Girls Horse Club Blog

Amigo

Published by • May 3rd, 2013 • Category: Tributes

by Briana, age 13

It was March 14, a Thursday. The afternoon was warmer for a March day. I gathered my grooming tools from the barn, then headed out to the meadow where Amigo is kept.

Rewind a little… Amigo was a birthday gift I received in June 2012, less than a year ago. Amigo was small, but he had a big heart. Like they say, big things come in small packages. He was a bay Hackney gelding. When we bought him, the previous owner said that he was about 12 or 13 years old. Remember that little note.

Anyway, through the winter Amigo was giving me some frustrations. He’d randomly act stubborn and not let me catch him. This day I saw he was acting pretty lazy, so I approached him hoping to give him a good grooming. He allowed me to pick his hooves, and while keeping up a steady chatter I cleaned the dirt off of him. I could tell was acting kind of strangely, almost sad. I accounted it to the warmer weather or the pleasure of my grooming. I tossed some hay into his trough then hurried back to the house.

After supper that evening I happened to look out the window. I saw that he had not eaten his food which was DEFINITELY unusual. Let me just say, he eats plenty for being small. He was kind of walking stiffly and his head still hung miserably.

I ran out to see what was wrong. I had never seen him act that way before. So, taking some precautions, I asked my older sister to look at him. She didn’t see anything obvious and said that he might be stiff because horses do feel stiff from winter cold at times. That didn’t quite line up cause it wasn’t a really cold day, but I decided not to be paranoid.

Once in the house I finished up some chores and school. It was almost dark, I believe 7:40 pm, when I glanced out the window facing the meadow. There I saw that Amigo was laying down. Now if that doesn’t freak a horse person out, what will? It was dark, and horses rarely lay down to sleep — even in the dark.

I found my dad and asked him to run down with me and see what was wrong. He obliged. I worried. Amigo didn’t jump up as soon as we came down. He just lay there, his breathing was heavy. It took us a while to get him up and into the barn, but we did. He walked kind of funny and still wouldn’t eat or drink. The next step, we decided, was to call a vet.

Our neighbor, a vet, arrived a little after 8:00 pm. I watched his face. It didn’t look good. After his short examination he sighed, “He’s in a heap of trouble.” I hadn’t let the thought that death might be possible into my head. He looked at me, “I’ll be honest, there’s a very slim chance that he’ll survive.” He continued to explain that his heart rate was triple what it should be. He had a form of colic that is very hard to cure. He was dehydrated and because of his old age… Now wait, old age? I didn’t think that 12 or 13 was old for a horse. He nodded. “Yes he’s well into his 20’s.”

I gasped — I had no idea that Amigo was an old horse. The previous owner had told us his age so we hadn’t checked it. I watched him as he leaned against the wall breathing heavily. I could see sweat on Amigo‘s neck. My dad and Mr. Sharp proceeded to talk about the most trivial things as John prepared a pain reliever. I could have yelled — why were they talking about such unimportant things!

Tears squeezed out of my eyes as I held Amigo’s head in my hands. His eyes were sad. It was sinking in… Amigo wasn’t going to live, he wasn’t what I’d thought he was. It came as such a shock! Just that morning, my dad had seen him frolicking in the meadow just like a little yearling. Now, he was the total opposite. John applied the pain reliever, saying that he’d been wrong before, tha Amigo might live. I nodded, unable to speak for the sobs threatening to burst out. John said he’d go and be back at 9:00 pm to check up on him.

I stayed with Amigo and cried. Why was God taking my horse? It hadn’t sunk in. I was so used to owning this exasperating, yet lovable horse, feeding him, riding him, now he was going to leave. John returned and gave Amigo yet another pain reliever. I said my goodbyes.

Amigo died some time in the early morning of March 15, 2013. I would never hear his cheery whinny, stroke his silky neck, whisper into his delicate ears those words he loved to hear, the words I can’t say to him again. I will never groom him or ride him through the meadow. I will never have “conversations” with this sweet little horse. I will never hug him or sigh over his annoyances. I loved him, now he’s dead.

I think I’m learning to let go and move on. Perhaps there’s a better horse for me. Actually, I know there are better horses out there. For all his wild, exasperating, stubbornness, I loved him for being Amigo, my friend. It was like a movie that night. He paced the stall, the vet shook his head, I cried, but it’s reality — this was no make believe movie. I will remember all the moments we spent together, good and bad. He’s old, he’s ready to go, but am I ready to let him go? I remember asking myself.

I will miss him. I hold back the tears when I remember him and those last hours. I know that Amigo would want me to move on and find another horse to love and care for. Amigo will, however, always hold a special place in my heart. I admit that I may love a horse more, but I will never love a horse the way I loved Amigo. I loved him in the midst of all his faults. Sometimes I involuntarily look out one of the many windows in the house facing his meadow, then I catch myself — he’s not there, he never will be. Amigo is gone. Will it ever fully sink in? My dreams for the summer ahead are totally changed. In one evening my whole life was shaken. I have accepted that Amigo is dead, bodily, but he is still alive and galloping in my heart and memory.

This is to say goodbye, you dear horse, Amigo. You didn’t die forgotten. I will always remember you. Not all horse stories end happy. But they all end. And new ones begin. This is only one chapter in my life, which causes me to wonder, what will the next chapter bring?

* * * * *

Author’s note: I wrote this a week after my horse, Amigo, died. All that I stated is true and really happened, written by me for the memory of Amigo. He will be remembered. This story is not ending sad though, because I do have a new horse. Her name is Flicka, a white Arabian that I love already. My encouragement to you is to never give up on your dreams. I haven’t and I won’t, and it will pay off. Even through the hard times when I bite back the sobs that threaten to burst out. I won’t forget Amigo, but I’ll move on. It’s what he would want me to do. This story, that I’ve given my time to writing, is dedicated to the memory of Amigo, a true friend, who will always be alive in my heart. ~Briana

5 Nickers »

  1. Briana, this is heartfelt and beautifully written. I’m so sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing your talent and Amigo’s story with GHCers.

  2. aww this is so so sweet we have a horse called Amigo. This must have taken a lot of courage. I have never read a blog as great and sweet and as heartfelt as this one it was really well written:) keep on writing. So sorry for your loss. Life sucks but this happens and sometimes even though the pain is really bad you have to live on, I really hope you feel better and I hope flicka is good

    XOXO Molly:)

  3. sarah

    i loved your piece
    i am so sorry that your horse died but sometimes that happens and we need to move on with our lives.

  4. So sorry to hear.Brilliant story and its better to tell us horse lovers then someone who doesn’t care.
    So sorry about Amigo.

  5. This is so touching. I’m so sorry about your horse. I know I don’t have a horse but I have been sad like that before over the tiniest animals like fish and the two mice, Bubbles (and albino) and Prince Humanus (a fat grey mouse). But horses! When they die its just like… Your heart falls flat for quite a few years! Yo wrote a great poem! Absolutely beautiful.