My posts are usually lighthearted, but this one is hard to write. On Wednesday my beloved Topper colicked badly and had to be put down. Since then I’ve been going about my day to day activities and occasionally tears start falling of their own accord.
Topper was an amazing horse, sweet and kind and I swear he had a wonderful sense of humor. At sixteen one hands he was large enough for me at five ten and always took great care of me. I have boxes of ribbons from hunter and equitation classes, but those aren’t the remembrances that keep running through my mind.
Instead, I keep remembering his soft nose pressing against me and the way he would lip at my hair while I was bent over cleaning out his hooves. I wasn’t the bravest rider, and I’m sure there were many times he was thinking ‘For heaven’s sake, Mom, put the rail up,’ but he jumped my little courses in perfect form with the grace of the champion he was.
One time he had a fever from what we thought was Lyme disease, although the blood test said no. I spent that day stroking him, cooling him with water, or just sitting on the floor of his stall with him. I remember the way he looked at me like a trusting child saying ‘Mommy, I don’t feel good. Can you fix it?’ Fortunately, we were able to fix the problem then, but not this week.
The saddest part for me is that I wasn’t with him. We retired him on my in-laws’ farm about 10 hours drive time from me and I didn’t hear what happened until a few hours after he was gone. His face as he looked that day with his fever is blazoned in my mind and I keep thinking he must have been wondering where I was while he was hurting. I wish I had known while it was happening so someone could have put a phone to his ear and he could at least have heard my voice. Does that sound silly? I suppose it does, but at this moment my heart is breaking from wanting to have had the opportunity to talk to him one last time.
I loved him very much. Mary