Taco, it is with a heavy heart I write this well-deserved memorial tribute
to you. I knew the day would eventually come where you'd be with me only
in spirit, although I never wanted to believe it really would. The six
years I stood by your side contain the most precious times and happiest moments
of my life. Although the pain of losing you is something I'll carry with
me forever, I realize that I am so lucky and blessed to ever even have had
a friend like you.
God had a plan for Taco
and I. Stroking his dirt-laden, fuzzy old-man coat of hair on my 11th birthday
was just the start of the incredible journey I'd find myself embarking on
for six years with none other than a 35 year-old equine partner. He was my
horse, I was his girl. As every horseman and woman knows, the horse world
is filled with twists, turns, and changes, like an untraveled bridle path,
so horses often quickly come and go. Miraculously, through the several trials
and tribulations we were put up against in our time together, things
worked out just so that Taco and I were able to be together until
the very end of his life.
That was a promise I secretly
made to him, and it is a comfort to know that I was able to keep it. For
years, I spent my weekends fussing over him on the crossties, and I
couldn't have been happier doing it. It didn't matter if it was boiling hot
or brutally cold outside; I'd do anything in my power to make sure I was
there beside my friend. And in return, he was there beside me. Any time I
needed someone to hug, someone to talk to, or someone to simply sit in a
12' x 12' stall with, I knew I could depend on Taco.
If only I could have it
all back. I miss the times when he'd gallop after the birds in an effort
to rid his pen of them, or when he'd get scared of the big bad monster known
to us as a camera. I miss pulling out the loads and loads of hair that would
come with every shedding season, only to pull out loads and loads more in
a seemingly never-ending process. I miss the way he'd snort and groan after
taking a refreshing roll in the dirt, and I miss watching patiently (and
anxiously!) as he finally got back to his feet. I miss watching him knock
his senior pellets out of the bucket and onto the floor, as if they
somehow tasted better that way. I miss sitting with him on the mounting
block, forgetting about anything and everything else going on to focus on
only one thing - the everlasting bond I have with my horse.
So, Taco, I thank you from
the bottom of my heart for how much joy you have brought to my life. Thanks
for the years, thanks for the memories, and most of all, thank you for being
my friend. I'm sorry you had to suffer in the end. For as long as I live,
I am sure there will never be another one quite like you. You will be with
me for the rest of my life. I'll never forget how much you meant and will
always mean to me.
One thing's for sure - if
I make it to heaven, the first place I'm going is the barn.
I love ya, buddy.