If you have read my essay in GaWaNi Ponyboy’s book, "Of Women and Horses" and found the ending a bit abrupt, that is because that is not the ending! The last several paragraphs were inadvertently left off by the publisher. After much arm-twisting I got Bowtie Press to add my web address to the ending in the book which is why some of you have come here!
The essay in the book ends like this:
"The vets check him and, of course, declare him fine."
The real ending is as follows:
They do not know him like I do however. Because the stables are nearly two miles away, most of the horses are being trailered back. After untacking and washing Harry off, I get my first hint that something is wrong when I start to lead him across the field to where the trailer is. He hesitates a moment before walking forward.
How do you become one with a horse? You allow them to help you find strength-the strength to let them deep into your heart. The strength to ride them through the highs and the lows. This I have done and I am better for it.
Once back in the stabling area things become more clear. Harry is showing definite signs of stiffness in his hindquarters. It is becoming obvious that he has tied up. I send for one of the treating vets. Harry has suffered from this metabolic upset before, but I made changes in his feeding and conditioning program since then. I even put him on some medication earlier in the year to prevent this. But here we are again. It’s terrible to see my friend in obvious distress. He is such a tough guy. I feel terrible. This is not at all what I had planned.
But this is how it is with horses. Whether we realize it or not, they are our teachers. It took me a long time to figure out what happened that day, my disappointment was so great. I had been afraid that I would ride poorly and have another fall. But I never had time to worry about that because of my concern for Harry. I actually rode better than I had in weeks. Harry recovered fully from that tying up episode. In subsequent years, however, he has suffered from Lymes disease and EPM. I am no longer eventing him. Instead he is enjoying hunting. He gets that same silly look on his face when he hears the hounds.
I fell in love with the beauty of horses when I was very young. Then their spirit captured me and took me for a long, long ride. I was hoping to go back to watch Fair Hill this year (1998) but instead, that weekend I will be riding my two young horses in their very first event.