My heavy heart has kept this recent event silent except to a few. My steady friend, my horse, my hero, has completed his time on earth here with me. I know God’s creatures are placed in our lives as a blessing, to show us, to teach us, to comfort us, to listen to us and most of all, to be cared for by us. Any girl who has ever loved a horse knows the inner fullness, completeness and special bond that is created in this relationship. Each relationship is unique but it is extremely deep, and those who haven’t experienced it may not ever fully get it. But a horse has the ability to sense your soul and therefore see your innermost fears. You are completely exposed to a horse, much as they are to you.
Waco and I shared such a special time. I’ve been poring over photo albums and videos the last 3 weeks and I am amazed at our journey together. It was grace that brought him in to my life and with grace he left when his work on earth was done. Below are some enduring memories of the life we shared.
This is the first day I laid eyes on him, we were testing each other for “fit”.
Bryan Rodeo 2004
And by our first performance, I was smitten. We fit like peanut butter and chocolate.We had much to learn about each other, but we were both willing and at least I was more than eager.
Luckily, there were a couple of sweeties in my life that were looking forward to the journey too.
By our third rodeo, he and Katie had formed a special friendship 🙂 I’m not sure if it was good luck that Katie gave him a noogie before each performance, but I think he looked forward to it.
Some horses are regal, Waco was goofy, and not in a comedic way, he couldn’t help it. Rarely did he take a picture that would have won any awards at a show, because his un-uniform look always shown through.
He played so many roles in my life. He was my steady, no matter the conditions. He always was more confident that I was.
His confidence spilled over to others easily…Taylor came to visit often
By our second season, he was signing autographs like a pro, loving all the attention from the oldest and the youngest. He was so easy. He made it so fun.
He was the calm to my chaos. Patience, he had more of it in his young years than I will ever have in my life. If you ever saw our traveling circus – girls, glitter, hairspray – you wonder he did it. Patience.
He was my hero. He was tall and broad. He carried me easily – shouldering all that came with me. He made me feel small, but yet, always safe. And given my track record (Carol), safety was a quality I couldn’t buy.
Thanksgiving Parade 2005
He was my teacher. When I think back on his patience, it wasn’t just with me. It was for everyone. You could trust him implicitly. The Waxahachie Rodeo, he met the entire family. This is LJ’s first meeting with a horse. I’m so happy it was Waco.
LJ meets Waco 2005
And my ranch hand Dakotta. Johnny on the spot -what ever was needed, he wanted to be right there to do it. If I had asked him to carry Waco to Dallas, I think he would have 🙂
And Dakotta, well, he was my horse guy
Taylor couldn’t get enough
And Ashtyn was bright eyed!
Of course Taylor and Ashtyn were growing in their confidence and enjoyment with him.
Even Marli and Meagan came to see him.
Speaking of patience. How’s this for patience? Uncle Henry was less than thrilled but Waco never complained. I am fairly certain if I could have gotten Uncle Henry over his fear of heights, Waco would have carried him wherever he wanted.
Of course, Waco had two prime pupils outside of myself. Both Taylor and Ashtyn spent many summers under his care and guidance.
Jeff & Ashtyn 2006
He was strong. To his detriment. He didn’t show pain until it was almost beyond help. Sometime in 2009 he tore his stifle, but didn’t favor it until his coffin bone almost perforated the sole of his hoof.
But the blessed hands of Dr. Carter, Dr. Watkins, Jason and Amanda eased his pain and allowed him to heal.
It was a long journey for both of us, but worth every single step.
Rev Kev 2011
Trials and tribulations allow us to reassess parts of our lives and hopefully learn and grow. Like Dorothy, Waco and I landed just outside of Oz. Bringing the whole furry family to the Blessing of the Animals at church was one of the many benefits.
He was a buddy. He was always happy to see Clyde after our weekend rodeos. And while Waco was healing, Clyde had to play the role of Wingman, which he did begrudgingly.
He carried me through my causes. Perhaps unknowingly as we broke a few “laws” when it came to equine access to the steps of the Capitol.
And he was my friend. Happiness is….
I am a better woman because you were part of my life.
It is said it is the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God’s creation and as creatures ourselves.