The End of an Era
Valentine’s Day hit a sad note yesterday.
My cousin Sonya texted me in midafternoon about a family horse.
Stormy, the very tall palomino, had been found dead in the pasture.
He was old. He had been sick. But these things always come as a shock.
Sonya got Stormy when she was 8 years old. He was 8 years old, too. I was only 5, but I remember.
Big and proud, Stormy looked like a real life version of the Johnny West buckskin horse figure we played with.
We only knew of Johnny West because of this antique toy, a lasting remnant from our mothers’ shared childhood.
Stormy carried Sonya into countless show rings through her teens. The whole family would cheer from the bleachers as he weaved at top speed between barrels.
On the weekends I visited my cousins’ farm as a kid, Sonya and I might both hop on Stormy for a quick ride through the fields.
Sometimes it was scary. The horse was so very many hands high with a name that matched his disposition.
As he was ridden less, Stormy became more independent. My last experience in his saddle was terrifying and short, circa 2006.
But he was always eager for a handful of grain or an apple if you offered.
Although in recent years, the only person Stormy saw daily was my aunt Sandy – who found him cold yesterday – his passing is felt by our entire family.
Life can seem so long, but as you blink, the horse races around another barrel.
For 26 years, that yellow horse was there. Now, he’s not.
Share your horse stories in the comments.
Posted on February 15, 2013, in Family, Random Life and tagged a horse passes away, bittersweet, buckskin horse, Johnny West horse, on the farm, palomino horse, valentine s day, yellow horse. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.