A Tribute to Easter’s Hurricane

I have been struggling with this post. It is time though, to update the information on my website and let people know that my ‘partner’ and equine coach, Easter’s Hurricane, aka ‘Harold’ has gone. He was less than one month shy of his 28th birthday which is a ripe old age for a thoroughbred.

Since before Christmas he just wasn’t himself. He was no longer stepping purposefully out of his stall as soon as the door was opened. He was not marching along the Magic Path on his way to find a great patch of grass. All his past injuries and illnesses had caught up with him, as they do us all.  Horses are prey animals; they don’t lie down to nurse their wounds. They pretend and act strong and vital so that they won’t be seen by predators as worthy of pursuit. By the time they aren’t acting strong anymore, it is usually worse than it looks. The vet had come a few times and had that sad look in her eye when I asked her what we could do.  Because he was in pain it was time to let him go.

On his last day, despite the terrible March rains and winds, the sun came out and it was spring. One of his favourite people tied roses in his mane. Several friends came to help me be strong and to pay tribute to the life of a noble soul as we ushered him out. We walked out into the beautiful field where he had enjoyed three summers of grazing. We six stood in a half circle around his head loving him terribly as the vet gave him the tranquilizer.  He turned slightly to nod to each of us who had been closest to him. One tear flowed from his left eye.

He went down very gently onto the grass. I had lost all sense of time and when the vet said he was gone I left so as not to see the truck that would come and take him away. I walked alone back to his stall. The shed row has 4 stalls with upper doors hooked open. All the horses were standing silently facing the field. They were unnaturally subdued and somewhat distressed, their eyes wide with sad anxiety. As I bent over to collect his grooming gear I felt the temperature plummet, as though someone had opened a giant freezer door. Suddenly a great wind came up, unhooked Harold’s upper stall door and slammed it shut, disturbing nothing else. The clouds rolled in and the rain returned. And he was gone.