it will fade. In due course you will be able to talk about Indie without bursting into tears. Actually for you, Jore, Indie will never die - hopefully she’ll stay in your mind for ever. That way she will never leave you But your new horse should come without baggage and should in its own right come in time to earn your love, your care and your trust. The horse might not ever be your Indie, but thanks to her you’ll know how best to treat your new buddy.

Choose well, choose carefully and be lucky.

Barry G
PS When do we read your first books about your life with horses?
CCH, egrogan, gunslinger and 1 others like this.
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    11-26-2012, 06:20 PM
Green Broke
Well said Barry-so eloquent. You are a great writer & so is Hayley-I love to see that you are encouraging her,she is a budding talent.
    11-26-2012, 07:09 PM
Thank you everyone, I can't even begin to explain how appreciative I am of all the support I have been receiving on here.

Barry Godden, thank you for all your kind words and advice. (and if only my English teacher thought my writing skills were as great! Her complaint is that I'm often too 'wordy' which I can agree with... choppy, repetitive sentences aren't my thing!)

I will most certainly keep riding, as it truly is one of my passions in life, although I believe owning a horse added a completely different dimension to it. I had leased a couple horses prior to Indie, but that bond never held a candle to that I had with Indie, despite both leases lasting roughly a year and a half.

I still believe it was destiny that Indie and I ended up together. I had skipped over her ad multiple times until I figured that I might as well go check her out... and I feel so blessed to have taken that chance on her.

Even during her last few hours, she still had the kindest eye. Words cannot quite describe the look in her eyes that she got when she saw me coming down the barn aisle. I know many people say that horses don't "love", but Indie could easily have been the exception to that.

She was an atypical Thoroughbred, my instructor had warned me that they were crazy and hot-blooded... but Indie was anything but. In her three months at the barn, she had witnessed out-of-control alpacas, the murder of a pigeon, gusty winds and not even batted an eyelash. Everyone was impressed by her, and I was incredibly proud to call her mine.

I've said this many times before, but I got lucky with Indie.

I'll keep your advice in mind about not rushing to get another horse. I have a brief idea in mind of what I'd like when time comes, but I'd like the horse to be sound enough for jumping and dressage. It also might be stereotyping to an extent, but I have a feeling that my next horse will also be a mare. Until then, my instructor has offered to let me ride her horses whenever I feel up to it, so maybe I'll get on her 17.3hh Percheron cross or her grumpy Thoroughbred gelding, to expand my skillset.

If anything, Indie taught me so much about dedication and horse ownership in general. My only wish would have been for her to have displayed some sort of symptoms before it had been too late. I am so grateful that I was there for her last moments, but seeing the light fade from her eyes will remain a painful memory.

I probably could write a book about my experiences with Indie, I'd say I've written enough in here to put together a few chapters. I'm glad that I had taken the time to write the entries though, although they became short and sweet leading to the days prior to her passing.
    11-27-2012, 04:58 AM
Your writing about times with Indie will be cathartic and should help you come to terms with her demise. Write in your own style and develop it to suit what you wish to convey to the reader.

Horse ownership can become the hobby of a lifetime and is really more a lifestyle than a sport. It comes as a cost not only of money for feed and board but also at a cost of time spent. The horse is after all your 24/7/365 responsibility. You will have to forego other pleasures because you do not have the time.

But another cost is in emotion. Understanding, recognising and treating a horse becomes a drain on your psyche. You have to speak for the horse to the vet and other health practioners. You have to think and plan and decide for the animal. The animal relies upon you to defend it from uncaring humans.

In return if you get it right, then when you are in the saddle, you turn your head to the right and the horse gets ready to move to the right - merely because you twisted your upper body slightly to the right. The horse stops because you stiffen and hesitate. When the bond comes it can be magical to experience.
But it doesn't happen with every horse you ride so make sure you choose the right one.

But Jore, be advised, the skill takes years amd there is much for you to learn and experience. If things go well for you, the joy of horses will last a lifetime.

Barry G
    11-27-2012, 06:57 AM
It really is, I went to the barn about five to six times a week and usually stayed for at least three hours each visit, although it could be as much as six or seven on Saturdays and Sundays.

I think Indie and I were awfully close to achieving that type of bond, if we didn't already have it. I could ride around the ring, with my hands holding just the buckle, and get her circling without any rein pressure and very little leg.

I hope I stick with it throughout my life, I've always wanted to eventually have my own barn, although that may have to wait until I'm retired as I'd like to be a psychologist. I'm always going to try and have a horse though, but I'm going to make sure it's the right one for me. I won't ever find another Indie, but perhaps I'll be able to find a horse that I can get along with just as well.
    11-27-2012, 09:49 PM
November 27, 2012

Hi, Indie,

Thank you for sending good vibes for my math test. I'm pretty confident that I got at least a 90% on it. Also on my chemistry quiz, I don't know why I have so much trouble understanding the formulas but hopefully you'll force me to study!

I'm sorry that I never made it down tonight. There is a hockey game tomorrow and I'm going to see if mom can bring me over to visit you for a half hour. I always have trouble leaving because I feel like I am abandoning you. But, in reality, you're always with me.

I don't know if it's a normal part of grief, but my mind continually pushes everything back. It also tries its hardest to keep me from crying. Certain things get tears welling in my eyes, and when I talk to you at your resting place... you know I always break down crying.

Good night Indie, and I'll keep watching you star every single night.

Love always and forever,
Posted via Mobile Device
    11-28-2012, 08:17 PM
November 28, 2012

I'm sorry that I couldn't get a ride down tonight, Indie. I will try to come up and visit you on Friday or this weekend. I don't think reality has even hit me yet.

I am starting lessons back up next week. Laura is going to get me to ride Roger, the grumpy 16.2hh Thoroughbred cross. I admit, I'm kind of nervous but I wouldn't be riding him if Laura didn't think I could handle him.

I don't think he'll be an eighth as amazing as you, but I promise to be optimistic. I miss how sweet you were and how you'd "help" me groom your face with the curry mitt by moving your head up and down on it.

You were such a quick learner too. After we had that breakthrough on lateral flexions (remember, five minutes of asking and me humming jeopardy music while becoming disoriented?!). After just one session of lungeing, you were walking and trotting on voice command. Now, stopping was not as easy but we would've had it mastered if we had more time together.

I love you so much, and I miss you more than a fish would miss water.
Posted via Mobile Device
    12-01-2012, 11:02 PM
December 1, 2012

I have been quite busy these past few days. I feel horrible for not having came and visited you yet. Tears are welling up in my eyes, rolling down my cheek, as I type this.

For the past week, I have been trying to forget, but last night at a birthday party, I did start crying. I laughed it off with a joke though and set it aside until now.

My mom found my first stuffed horse back from when I was younger. Ironically, the horse has big brown eyes with a reddish brown body and a darker mane and tail. Oh yes, and a white stripe down its face. Coincidence? Maybe. Destiny? I think so. I have dubbed "her" Indie and she is now residing on my nightstand.

I started to detangle the strand of your tail tonight but stopped once I realized some hair was coming out of the elastic. Your tail was always soft, conditioned and tangle-free... so it was hard for me to leave it.

I have a driving lesson on Tuesday, I know she will ask me how you are doing. What will I say? That you passed away? That you died? How do I explain it so that I don't break down into tears?

My phone is dying or else I would be writing a novel right now.

I love you always and miss you so much,
Posted via Mobile Device
    12-02-2012, 01:31 PM
Saw some pictures of somebody who had their horse decked out in awesome looking turquoise zebra print polos and a matching saddle pad. I almost messaged them to ask where they bought the saddle pad, then I forgot I don't have a horse to buy one for. You'd have looked really beautiful in it.
    12-02-2012, 04:14 PM
I quite dislike the tingling sensation in your nose that you get when you try to hold back on crying. I was just looking at my cover photo on facebook and reminiscing.

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