Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Duke was a good horse. It takes about a year before a horse and a rider get to know one another. Within our first year I learned what he didn't like and he learned what I didn't like and we accommodated one another ever since. I trusted him to take his time and familiarize himself with his environment. He trusted me to go where ever I asked; be it into a horse trailer, through a river or over a bridge. On rare occasions he'd look back at me like he wanted to say, "Are you shitting me? Really? You want me to do that?" I'd loosen the reins and let him have his head and tell him it was OK and he would go where ever I asked.

Duke and I had an understanding. He'd come when I called him. I always spent a lot of time talking to him. I chattered to him every time I cleaned his pen and every time I fed him. I talk to him every time I put him out or brought him in for the night.

Sure, he had his faults, like all horses. He didn't like other geldings, he tried to be the alpha horse when he was with other horses, he'd try to bite you if you messed with his mouth or cinched him up too quickly and he test or misbehave with other who tried riding him. However, for me there was trust and I never pushed him further than he should have gone.

Duke was arthritic. He was that way when I got him several years ago. I treated him with an anti-inflammatory before and after rides. He was always willing to go out for another ride. I think he enjoyed getting out into the open. Lately I noticed his head dip when he walked on his left front leg. Then he started no being able to bear weight on that leg when I lifter the opposite foot for cleaning. I know he'd never be able to stand for a hoof cleaning or a trimming again. It was time.

Our vet came out and put him down yesterday. He went quickly and peacefully. If any mythology is true, maybe we'll ride together again one day.


Blogger Beth said...

I'm sorry for your loss. The death of an animal - a friend - is hard. I hope you do ride together again some day.

4:53 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

My thoughts are with you today after the loss of your trusted friend. He was a good one. Love you, Guy.

7:59 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Dang. Sorry to hear that. He sounds like he was good people.

9:06 AM  
Blogger not.the.bosslady said...

He was well loved and will be greatly missed. I'm sorry for your lost. Take peace in knowing you did what was right for him. Love him and you.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Dalia said...

Was never a lover of horses (so skittish!), but I understand the loss of an animal friend. I'm sorry for your loss.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

It's hard.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Tango said...

I'm so sorry!

5:43 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Thank you all.

5:07 AM  
Blogger Andy Noid said...

"Thank you Duke!"

11:01 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Yep and big thanks to, Duke...

3:17 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

Hi, I found your blog from a friend who follows it. I just recently laid down my ancient old Appaloosa. He and I shared our lives for 4 short years, he was a rescue case and I think those 4 years were the best of his life. I feel the lonesomeness of your loss - we both have lost real good pals.

8:00 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Penny, It's odd that a lot of rescue horses are Appys. Hope you can move onto a a new horse soon.

6:03 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

I did not know that Appy's are frequently rescued. They are wonderful horses. My Hawkeye had the best personality and manners of any horse I have been around. Not sure if another horse called mine will be in my future. For now I have "adopted" all of the horses at a farm down the road. So much fun spoiling the lot of them!

Thank you Hawkeye and Duke for taking us into your lives.

6:12 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

It may just be a local thing for us. We had a person here rescue 60 Canadian Appys that were part of a premerin production farm and they were headed for slaughter. She adopted out several and then moved the rest to the Mid-West.

We've had other rescue cases since then. I had one keeping Duke company for several months and now has a good training regiment going for here and she's going to be a great horse for someone (even though she likes to constantly knock her water over...

9:43 AM  

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