a horse called Red, a relationship called love...
For many a rider who has experienced the parting between a beloved horse and their caring rider, my situation would seem like an ordinary, bearable time. But to me, one who grows so fond of so many horses and comes to lose them, this was one of the single-most heartbreaking times in my life. Sure, he’s not my horse. Sure, it wouldn’t be for long anyways. But our bond has been so close over these months I’ve worked with Red. I had never met in my life a horse as spirited as him, matched closely only by DevilShot, a horse I had briefly worked with and lost. Red had this certain fire in his eyes that anyone else would have wanted to banish. But as I too had this fire in my eyes, the need to run, the need to get free, I understood him, understood that running was all that he knew. And gradually we came to know each other very well and developed a relationship no one had thought possible for either of us. It was clear that we completed each other in every way. Although my trainer did not give me the full credit I deserved for training and riding him, I knew in my heart that the love and compassion exchanged between Red and me, was enough. And our bond grew over the next months, growing closer every day, every waking hour I was in the barn. I spent those countless times just talking, brushing him, petting him, giving him treats, or riding him. I could not wish for a better horse to be with. By then, we trusted each other to the extent of our lives. He trusted that I would take care over him and not let any of the “scary monsters” get him while we rode, and I trusted him that he would carry me forward with grace in his step and strides, and love in his caring heart. Again I couldn’t ask for something better. But when the time came for me to start getting ready for camp, I felt a lump in my throat and an aching pain in my chest, for I did not want to leave my precious Red. I knew it would only be a week, but I could not see him for over two. I spent some of the last lessons with him; though we could not jump, we still spent our last days in happiness and high spirits. But sadly, the week before I was to leave, he took a bad fall in a lesson, scraping his face and knees. It was tragic for me to see Red, my big, strong horse in such a sad state of pain. I couldn’t even ride him on my last two lessons. And every time I would go visit him, I would sit in his stall for hours upon hours; just talking to him, assuring everything would be okay. And as I was going to leave, he let out a sad neigh to tell me goodbye. I left some carrots on his door, and looked back one last time. I looked into those soft, mourning eyes of my big red racehorse, wiped away tears from my eyes, and said, “I love you Red, I love you so much…”
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