She told me he was coming with anticipation and joy written all over her face. “He’s from my camp, but I don’t think being a camp horse is for him.” She said as she asked me to board him here. Her joy was contagious and I looked forward to meeting him.
The trailer pulled up and I could hear him announcing his arrival with a loud neigh. He came off the trailer with his head and tail held high. A proud specimen of a horse. Regal in carriage and gentle in demeanor. A beautiful horse that looked wise and a little scared under all that pride. I looked at his girl and she was one big grin as she proudly led him to the round pen where he would stay until he was ready for the herd.
I watched the two of them as they developed their relationship. She spent hours at a time out here, just hanging out and learning what she could from him. They bonded quickly and a partnership developed that would teach them how to communicate with each other. She took lessons with him and learned how to teach a horse how to let go of the past and enjoy being with a human. They both learned how to breathe, she learned how to be in the moment and he learned that humans were kind.
I fell in love with him too. Maybe it was because he would ask me for help when he needed it, or maybe it was because he had beautiful eyes that reflected a spirit that was kind, or maybe it was just because he loved all the humans here. I’ll never know why, but that doesn’t matter. He was who he was and he showed love.
He loved her more than I can even describe. He knew when her car would pull into the driveway and he would be so excited to see her that I would hear his greeting even when I was in the house. I wish they had more time together but their story ended too soon.
Today she gave him the ultimate gift. The hardest gift she may ever have to give. She released him from his failing body and let him go. It was peaceful but certainly not easy. I saw the pain of grief overcome her, and felt the pain wash over me as I held her in my arms. He was not just a horse. He was her friend, he was our friend, and he was love. Goodbye sweet, sweet Skipper. We love you and we already miss you.