I can hardly believe it’s been three years since my first horse, Visa, passed away unexpectedly in the middle of the night. I really miss him and there’s still a hole in my heart where he used to be. I was always grateful to have him in my life, but sometimes you don’t realize just what you have until it’s gone. Visa was my horse of a lifetime and I didn’t know it until he wasn’t around anymore. I’ve often wondered if I’ll ever find another one as special as he was.
On the first anniversary of his death, I wrote him a letter. It was all the things I couldn’t bare to say out loud when he first left this Earth. Today, I tried to read it again and I couldn’t. Most days, the pain isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be — time heals all wounds, as they say. But today, the pain is as sharp as ever because I realized there’s still so much I have to say.
To: My Horse of a Lifetime,
I don’t want to apologize today, because I can’t change the past. I don’t want to regret all of the things that might have been with us and I don’t want to cry, even though I know I will. Instead, I want to tell you that you changed my life and I’m a better person today because I knew you.
I want you to know that I’m living your legacy. You taught me so much and now I’m using all of that knowledge with a new horse — and because of you, he has a great life. With you, I learned all about horsemanship, riding and love; I still remember all of your lessons and I use them every day. I know you’d be proud of me for bringing another horse into the family and that you’d be so happy to know I’m back in the show ring, jumping 2’6″. That’s what you loved to do and because you shared your passion with me, it’s what I love to do now too.
And even though I have a new stripey-face chestnut gelding, and I love him so much, there will always be a special place in my heart reserved just for you. You are my horse of a lifetime, my heart horse and nothing will ever change that. I will, forever and always, love you. I hope you’re enjoying your well-earned peace, eating all of the Oreo’s you could ever want; I hope your feet don’t hurt and that you get to play with so many of your friends who’ve joined you. I hope you’re as proud of me as I am of you.