|'Cause this is a good sight at the barn|
It started out rough and really didn't get any better- even when I spent 12 hours at the barn. Usually barn time is a cure-all for whatever ails me. Not today. Today the barn drama overpowered any curative properties that horses could have for me.
Because I got some Bad News.
Opie, the one who started this whole horse obsession, was gone.
On Saturday, she started having a hard time breathing, so on Sunday my parents brought her to Waller Equine clinic so some of my very favorite vets could scope her on Monday morning. The news was bad. She had some Gulf coast virus that damaged her airway so that her trachea was restricted to only 20% of its normal size.
In short, Opie was trying to breathe through a straw.
So it was time to let her go.
I know that I'm an adult, and have moved on to other horses and other sports, but there are those horses who will always be special in their own right. Opie was my first horse. She gave me more than any of my subsequent horses have (yet).
|Opie, the week we bought her.|
Hard to believe that to me, she was the most beautiful horse ever
|Now don't we look adorable?|
I could always count on Opie- no matter how nervous I was about riding in front of a stadium full of people, she'd never spook or start. We could gallop by the chutes filled with bucking broncs and rodeo bulls, and she'd never bat an eye. Kids running up and down the aluminum stadium seating couldn't phase her.
Of course, when our time came to hold the important flags and I climbed my way up the Seniority list (which is easy to do when you join a group at 10 years old... and stay for the next 7 years), we discovered that all of the bucking and fussing just disappeared when we got the lead spots.
|Parade with the Big Flag|
|Opie and AT, in their retirement years|
|15 years, and never went off of her feed|
It may not be where my heart is now, but those years trail riding were priceless.
Opie was also my Trailride horse. Note the capitalization. As a family, we were invited to join the Salt Grass Trailride... 100 miles with 1500 of our closest friends, ending up at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. I was comfortable - if bored - by the totally walk trailride. Yawn to both me and Opie... Who was, of course, the only horse on the trailride (or at least our wagon) that managed to gain weight while working (slowly) for 8 hours a day.
Did it once... never doing that again.
|Our trailride after I hurt my knee.|
He was no Opie.
|Opie did not tolerate heavy hands.|
One of the most special moments of my life, thus far, was RC's arrival. Opie, being her typical self, didn't give us any warning that we should be expecting a foal any time soon. Other than being big as a house, and super cranky in the May heat, all seemed normal.
She was just waiting for me to have her foal, and once I showed up the delivery took less than 5 minutes. Evidently she was ready to have the thing. I was crying then for an entirely different reason than I'm crying now when I saw four perfect little white legs and a perfect little white stripe (and a snip on his lower lip that looked like he spilled a little milk). I had talked to Opie for the whole year about how I really really wanted a horse with four white feet.
And she gave me just what I wanted... Like always.
To my surprise, my grumpy, opinionated mare loved her annoying little colt. She kept him close and wouldn't let anyone near (except people, of course). The herd had to wait until she was good and ready to share him with the world before they could get near the new little guy.
She taught him the important things in life like What to Do When One Is Stuck In the Fence, or Always be the First to Come In for Dinner.
And the one that made me cry (again) tonight - Pin Your Ears at Your Dinner.
|He's got some big shoes to fill.|
So here's to you Rohos Precious Honor....
For making me the horseperson that I am today
For giving me more good memories than bad
For putting up with my learning curve
For giving me what I needed, even if it wasn't what I wanted
For making my childhood everything it ever could have been
For letting me try everything, even the things you knew were stupid.
Thank you for everything, Opie.
|Rohos Precious Honor|
April 13, 1992 - February 18, 2013