Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Losing Steele

One of my favorite blogs is Journey With a Dancing Horse. I found Theresa originally through her photography blog and then a couple years ago she bought a two year old Andalusion, Steele. She brought him home to the barn she built with Ed, her wonderful and supportive husband. Steele settled in and was a constant source of amusement as he pestered Irish, his older thoroughbred barn mate, learning about stall mucking and horse flies. Theresa writes in a way that brought me into the barn and I felt like I knew both Irish (sensitive and hot despite his age, a gorgeous chestnut) and Steele (inquisitive, demanding of attention and level headed). I watched Steele grow, learn his ground manners and get sacked out. I held my breath when Theresa mounted him for the first time -- he was a perfect gentleman. Steele was smart and he figured things out fast. He grew into a gorgeous four year old. Theresa did everything right. She was unfailingly kind. She was clear with expectations and boundaries. She laughed at Steele and scolded him and taught him how to be an amazing partner. They were a great team.

Then, a couple days ago, two dogs came onto her fenced property and started harassing Irish and Steele. Steele panicked -- well, both horses did. But, Steele went through a couple of fences and gates before ending up trapped in a swamp, with the Huskies circling. His leg was broken and he had to be put down.

When I read the post, I felt sick to my stomach. I didn't sleep that night; pictures of Steele ran through my head; memories of his life. Funny, in a way, since Theresa lives in Canada and I live in California. We've never met. Heck, we've never spoken on the phone or in email and yet. And yet. I know them. I still can't believe Steele is gone. I, like so many, loved that horse. I can't imagine the horror and pain and sadness engulfing Theresa. Four years old.

Theresa was interviewed by a radio show in Canada. She did a great job explaining the prey instinct of dogs and why it is so important to train your dogs to come, why they need to be on a leash if they can't/won't obey, -- and she held it together really well. Here's the link.  http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorningns/informationmorningns/2014/12/16/spanish-horse-suffers-disturbing-death/