Tuesday, October 11, 2016

RIP Shadow, Our Big, Bold Gelding

The Barn At Night

Have you ever felt the quiet,
A sundown that steadies your bones?
I stood for a moment as the horses ate grain,
Big, bold geldings as gentle as whispers,
As noble as gods:

Old Red, his eyes blurred with cataracts,
My horse, the orphaned-pinto,
His breath always in my hands,
And the arthritic gray herd leader,
Now totally white with age.

Some people hope for castles,
As for heaven, I’d prefer a barn.


A few days ago we said goodbye to our arthritic gray herd leader, Shadow. He was my husband's horse and, ultimately, it was his decision. Shadow went down hill fast this year and my husband didn't want him to suffer through winter.  

Shadow was a reluctant leader. 



When we purchased him, 13 years ago, and introduced him to Red, they acted like long lost brothers.  It was instant love and respect between them.  Shadow chose Red to be the leader of our 3 horse herd--Red, Shadow & Cowboy.  However, when Shiloh bought our first mare, Cowgirl, a new love sprang up between Red and her, and Shadow decided, literally overnight, that he would be the herd leader from there on out.

Herd leader was a lonely, thankless role.  All the horses loved Red.  Except one.


Leah.  Leah would be the one horse who would mutual groom with Shadow every night at sunset.  And, when the others staged rebellions against him, Leah would stand firmly by his side.

Shadow had many other roles through the years.  When Cowboy broke his coffin bone in 2007, I rode Shadow that year.


 In 2004 Shiloh used him for 4-H and trail rides.



When it came to protecting the herd, he stood up!  Whenever he sensed a "threat", like a new horse, he'd walk out real slow to greet it and then put it in its place.



Because of him, our herd was able to sleep in peace.





And eat in peace.











And, now I can only hope that he rests in peace until we meet again on some heavenly trail.


More pictures of Shadow in better times. He was such a golden-hearted soul.























19 comments:

  1. He was a beautiful boy and so much of that beauty was shining in his eyes. Your husband must be heartbroken, as I know Brett will be on the day we lose Flash (a day I hope is a long time in coming). This was a beautiful tribute to Shadow.

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    1. Thanks, Annette. I hope Flash lives to a ripe old age. Red is 36 and still going strong, so it's amazing how much time we can actually have with them if everything goes right. A lot of time and memory in our lives is intertwined.

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  2. God speed Shadow- you were much loved just like a horse should be.

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  3. Never easy to part with a good old horse; you have my sympathies.

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    1. No, it's not easy at all. Thanks for the condolences.

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  4. Have I fallen off your blogroll Linda?

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    1. I wouldn't be surprised. A few weeks ago, the whole blogroll deleted off of my blog and I had to try to piece it back together. I'll add you back, if you're not there.

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  5. He was a wonderful horse and will be missed. You all must be heartbroken to lose a special horse like Shadow. He will always live in your hearts and memories. Think of him at peace running through green pastures and being young and well again.

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    1. I like to think if him that way. It helps.

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  6. He looked like a sweet guy. I'm sorry for your loss.

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  7. What a sweet baby ~ thanks for sharing such touching photos. So very sorry for your loss...

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    1. Thank you. I know these were a lot of photos. I went through old hard drives to find some of them. I wanted to be able to access them at anytime, whenever I miss him.

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  8. He had a really good life, and was able to leave before he suffered. I've been through this a few times myself, and it's the best we can do for them. It still hurts. Alot.

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    1. Thank you, I agree. It is a tough decision to make, though, no matter the circumstances.

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  9. Shadow sure was a beauty, inside and out. It will take a while to stop looking out at the pasture and expecting to see him, I'm sure.

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion--tell us about your own thoughts and experiences.