Life Lessons from a Special Horse

      DSC01983 Live each day as if it were your last.

How many times have you said “Yes, yes, I will do that tomorrow…Yes, yes, tomorrow I will take the time to live my life fully.” Does your special tomorrow ever come? I know my special tomorrow was always a little out of reach but I did not realize it until a very good friend of mine passed away. You see it is much easier to see our life lessons through pain and grief because we are forced to slow down and pay attention. We get in touch with that very deep part of ourselves that allows us to know what is really important.

I have had profound wake-up calls in my life but last week when our beloved horse Squeaky died it was more of a collective wake-up call for my entire family. We are all extremely busy and yes we do take time to be together, to love and be loved, yet ‘together’ we realized how short life really is and that we could do more to enjoy every moment. I said to my daughter this morning that Squeak’s passing has taught me to embrace life on an even deeper level than before and she said “me too mom!” Wow, what a blessing. My very special horse, with a huge loving heart, taught me many things. I may someday write a book about him but for now I want to explain what happened the last day of his life.

To make a very long story short when I realized his pain was more intense and he was walking even more sideways than usual, I placed yet another call to his vet. Squeaky had been battling severe pain for over two years with a spinal problem. We were doing all that we could to give him a good quality of life. During that call my vet told me that it might be time to put him down….my world began to spin. I knew it was coming, yet when faced with it my world turned upside down.  

My oldest daughter had a real soul connection to Squeak so I called her immediately, knowing she was leaving for the weekend the next morning. She came right up and stayed a long while in the barn saying her goodbye. She told us later that she saw enormous pain in his eyes. During their visit he leaned so long and hard on her she could barley hold him up as he nuzzled her neck. They knew it was their last time together. The next morning I was still holding out hope for a miracle but once in the barn I made another call and my vet she said “yes, it is time”. She was coming after work to put him down.

I won’t take you through the entire day, that would take a book, but I will say Squeak’s last day on this earth was his best! Everyone who loved him, that could, gathered around and played with him. He had time in the pasture with his buddy horse Will and later a special turn out with my mare. They were in love! My younger daughter took amazing pictures through her tears telling us about her bareback rides with him one special summer. He helped make it the best time of her life. I cannot even tell you how many treats Squeak ate that day. I gave him a special grooming with cowboy magic to make his tail shine and my husband led him slowly to all of his favorite spots where he ate the sweetest grass. Our hearts were breaking and I wondered how many opportunities we had passed up to do this very thing, because we had been too busy!

This horse busted wide open one of my myths. The myth was that I don’t have time. He passed away just a week ago today, yet in that week with my schedule exactly as it was, I have had more time to do all that I love. I have ridden my mare more and now every time I pass the barn, I stop in for a quick moment to give the horses a treat and a big hug.  It really does not take long. It only takes paying attention to what is important.

I notice my husband and I bonded together through this crisis which has made us even closer (if possible) knowing that it could easily have been either one of us. Day in and day out we have no idea how long any of us will be here. I know my family is ready to embrace life on an even deeper level and I hope yours is too.

Tomorrow my daughters and I are going kayaking. I have been saying for years that I wanted to learn. No better time than now. Squeak I will pay more attention and take extra time for my precious life. Thanks for the lesson buddy!

Take time for your life today. Live each and every day as if it were your last!

By Judith Geiger

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