Friday, August 26, 2011

Unkept Promises July 5 1985 - July 28 2011

I put my 27 year old mare Promise to sleep 07/28/2011, she has been rapidly declining over the past few weeks.  Please allow me to share with you the precious time we had her in our care.
   Promise was part of a group of 3 horses I bought in 2003 for the total amount of $475 for all 3 horses.   She was a sweet mare who had not had anything done with her most of her life.  Georgene Holasek of Rock Isle  Arabians purchased her somewhere in in Indiana, and I was extraordinarily pleased with my detective skills when I was able to find her breeders and in my excitement called them to talk about her and perhaps find out a little history on this wonderful mare that had come into my life.  Their response sadly, was to warily inquire as to how I had gotten their telephone number, they had no interest in learning that their 19 year old mare had landed in a place that would happily give her a forever home, and would love her and take the best care of her I possibly could.
   Needless to say I was quite disappointed in their response, I was curious to know what all this mare might know and where she had been for the previous years ( I could trace her from the time she got to MN).  She was a gorgeous wild bay color with an exotic dried clearly Arabian head, her conformation was quite nice too although she wasn't a big mare by any means ( 14.2-3).  Mainly Polish bloodlines she was quite exotic looking.  She had this quirky way of swinging her head when she wanted to see something, although her sight was fine in both  eyes.  Although to my knowledge she had no formal training of any type, I taught her to stand for a halter class, and entered her in the county fair once.  She was so afraid before we entered that arena that she stood quietly next to me and trembled.  She trusted me though and I think she knew I wouldn't let any harm come to her.  Anyway, we took home the Champion Pleasure Mare trophy as well as the Best of 3 pleasure mares class.  It was quite an exciting year for the Erickson household!  I didn't ask Promise to show again, she had more than proved her worth at that show.  I knew there was a chance she was in foal because my stallion had pasture bred her a couple of times in the spring.  By the end of Sept 2004 it was clear she was in foal.  I started checking her to see if I could feel the baby kicking in her.  Low and behold, I could!  This was more cause for celebration, so we invited our friends over for "feeling the baby kick" parties... She was a champ through all of this.  Not knowing when she was officially bred ( and not wanting to spend the money to check), in Jan of 2005 I hauled her over to a good friend's house to foal her out ( she was already starting to bag up.)  Her filly was born March 28th.  I already had plans for Promise's foal, I gave her to a very good friend of mine for her 21st birthday ( that is another whole story).  Promise was a terrific mother, but a terrible stall horse, she walked and walked and walked, made Darcie crazy, I am sure she was delighted when we finally brought Promise home...
   Promise lived the life of Riley here on the farm, she was an Alpha mare who got along with everyone.  She loved "cookies" ( horse treats, esp the peppermint ones)  All I had to do was call for her saying Promise, want a cookie?  and she could be at the end of our 6 acres and she would come a runnin... it was so delightful to watch her get her "groove on" and do that beautiful floaty trot Arabians in all their glory are so good at doing.  Her tail flung over her back, hocks and knees pistoning,  neck proudly arched... majestic to watch.... spellbinding.  Promise had her own winter blanket, and the past couple of years has loved when I headed outside with her blanket to cover her for the winter.  I remember one night coming home to do chores and Promise was standing so still, I couldn't figure out why until I got near her, since it was dark I couldn't see that she had her back legs wrapped in wire, she could have panicked but she didn't, she waited for me to quietly untangle her legs from that mess of wire.

       Tonight I grieve the loss of a great teacher for children wanting to learn about horses.  She always loved attention, and when the Girl Scouts asked if they could come out and learn something about horses, she was one of the first horses I thought of for learning to handle a horse on the ground.  She was an angel about having her feet handled, and for clipping, I allowed people to practice their clipping skills on Promise because she was so good about having her head muzzle ears and legs handled.  I have so many, many pleasant memories of Promise over the past 8 years,  I only wish I had more pictures... Tonight I grieve,  the loss of my friend my beautiful bay girl, the girl who surreptiously  ripped the hood off my chores coat one day when I was giving her scratches.  My heart is hurting so much right now,  I know I gave her a good life and I didn't allow her to suffer at the end of it, but even this knowledge doesn't make the pain any easier to bear. 

   I understand that live here on Earth is short, and for our animal friends it is even shorter, My son and I have been slammed in just a short time with the loss of 2 very beloved pets, live is short... Please if you pray, please include my small grieving family in your prayers it is appreciated....

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