This weekend brought a snow storm that locals are calling snowmagedon. Along with this brutal storm came a very hard loss for me.
My beautiful gelding Johnny had a freak accident where he sliced open his left hind heel bulb as well as the artery within his foot. I do not know how exactly it all happened as I was snowed in up on the mountain when this occurred. I received word from a local member at the saddle club I keep him at, when it originally was noticed that he was bleeding. She called the vet and once on site the prognosis was less than desired.
Johnny has been in my life for roughly seven years. He was a four year old when I first met him. The original owners told me horror stories of how he used to rear at them, chase them down and try to bite anyone who came within reach. That was not the horse I met and fell in love with. He was craving attentions and was bright and willing to learn.
The first year I worked with him I had a job at two local bakeries and was typically off work by noon, I spent my afternoons with my handsome bay working from the ground up building his trust and feeding his inquisitive personality. We’d go for long walks together around town just to desensitize him to all the strange things the world had to offer.
Eventually, I built up the nerve to saddle him and climb aboard. I think this transition would have been flawless had I not used a saddle to small for my rump. I also should have checked the worn equipment for faults as I later realized there was a nail poking through the tree to the underside which rested against his back.
As you can imagine I did not hold my seat and abrublty came out of the saddle twice before realizing my mistakes. After a few more days of ground work I was able to correct the equipment situation and we were off to a lovely companionship. I would take Johnny up steep sandy valleys to build up his muscle tone and to also push him to his best.
The first few months in the saddle he didn’t give me much effort as he was not in tip top shape for having a rider. I’d ride him a mile or less and we’d return to his paddock and hose off the sweat equity.
This horse became my best friend as we bonded over new experiences and continuously pushing what we had done prior. We scaled steep rock face cliffs together, ponied horses in the mountains and snuck up on herds of deer out in the wilderness. We’d bond over carrots and learning to bow and he would always bring a smile to my face when he called out to me as I pulled into the drive way.
This homestead will sorely miss you my dear sweet boy. There will never be another bond like ours. You always gave what I asked and had such an expressive face. I am sorry I was not there during your last moments on earth and that my legs did not cradle your head as you breathed your last breath. I am eternally greatful to have had this beautiful spirit in my life which sparked the dream of this homestead. Rest In Peace my dear sweet John boy, I’ll see you on the other side.
Born Spring 2009 died February 2019