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End of the Trail

Ever since I was little girl, I have loved horses. Christmas gifts were easy: I would pour over The Encyclopedia of the Horse, learning the different breeds and memorizing the parts of the animal; I used up reams of paper with How to Draw Horses, trying to get the proportions just right. When I was eight, my parents took the family on a trip to West Virginia and on the way home we stopped at a small horse farm where I got to ride a pony. It was thrilling and even more so when I learned that pony would be mine. How my brothers teased me when I cried when my pony’s delivery date was postponed due to illness. At home my pony and I had access to approximately 600 acres of woods and fields and during the summers we would set off on our own “Billy and Blaze” adventures. I had that pony for 20 years until I married.

During the first 8 years of marriage John and I lived in Larchmont, NY and Madison CT and had three children. The focus was different but always in the back corner of my mind was the dream of having a small farm where I could have horses and hopefully give my kids the same life I’d enjoyed when I was young. We finally found our spot in Killingworth in 1985, a house, barn, three fields and all of this behind a State Park where I could ride. At age 8, Julie was taken on her trip to West Virginia by her grandfather where once again he purchased a pony, this time for her. And so King Midas was the first to come to live at Thirsty Boots Farm. Soon to follow was a horse for me, Aggie. We’ve been through many horses and ponies over the 34 years we’ve lived here: King, Aggie, Blue Boy, Chocolate Bars, Sailor, Rio. We’ve seen Aggie give birth to Holly. Boarders, Willy and Oreo joined in the mix. After Aggie died 11 years ago, Dandy came to stay at the farm. He was a bay just like my first pony and had my grandfather’s nickname. Meant to be? Six years later we got Doc, kind and patient, a retired school horse.

It has been a marvelous “ride” but as they say, “ All good things must come to an end.” Two weeks ago Doc passed on, leaving 22-year old Dandy alone to graze in our fields. There are no more horses in my future and so I made the decision to try and find a good home for Dandy where he would be loved, ridden and be in the company of other horses. I was lucky enough to find just the right fit for him and today we took our last glorious ride through the state park. I followed him to his new home and knew I had done the right thing when getting out of the trailer he whinnied expectantly at the resident horses.

The sunlit fields stand empty. The barn is quiet except for the swooping of the swallows. There is no expectant whinny for breakfast this morning.

On to new adventures, just not on a beloved horse.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 23, 2019 8:40 AM.

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