Friday, August 28, 2009


I'm going to apologize in advance that I look like crap and my face is all red and blotchy. This post is very hard for me to write, though I knew it was coming--I just didn't expect it so soon. So please, keep your eyes on the screen and don't look at the blubbering mess that's writing it.

Today, I lost someone who has been a part of my life longer than most people I know. This someone has been around longer than my kids, my husband, most of my friends, a lot of my extended family...we've been "together" for 20 years. Now, I don't know what I'm going to do.

This is Cookie. She belonged to my aunt and uncle as a part of their trail-riding business. I began riding her when I was about 9 and I quickly fell in love. Most people didn't like or understand her because she was always cranky, moody, and kicked at other horses. She was also unpredictable and would spook at one thing but be completely fine with another, generally scarier thing. But I saw through all of that. I saw the huge heart she had and all of the potential that some TLC would give her (I'm talking emotional TLC, my aunt took excellent care of her)

Cookie in July

I bugged my aunt for years. I would ask her several times each year if she was ready to sell her yet, if I could buy her, if she'd give her to me. I never gave up. The summer that I turned 13, they gave in and told me I could buy her. I was completely over the moon. I counted up all the money in my savings (I wasn't kidding!) and promptly handed it over the next day. She was mine.

Alayna on George, Lilly and I on Cookie in Sept 2007

Cookie and I spent hours riding together. We lived a few miles from my aunt and uncle, and I worked there in the summers, so I'd get up early and I'd ride Cookie to my aunt's to help out for the day. Then I'd ride her home. We'd go for rides with friends on the trails around their house. A bunch of us trained for a distance ride at the end of each summer and we'd all trailer up to Washburn for the weekend--Cookie and I went 3 times and we got one 2nd and two 1st's! To this day, I would ride her whenever possible , though that possible was harder to find because of kids and busy schedules.

For the last month, Cookie has been losing weight rapidly. I don't know what was wrong, as I couldn't afford extensive vet bills and testing. And to be honest, Cookie was old (28 or 29-ave lifespan of a horse is around 24) and though I wanted to, I knew that anything like that would only prolong her life by months, or maybe a year or two, not several. So we did what we could to make her comfortable and try to put weight back on her. But today, she took her last breath. I had been preparing myself, but I knew it would be hard and I thought I had more time. And it hurts. Bad. But we had a great run and a great life together. She taught me so much and I will miss her and think of her with every horse I see.


Sarah said...

Oh know I am crying right along with you. Loosing Nick is still too fresh and it's so painful to lose such a wonderful companion and friend.

She was a good, spunky gal, and she will be missed. My thoughts are with you --

LeeAnne said...

I have tears ... what a beautiful tribute to a special friend. I know you will miss her. I'm so sorry. She was a gorgeous horse!

Deb said...

He knows when you're happy
He knows when you're comfortable
He knows when you're confident
And he always knows when you have carrots.
~Author Unknown

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire. ~Sharon Ralls Lemon

Candy, you're in my thoughts and prayers as we have just talked about this two weeks ago. I too, as Sarah are writing this with tears. I hope these quotes can bring some peace and comfort along with the beautiful entry you wrote about your adventures with Cookie.

Heather Forcey said...

Candy - I am so sorry for your loss. Cookie sounds like she was a wonderful companion. I hope you are feeling better.