Thursday, June 23, 2011

the boy who taught me how to fly

I needed a few days to write this one... I avoided talking about it in conversation, because it is sure to bring on the 'tight-lump-forming-in-my-throat' feeling. I've found a lot of solace lately in just avoiding painful topics all together - kind of like an ostrich with her head stuck in the sand. I know this will be thereputic though; so here it goes - bring on the 'tight-lump-forming-in-my-throat' feeling.

One of my very best friends passed away on June 13th; my old pony, Fox. The day he arrived on Carol Gee's farm when I was 9 years old was one of my happiest. days. ever. Oh, I adored him.

how could you not adore this fuzzy wuzzy bear???
We had our differences. He was quite a handful for my little shy, weak self; the name 'Fox' was perfectly fitting - he was unbelievably smart. He took complete advantage of any weaknesses or 'timidness' that I had and our relationship was, in the beginning, some what of a 'love/hate' relationship. He knew how to push my buttons.

I eventually became a stronger rider and taught him what was what. He gave me the respect that I deserved because of it. It was as if he was simply testing my boundaries - and only after I passed his 'tests', would he work with me. If I wasn't being respectful of him than he was sure to let me know he didn't appreciate it.  

competing in 01 :)
We became a team. I learned to anticipate his actions before he would make them. He learned to anticipate my next command before I gave it; kind of like two best friends who finished each other's sentences. I knew what made him angry and he knew what made me angry. I knew what made him happy and he knew what made me happy. He was (generally, and minus the days when he was grouchy) eager to please me.

my coach, fox and i after winning 'junior high-point' together :)

After a few days of training, I was able to teach him how to bow. He quickly came to the realization that if he bowed, he would get a treat. Every time anyone walked by him with a treat he would raise up his leg over and over again and stick his head in between his knees. It was quite the sight to behold! Everyone always thought he was colicky; and I would have to explain to them that he was just trying to get a treat. hahaha.

the most gentle soul; unless he didn't appreciate your riding skills ;)
THAT is a whole other story

I spent countless hours of time with him. While other girls my age were starting to learn the art of curling their hair and getting hair extensions, I was learning the art of 'two point' and perfecting our dressage extension. I was such a tom boy. My Mom had to beg me to clean underneath my dirt caked nails.

competing in prince george

I would spend all of my days with Fox - whether it was +30 or -30 - . Whenever he moved to a new field where he didn't know the other horses he would stand at the gate and whinny at me to come back; 9 times out of 10 I would not be able to stand it and go back to him five times before actually leaving to go home.

I still remember one summer when Fox and I were out riding with a friend Dana and her horse Gaetan. We decided that we were going to see if our boys could jump 4 ft 7. I remember knowing that our coach would be mad at us because the footing around the jump wasn't good. But, much like stupid teenagers do, we did it anyways. Haha.

This is a testament to how eager Fox was to please me, because that jump was far higher than anything we had ever attempted to clear. We started our canter and as we approached closer and closer, the height of this jump became more and more clear. My coach had always taught me to look past the jump and this instruction would have been a helpful thing to follow at the time. By the time I had realized that maybe this wasn't such a great idea, it was too late and we were only two strides away from what seemed like a tower. Little Fox was determined to get over that jump and even my apparent fear wasn't about to change that.
my courageous boy - 3 day event

I felt like we were in slow motion. My heart was in my throat. Sometimes our approach to a jump was off but this was perfect. He launched off at just the right spot. I looked down mid-air and saw just how high up we were.
And for a few moments... we were flying together.

I brought Fox along with my alllll the way from Northern BC to Southern Alberta. After I found out that my son, Haven was on the way... I knew that I would have to part with my Fox. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

you'll be in my heart

I've had him in my heart since he went away. He went to an amazing home and lived out his final year being pampered and loved. I'm so grateful for that.

So this is a special thank you... to one of the best friends that I will ever have.

i'll be seeing you, baby <3

Thank you
for teaching me to not allow others to walk all over me; that I deserve respect and that sometimes I need to fight for it.

Thank you
for teaching me that respect of others is imperitive even when someone causes you to become angry.

Thank you
for teaching me the importance of not giving up on something or someone that you love; even if they're down right ignorant. maybe they just need some extra time, some extra love.

Thank you
for always being a shoulder to cry on; my face may have gotten dirty, but I still believe it's the best shoulder out there.

Thank you
for every single tickelish, whiskery, nuzzle in the crook of my neck. 

Thank you
for loving me - just me, as I am and nothing else -.

Thank you
for giving me your all and trying, trying, trying to always be the best.

Thank you
for showing me how wonderful it is to feel needed.

and most importantly

Thank you

ooo i miss you

for being the best friend that any girl could ever ask for.

foxie boy's old pasture
in time's own space
there must be some sweet pastured place
where creeks sing on
and tall trees grow
some Paradise
where horses go.
For by the love that guides my pen,

I know great horses
live again.

-Stanley Harrison

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