|The last picture I ever took of him. He was so happy to be out hacking around. The joy almost radiated off of him as he had a swing in his step on our walk.|
I want to thank everyone for their love and support. I am devastated and heartbroken at the loss of my partner and friend. He has seen me through every boyfriend, my high school graduation, my college graduation, getting married, and buying a house. He was a permanent fixture in my life.
I expected him to be an old man when he finally passed and for us to have at least 20 years together. I only got 11 and I feel cheated out of the last 9. He deserved a retirement of trail riding and showing a rider or two through the ropes of training level dressage and winning lots of blue ribbons doing it.
Mikey had an aortic aneurysm while he was working (no one was sitting on him thankfully). It was not preventable and could have happened at any time. He had died before he even hit the ground. He did not suffer. I watched him pass, and him falling very unathletically without trying to save himself replays over and over in my mind. It will haunt me for a long time.
Wednesday morning he was buried in the jump field. He's looking over the dressage arena. He liked to jump more than do dressage anyway. I know he'll be looking down on the arena from the big green pasture on the other side saying, "Haha, you have to work!"
I am so glad that he is buried at his favorite place in the world. He loved that farm. The quiet, the woods, the endless grass. He was happiest there and everyone knew it.
I tried to seek some comfort while he was being put in his grave by petting the other horses. It didn't help. None of them are Mikey, and I just wanted my friend back. I still do. I keep thinking, maybe this is just a bad dream and I'll wake up. Except I'm not waking up no matter how hard I pinch myself.
In the spring, I'll buy an apple tree to plant on his grave that will eventually shade him and produce treats for the horses to eat. I feel like that is the best possible tribute.
I spent Wednesday crying my eyes out and playing the 'what if' game. What if I had just retired him when he had hock surgery? He probably would never have worked hard enough to burst his aorta. What if I had decided not to go riding that night and instead went to the camaro club meeting with my husband? Mikey would have stayed in his field, grazing away. In both cases, I would still have him. Thank you Austen for kicking me out of that thinking. He liked to work and he liked to please. He was happier seeing me every day.
I got his nibble net for alfalfa at horse shows and his next order of 12lbs of chia in the mail Thursday. I couldn't open either.
My biggest regret is that I never got to tell him one more time that he was a good boy. It's what he lived for. He passed too quickly, but maybe that's a good thing because if I had a chance to tell him, he would have been suffering. I'm so happy I gave him an apple before we worked that night. I got to love on him and give him one last special treat. I told him every time I saw him that I loved him and he was a good boy. I don't regret the ridiculous number of horse cookies I went through.
All I can hope is that he knows how much my heart hurts from wherever he is on the other side. And that he was so very loved by everyone, not just me.
Hug your horses a little tighter today, because I can't.