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January 11, 2019

Doc

If you're ever given the chance to own your dream horse, take it. Sell whatever you have to in order to make that dream a reality. #advicefromacowgirl

My daddy and my husband would share similar reasoning in saying that any horse that walked into my life would quickly become my dream horse. Each arguing that any equine in my line of sight, is the most beautiful, magnificent creature that ever walked God's green earth. They're both correct. 

I remember the day so clearly- where I was sitting, what I was doing- when I was offered the opportunity to own a dream horse. It was a bittersweet text sent from my friend, saying her husband had found his dream horse and was ready to rehome Doc. 

Doc is so special to us and needs a good home. He still has many trail miles left in him...do you know of anyone who would love him like we do?

I responded, "I do. I want him! I have to sell Kirk's mare...but I want him. I mean, you know, for Kirk."

We were in the middle of planning our surprise wedding. I responded without even talking to Kirk. I knew he would be on board because....it was Doc. Doc was the horse we would see at trail rides- hell, anyone, horses included, would see at rides and bow down in respect to his authority. #seriously

The day after our wedding, we brought Doc home. (Yes, when most people pack up to head out on a honeymoon...we traveled west about 45 miles to pick up a new horse.) As excited as I was to marry my dream-man the day before, I was just as excited to bring home our dream horse.

Doc settled in quickly to our little farm- quickly letting Tristan know he was the boss of all things. He enjoyed the extra snuggles, treats, and kisses. Nothing phased the big man- the opposite of his pasture-mate. He often looked over at Tristan as if to say, "Seriously, man...get it together. You're supposed to be a majestic creature."

A few years into our journey, I noticed some labored breathing in my sweet man, Doc. We began jumping through hoops to try to make breathing not so much of a chore. Rides were halted until the frigid winter months, when he seemed to breathe easy. We soaked hay, gave steroid injections, oral medication, and an ocean's worth of tears on the bad days. In true Doc-style, he was a gentleman through it all. 

Owning horses is not for the faint at heart, especially when it comes to making decisions like the one I knew was coming. Doc's breathing was steadily getting worse and his body was covered in sweat, even with the cool temperatures. We made the call- knowing it was the last kind thing we could do for our friend.

The nights prior, I had the same dream during the few minutes of sleep I managed to get. My daddy was sitting on Brandy, my childhood horse, in a huge field. Brandy was eating grass and Daddy was waving with both hands. (Like Lane Frost in 8 Seconds...if you haven't watched that movie, stop reading now and go watch it.) He wasn't smiling necessarily, he was just waving like he always did. Just seeing him made me smile- but I was too preoccupied to put much thought into the meaning behind the dream.

The day we had to say goodbye- also known as the absolute shittiest day of a cowgirl's life. (And ya'll, we deal with some shit. #punintended) Doc did it his way...and we let him. We held his head and gave him all the treats he could stand. We kissed him and cried over him in the rain.

He laid down gently...and I saw his ears move forward and his hooves begin to move. My heart sank...he's having a seizure. His hooves moved into a canter, as his body lay still...our vet grabbed my hand.

He's already running in the meadow. {my dream} Daddy's waving him over.

In that moment as the tears ran down my cheeks, it all made sense to me. The bad days with horses, the sick times, the hardest times...they were always spent with Daddy. He was always the voice that said "This is hard but its what has to be done, Bud...we've done all we can do here"...it was what I was missing- his reassurance. He was right there beside me, taking Doc's lead and saying "Come on, boy..."

Later that evening as I stood in the barn, I thanked God for trusting me to care for such marvelous creatures. As I kissed the muzzle of my other two dream horses, I smiled knowing Daddy was doing the same.


Take my advice...never pass up the opportunity to own your dream horse.


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