Thursday, March 25, 2010
End of an Era... RIP Virginia Dare
Yesterday was a very sad day. An amazing 34 year old horse, the first native Banker born in captivity - a piece of island history, my riding partner for many years and my inspiration to return to the world of horses, crossed over the rainbow bridge.
The first time I rode her (the first time I had ridden in thirty years) she promptly took off with me at a full gallop. I could hear her owner Sue's cry "Ohhhhhhh noooooooo" fading in the distance. Time stood still as I weighed my options. Pulling on her only made her go faster and I really didn't want to get her tiny 13 hand frame off balance - she was (a very fit) 28 years old at the time - so I took two giant handsful of mane and crouched like a jockey until she eventually stopped. Don't ask me why since getting run off with, falling off and in general being scared of horses was why I quit riding in the first place, but I was hooked. (Afterwards it took multiple beers in quick succession to quell the adrenalin rush though lol)
We went on to have many wonderful rides together with Sue and Ginger's daughter Honey Bee. Long beach rides, rides through the woods decorating the woods trail for Christmas and riding in the Christmas parade with the other island horses where she unquestionably knew she was THE QUEEN. And she would have made a fabulous little dressage horse. She was always on the bit. She taught me so much and I will forever be thankful that I knew her.
An unfortunate choke episode around the holidays led to scar tissue in her throat. Her long term prognosis was slow starvation so the decision was made to let her go. I feel quite sure that she has already rearranged the pecking order of the heavenly herd, and is enjoying all the green grass she can eat.
RIP Gingerbear - we will miss you terribly.
Posted by Calm, Forward, Straight at 1:47 PM