Sunday, July 4, 2010
Rest in Peace, Peace Maker aka "Crabby"
I just got word that one of my all time favorite horses was put to sleep today. I rode him in high school and college, he actually went to college with me my sophomore year, and made that year the best year I had in college.
He was just the sweetest horse in the world - absolute beginners could ride him, and he'd take great care of them. Then, he'd make himself harder as your riding abilities progressed. He was an absolute blast to ride, and jumped the moon. On the ground, he was the sweetest horse I've ever met. When he went to college with me everyone adored him! While he was great on the ground, as soon as you'd get on him, or curry him, his ears would go flat back and he'd give the most crabby expressions, but no other part of his body would get crabby. At home, he was much harder to ride than at horse shows, but the moment you'd step in the show ring, his ears would be perked forward and he was always a saint, winning numerous championships at horse shows all over the country (some with me, some with the other lucky girls who rode him in his lifetime). His show name was Peace Maker, and it suited him perfectly. I remember when I first took him to college and rode him in many lessons the director of the riding program seemed a bit put off with me bringing Crabby, because Crabby would race at top speed around courses of jumps during our lessons (when, as a hunter, he was supposed to go slow and gracefully over the jumps). When I signed up to go to a huge horse show the trainer seemed nervous, but I assured him Crabby would be perfect. Sure enough, Crabby was an absolute saint. I walked out of the ring and the director of the program was begging me to stay at college during the summer and show with them! He certainly had made his peace.
A couple of years ago he decided it was time to retire from showing and jumping, and a little girl with Williams Syndrome took over the ride. She even learned to trot while having him! Crabby would follow her everywhere, and took such great care of her, as they prepared for the Special Olympics.
Unfortunately, every time we were champion there was no photographer at those shows. So here are a couple of pictures from my first adult medal finals with him - he was perfect - I made a nervous mistakes, so we ended up 8th out of 18 riders. In fact, most of these pictures are terrible from a horse show/jumping point of view, but to me, they'll always be special, because they're the only ones I've got of Crabby.
He was the most incredible horse, and I will miss him dearly. I am so glad that I have a bracelet made from his tail hair to always remember him by.