I'm thinkin... If you don't like the blog, don't STALK the blog. If your worried, don't be; I am the one who said goodbye.
WARNING - pretty gruesome
January 24th I came home from work after staying late to study. It was dark and the first thing I did and always do when I got home is greet and feed my horse. He trots around, whinnies a few times at me and stretches his neck over the fence to give me his nose to scratch while I chit chat at him for a second. This night I pulled up to find him stationary. He just stood there with his nostrils to the ground. My heart sank when he tried to walk over to me and couldn't. I crawled through the fence and moved the trough from the trucks headlights and saw the most horrible thing I have ever seen.
I called Cody and he ran to the office to get some drugs and came out. I already knew it but we had to euthanize him. This was a great loss. He had so much to offer. He was so patient and willing to please, he was gentle and loving, smart and spirited.
Let me tell you about this horse. He deserves it even though I will be sacrificing my own privacy in multiple parts of this story- Dark was a tiny baby when I first saw him. I would go over to a family friends house to exercise his horses after an open heart surgery rendered him a bit more home bound. I would ride Dark's mother who was pregnant again at the time. A few months went by, I would ride and say hello to the near black colt with the two cowlicks on his forehead. The Merrill's knew I had an affinity towards him. Shortly after I found myself hitched to Kyle. The Merrill's gave the colt to us as a gift. We turned him out on ranch land between Snowflake and Holbrook. I would run out after work every few days to check on him and the water situation. One day I couldn't find him amongst the sections and sections of land. I figured he was off doin fine but felt uneasy and Kyle said not to worry about it. I didn't listen. I went out again the next day and still couldn't find him. I off roaded out as far as I could which was strictly forbidden, again, I didn't listen. I found him a few sections over behind a fence line and on land that was not part of the ranch. Dark was skinny and dehydrated, I was PISSED! I walked over to my boy and he laid down next to where I stood. Kyle came with a trailer and we took him home. A few months went by again and sparing you the details we came to a cross roads after a long ride home from California without Mr. LA. He suggested I sell Dark at auction. I said no. When this horse laid down next to me out at Blue Rooster I promised him he was mine and I would take care of him. I have let go of a lot of things but I for some reason was incapable of selling out on this one.
Shelby and I moved out onto the 30 acres east of Snowflake and I boarded Dark until I could build him what he needed out there. I went out every weekend to check on him and bring a load of feed. This lady who was very nice to let me keep him out there for awhile was also half crazy. Very contrary and set in her ways. Had no intention of believing I actually knew what was best for my horse. She told me she thought he was diabetic and I need to take him to a horse rescue and just get rid of him. I told her nicely to kiss my ass, I'll make the decisions, and took him home. Turned out he was fine and I was right. The fence was not complete but we did alright and everyone was happy.
Summer came and he was three and a half. I built him a round pen at the top of the land and started his training. I had never broken a horse myself before but had enough knowledge to try. I did research until my brains nearly exploded and we did what needed done one sequential step at a time. Dark was very perceptive and willing to work.
I hated his registered name for lack of imagination. C.L. Dark Knight. I knew I could do better than 'Dark' or 'Knight' or 'Batman' or something stupid like that and always superstitiously agreed that it was lucky to re-name your horses or better the registered name. So I swore that I would think on it and officially rename him the very first day that I rode him; that was my deadline.
We had gotten so far in our manners training and desensitizing and finally came time to get on. The week leading up to this I had been working on a piece of art for a buddy.
I had put more work into this piece of art than any other I had ever done, it was also the largest I had ever finished (11 x 14). I stared into the face of this bay horse for 17.25 hours and wondered a good hundred times what his name was. I gave this piece away in Holbrook which got me thinking of the ranch and Dark and my promise to him. I got to meet this horse in the picture that day, his name was Lonesome and 'Texas' said he was a good horse. I went home and rode Dark that afternoon for the first time after passing by Blue Rooster twice that day where he had almost died previously and marked the occasion by naming him Lonesome. It had not to do with my friend(lets not flatter) and only to do with my accomplishment and love of this piece of art, horses, and the need for a good solid story behind a name, which is now of no consequence.
There is always a story behind every name and this horse seemed to coincide with this era, it only seemed appropriate to keep the story with the horse. That is why. Bitter sweet irony played a part in the continuing coincidental parallel stories down to the week of his death which I will keep to myself.
What hurts more than anything is not knowing exactly what happened to my horse. I have had lots of horses come and go, sell and give away but this was the one that you keep, keep until they die of old age nearly 30 years later. What I do know is that something, an animal chased him into and out of his fence. Lonesome was fat and happy. Plenty of food, water, shelter and acres to play on. There is no other reason and a few animals in mind as to why this happened.
He was stunning, he was perfect, he was mine. I fought for this horse at every turn and he repaid me ten fold. He was more than the horses that come and go. As short as his life was, he is not nameless like so many others, literally and figuratively. He will be remembered for the rest of my life. Mission accomplished boy.
Thank you again to Cody. Always there for me even when I have not always been there for him. He has, as I always expected, become an exceptional doctor.
An attempt at a family photo today while visiting Jim Gray's in Holbrook to satisfy Shelbys archaeologic whim. A thankfully reoccurring whim. We bought a sticker book, Brazilian Agate bookends, an antique single slice toaster and took a few polaroids.
While Shelby immersed herself into a paleontological fantasy land I myself revisited a Holbrook not on any map. A town as a segway through fantasy both literal and make believe. It's such a funny place. To me there is everything and nothing there. A girlish contrived non-truth. All a mirage. As we left today I picked up a dusty bit of dignity, paid homage and said goodbye adding one last song to my 'Couples-Only-Skate' play list- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUVe1bYSKXQ
Fortunately though, I can't go back to who I was before this place. It's the weirdest thing; the difference. Night and Day. I am ironically better, stronger, much more stubborn, and hell if I ain't a bit arrogant concerning only myself due to such a stereotypically wrong Holbrook I have to ditch. God I love this Holbrook, FIERCELY AND LOYALLY LOVE IT(the adventures, the memories), but I gotta jet.
(for those of you scratching your heads...it's okay, just one will understand)
Ol' childhood friend Chris photographing the Troll Under the Bridge.
Ran into the GhostBusters!
(wish this was a color shot, didn't have time to switch it)
Chris' shot with my camera
-Space Needle by night-
(Had to remove the SO weary looking traveler picture of myself, no offense to sweet Chris)
Shelby showcasing her new socks...which she is totally obsessed with.