I am a busy girl. Busy busy busy busy BUSY and given my last job, I am not accustomed to a job where I actually can take a lunch or sit down in a chair at some point. Therefore, I am exhausting myself at work out of sheer exuberance because I have been working up to 11 hours without sitting down or eating or taking a moment to myself, and you're not actually supposed to do that in a real job. Tomorrow I shall try harder to not try so hard. But there is so much to DO and so many projects and I hardly even know where to begin, I want to do them all at once.
But I will write more about that tomorrow. As for today, an era ended. My favorite school horse of all time, an old fleabitten Thoroughbred named Tedi, was finally laid to rest after 29 years on this earth, 12 of which were spent at his final home and resting place, Bit by Bit, which is also where my two boys are buried. Karen bought Tedi as an 18 year-old to be a lesson horse in 1997, long before my time at the barn, and who even know the number of kids he packed around? He taught the tiniest ones to post and steer, taught the older teenagers like me how to jump around a course (not in a stylish way, certainly, but no matter how many times we bounced around on his back or yanked on his face he just kept trucking in the exact same rhythm), went to a few shows, and lived outside 24/7 and wouldn't have it any other way. He was a very hard keeper and a severely chronic cribber til the day he died, so much so that he had to wear a wire muzzle to keep from demolishing every fence in the paddock. This did not deter him however; I distinctly remember watching him place his head over his friend Sunny's back and managing to crib on nothing overtop this horse's withers. Quite a feat for an old man. At 29 this year though, he started having difficulty getting up when he was down, and recently stopped eating. It was time to let him go with dignity before the hard winter came, and he got to live out his last day in the gorgeous, warm fall sunshine with his friends in the field. His reign ended this morning, and it's amazing to me how despite the fights we've had and the distance between us, we all come together as a family for things like this. He touched all our lives, every last one of us. He was the original Fuzzman, before Quincy was Fuzzman. That's how special he was.
When Quincy's falls because too much of a risk, it was Tedi that I rode in the interim between horses. I had ridden Tedi plenty before this time in my life, but I was never closer to him than during that winter when we spent every week together. I spent that winter before Quincy's retirement riding him bareback every day and nothing more, and learning confidence again with Tedi over fences. I hadn't realized how afraid I had become of jumping until I started jumping other horses. I was never afraid when I jumped Quincy, but as soon as I got put on dumpy old QHs like Barney, I suddenly freaked out, and I fell off a good couple of times when Barney pulled his signature leave-from-a-stride-and-a-half-out-for-no-good-reason. That didn't help my confidence at all. I was so nervous about jumping that - get this - I thought for sure that I wanted to do dressage and only dressage forever. I even looked at dressage horses exclusively for a little bit while I was hunting for Metro. But Tedi - sweet, patient, steady Tedi - was the one that really got me going again. Week after week, he'd pack me around sweet as could be, and even at 23 he and I did some pretty big and complicated stuff. We jumped all sorts of weird stuff - lines of never ending bounces, yawning spreads that we covered with tarps, all sorts of angled lines, and more. Through Tedi, I learned to trust and let my body figure itself out, because he was always going to be there for me. He just recently retired from still giving walk-trot up-down lessons to little kids, a job he excelled at. Amanda sent me pictures of his final day yesterday and I accidentally deleted them, so I will have to get her to resend them. She also sent one to me today of him down and already gone with Nataly laying on him, which made me cry but also made me feel like I was there with them for that moment. He went peacefully and I know he's off with the rest of those boys in horsey heaven, especially Quincy, who was his pasture-mate for a long time.
To all those horses from Bit by Bit that made our lives truly special when we were kids - Magic, Pork Chop, Tedi, Flair, Ziggy, Leroy, Tina, and Quincy - we miss you all.
Here's just a couple of pictures of the boys in their field in wintertime, 2003.
The grey with the honking muzzle (chronic cribber remember?) in the blue blanket is Tedi, the very handsome black with the little white dot on his forehead wearing the grey and black Taka is Quincy, the little chestnut with the red and black Taka (which I desperately wanted for Quincy) is Chris, and the lanky bay with the too-tight cribbing collar and green blanket is Sunny. Such was every memorable winter scene of my teenaged years, right here.
Rest in peace Tedi. We miss you.
Zac's 3 week update
18 hours ago