Monday, June 21, 2010
This month would have been Snoqualmie's 49th birthday. Snoqualmie was the horse I had as a child, and then was my son Colby's horse when he was small. The bond I had with her and then that Colby had with her was amazing. I never had a moment of worry or doubt about Colby's safety if he was with Snoqualmie. He'd climb up her mane and ride her in through the pasture with no halter or bridle, guiding her by pulling left or right on her mane.
Sometimes they'd amble along, a Civil War soldier and his horse coming home from battle, complete with cardboard guns and a military cap we found at a thrift store. Other times they'd gallop through the field, a pirate ship and her captain escaping the enemy (which was sometimes our dog, Dexter, or less often, our cat Bootsie).
Colby never fell off. Snoqualmie would never have allowed it. If he got off balance, she shifted underneath him and gently slowed. She was quiet and patient with Colby, but she knew he was important to me and took good care of him.
Snoqualmie passed away when Colby was six and she was 31. She'd had a stroke a few days before and finally got down and could not get back up. One thing she loved to do was eat, so as I held her head in my lap in a field of trees as I waited for the vet, Colby went to the barn for the grain. For once she could have all she wanted. She licked handful after handful from Colby's little hand and when it was time, I sent Colby to the house. She is buried there, underneath the trees. Even after we moved away from that house, Colby and I visited her at least once a year.
Today I like to think that she is galloping off to new adventures in the great beyond. I had her with me for twenty-three years. She was my best friend and I miss her more than words can say. Happy Birthday, my Fat Girl.