The Longest Walk….

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”  Anatole France

Today I was both greatly honored and deeply saddened as I, along with other friends, supported our dear friend Nicole as she walked the longest walk any horse owner will ever know.  After a year of tireless efforts to heal her beloved horse Ben’s injured tendon sheath, Nicole was advised by the veterinarian that the most humane path for Ben would be euthanization.  This is undoubtedly the most difficult and unselfish act an animal lover is forced to make.

This is a difficult post to write because as much as I want to convey the tragic loss of a promising horse, I want to celebrate the life of one of the finest characters in a horse I have ever known.  As much as I want to console my friend, as she lost her companion after a year of daily hand walking and bandaging a stallbound three-year old; I want to show my amazement at how she always did these tasks without complaining, in fact turned them into workout opportunities.  As much as I know that he was bound to be a champion in the competition arena, I know that for the time he was here he had as many admirers and as much love as any Olympian alive.

My humble words cannot describe the admiration I had for this gentle, loving horse.  I hope he understood this before he left us.  I know he knew how much Nicole loved him, we could all see that.  Today was a difficult day, the walk was long and sad but I was honored to know this noble horse.  Sleep well tonight Ben and wake to green pastures.  We will always love and remember you.

15 thoughts on “The Longest Walk….

  1. Misty eyes and coffee, what a way to wake up. Suzanne, Nicole and Ben could not have had a better tribute to their life together. Although I’d never met either of them, I understand and want to send along my good thoughts with yours. I, too, have done that walk; with my own beloved TB, Willy, and friends’ equally beloved partners. It’s both sad and an honor to be asked to share that moment with your friend.

    1. Thank you. I asked Ben to say hi to some of my old friends- maybe he and Willy will meet up too. It is a hard thing indeed but a reality we must face if we want the privilege of sharing the lives of these great animals. Thanks again.

  2. A beautiful tribute to a gorgeous boy.

    What a hard decision to make, not one any of us ever want to have to make, but one we all hope we can make wisely when and if the time ever comes.

    Please offer my deepest sympathies to Nicole for the loss of her friend.

  3. I’ve walked this walk….2 years ago I put down my 11 year old Intermediaire horse, Sitni, due to neurologial complications….a horse of enormous heart, talent and kindness….a horse that did not have the word NO in his vocabulary… is the worst thing I have ever been through…

    My heart goes out to anyone walking this walk…my tears are here…

  4. I’m so sorry to ready about this. My thoughts and prayers are with your friend. I am simply at a loss for words.

  5. I have never met a horse with such spirit and heart. Even on stall rest his personality would draw you to him to spend some time. I have taken pictures of him because his charm always showed through. Not long on these pastures I know he is a comfort to the ones he is romping with now. RIP Ben you were one of the “coolest” horses I have ever known and have a special place in alot of hearts.

    1. Thank you for your kind and true comments, he did indeed have a magnetic personality. I hope Nicole can take some comfort in knowing that Ben was so loved by everyone. Thanks again.

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