Thursday, February 17, 2011

echo of my heart

It is hard to lose a friend, especially one who has taught you so much. This weekend my favorite school horse, Echo, was suffering from colic and had to be let go. There are so many people saddened by his passing, but I really appreciated the call from the stable, where I have not ridden consistently for a few years, but they knew he was my favorite. I chose not to go see him...I am like this with many things, but know (for me) that I am better off with the memories in my mind.

January 2007

Since then all the memories of him have just been popping up unexpectedly. He was a character, liked to chew on and explore everything with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. I won my first ribbon, a second place in the trail class, on Echo. And my second ribbon (in the same class) the next year. He was always my choice at lessons, and I especially enjoyed riding him bareback (though cantering bareback in the arena one time I slid off when my tired legs just couldn't hold he was the first horse I also fell off!)

Echo on the left. Avery Pond, March 2009
I took him on rides with friends between his arena lessons with kids. He was always happy to get out and see the trail. One time I had to dismount and help a friend, so I clipped my reins to his halter (and not the bit). I didn't realize until I got back from the ride that I never reattached the reins to the bit. After that I rode him like that most of the time.

He was also the only one I could consider riding after my first horse died. He had a great trot and could really move out, weaving between trees and over rocks. He carted around scores of beginners, showing little of the fire I knew he had, though the stubbornness showed through as he trotted like a slug unless asked correctly.

Echo Ears, June 2008
The trail I did with Major on Sunday is the same trail I did my first solo ride, on Echo. He spooked at a lizard's shadow that day, and I laughed and we trotted on. I was proud that day to have trotted the whole canal trail, alone, trusting the bond with Echo. I loved the view between his gray ears and wild mane.

You'll be missed Echo.

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