Friday, January 2, 2009

The Highs and the Lows...

My phone went AWOL. Actually, my cell phones have a fondness for swimming, which renders them useless. Mine hopped out of my pocket while I was out working with Steve Holt back before the snow and it landed in a puddle. I brought it inside and set it down...and promptly forgot where I set it.

Three weeks later I finally confessed to City Boy what had happened and while I'd been unable to locate my silent partner, City Boy found it sitting on a shelf near the back door (why didn't I think to look near the door?) He replaced the SIM, or whatever it is he does when I kill my phones, and I began to listen to messages. One of the messages was from my friend and former farrier, Cheryle.

A couple years ago Cheryle took on Chance, a young mustang gelding who was suffering from who knows what. Whether it was muscle or nerves, no one knew, but he struggled to walk or get up after laying down. His sweet disposition, however, won many hearts and rather than put him down at the corrals, Cheryle adopted him and began searching for treatment. Chiropractic and massages were seeming to help, but as Chance grew and matured it became obvious that his additional bulk was causing him to struggle. When Cheryle found him down and tangled in a fence, she knew she had a difficult decision to make.

And so it came as no surprise when I heard her trembling voice telling me that she'd put Chance down. But as I listened to her voice in the message, I could tell there was something else...something deeper and more painful. Before hanging up, she began to cry softly, telling me that Regalo had broken his leg on Christmas Day and he, too, had to be put down.

My heart breaks for my friend. Regalo was adopted at 4 and had been very shy around people. Cheryle had given him time, letting him get used to her presence as she worked the horses around him. As is the case with most of these shy, difficult horses, he won her heart in a big way. Over the past couple of years I photographed him a few times...he was always curious about my camera, that curiosity winning the battle over his nerves. A couple months ago I went over to get some photos of Cheryle with her horses. She'd asked for one shot in particular; she wanted one of Regalo arching his neck and reaching down to her.

If you think about it, would you please pray for Cheryle? I can't imagine the grief she must be feeling right now.


Yesterday there was fresh, slushy snow on the ground and falling from the sky when I climbed out of bed. Thankfully it warmed up enough to make driving safe and we headed once more to the arena where I got ride number two under my belt. And yes, just for y'all, Darling skipped her ride at home so she could give you a sneak peek into our world.


gtyyup said...

Lookin' great Tracey!!

a passion 'n frames said...

I am glad I found your blog... love it

Katee said...

Fantastic! You're riding! Wonderful!

I will of course pray for your friend. To lose 2 horses is just more than anyone should have to bear.

Nikki said...

That was really nice Tracey!

Connie Peterson said...

My husband, Norm, was raised on a ranch in South Dakota and knows horses. He says Steve Holt! is an awesome looking horse and he is impressed with how fast you are moving with his training. (You wouldn't want to ship him here, would you?)

I noticed though, when you were putting the saddle on. In Norm's world (and as he taught me), you put the stirrup on the saddle horn before throwing the saddle over - it makes it easier for short people to get that stirrup OVER!

My heart goes out for your friend - losing those two friends in such a short amount of time is heart-wrenching! And Norm says to send on his sympathy, as well.

I think I might put a story on my blog about my first horse, Sundown. He was a prairie raised colt and I broke him myself, with Norm's assistance.

Keep up the good work.

Shirley said...

My heart goes out to Cheryle- I know what she is going through. I lost Coyote Belle's mama to a broken leg; Sundee was my perfect horse, light as a feather and the sweetest disposition. I have lost 6 horses in the last 7 years, and it is always heart breaking.
The video with Steve Holt! is terrific! He looks soft and willing. Whoever ends up with him is going to get a mighty fine horse.

Karen C. said...

Tracey, lots of prayers are being said for your friend Cheryle. My heart is breaking for her...
She sounds like a very special person.

You and Steve Holt! are looking great! Thanks for keeping us is fun watching your progress.

Karen C.

Deanna Castro said...

Steve Holt! Lookin' good :)

Tracey said...

Thanks to those of you who are keeping Cheryle in your prayers. She's a tender hearted soul and has had a very rough year.

Thank you, also, for your compliments on Steve Holt!! He's a pretty incredible horse.

Connie, I used to put the stirrup up, but as long as my horse isn't moving away from me I've been able to just set it up over their backs. No tossing needed; it's helpful to be tall!

Rising Rainbow said...

Two posts with tears.....that's not what I expect when I come here. Both ends of the spectrum too. You are definitely right about the highs and lows.....and you covered them both beautifully.

I will be thinking of your friend, and praying for her two. Life really sucks sometimes. The losses are the hardest but back to back like that even more devestating. So very sad.......

As for Steve Holt! the guy looks like a star! Looks like he remained calm when he felt you up there at that little trot. Cool headed! Congrats girl!

Oh and thank Darling for doing video, it is most appreciated!

Angie said...

Ya'll look great! Nice ride. Steve Holt is such a prize.

I will remember Cheryle in my prayers. I understand her grief. We lost 1 horse and 2 dogs within 2years.