On Friday 24th February I began my day off the way I usually did. Clambering out of bed at 6am grumbling about being tired at the end of another busy week and making my way up to the farm to see my girl and have our usual Friday morning riding lesson with our instructor, Wendy.
As always, all my tired feelings disappeared when I arrived to be greeted by Secret’s beautiful face peeping over her stable door to give me her morning kisses and demand scritches before her breakfast haynet.
The sun was shining that morning and we had probably the most fun we had ever had on a lesson, a little robin came and landed on the fence and when I rode her back to her stable afterwards I never imagined that it would be the last time I would be all that way up in the air, all 16.2hh up and at one with my beautiful girl.
Secret came into my life by accident a couple of years before. I wasn’t intending on getting a horse at that time but somehow it all seemed meant to be and she came to her forever home with me on New Years Eve that winter and changed my life. She wasn’t a pet, she was my soul mate; she mirrored the best and the worst sides of myself and everyone that knew us agreed that horse and human couldn’t be more alike. Yes, she was a total diva too!!
She made my life more purposeful in every way. I waited 35 years to own my own horse and she was every inch my princess pony and I like to think that I gave her the best years of her life. She certainly gave me the best years of mine.
I got the call at 1pm that Friday, leaving the hair dressers about to head out for lunch that Secret had colic. I made my way down there and arrived just before the vet.
At first it looked like she was going to pull through but as the day went on and into the night I watched my best friend deteriorate and the time came to make that decision I had dreaded making every single day that I had known her.
I kissed her head and thanked her for letting me love her and I know she told me that she was tired of fighting and that she was ready. It had been a very long day.
As we walked her down to the grass to let her go, even though my heart was breaking I knew that I was doing the right thing for my Secret. As I had always tried to do. She may not have been the horse I thought I wanted but she was one million percent the horse that I was meant to have. She taught me so much and being dignified was one of them.
I always say that in the darkness we need to look for the light and on that dark day I can look back and see so much of it.
From the amazing support and kindness of everyone on our yard helping us out. To my friend Cathy coming straight up to the farm without being asked. Steve the vet making her crossing over to rainbow bridge, somehow beautiful and so dignified and Lisa who had helped me with Secret for the last two years giving up her whole entire evening to be with us right until the end.
Then when we thought we would have to leave her lying out on the grass overnight, Cathy received a phone call from her farrier, Wilf, who not only arranged to have her moved but interrupted his own Friday evening to come up to the farm to remove her shoes so that I would always have a piece of her with me.
The love, the support, the flowers, the tributes are still pouring in now more than a month later and it keeps me strong. I miss her every single day but am so blessed to have been a part of her life and I know that my grief is “love as a backwards glance.”
She came into my life, she was my teacher, my healer, my friend and she didn’t leave me until she knew that she had fixed me.
I do all of the things I tell you guys to do to move forward. I give myself time, I turn to gratitude and I meditate and when I do I feel her with me still. I may not hear her banging her impatient hooves on her door anymore but I feel her forever in my heart. She will always be a part of who I am
One day I will blow into my horse’s nostrils again. Sleep tight for now my beautiful girl. I love you so very much xxx