Each week we share reader-submitted stories about horses who got them “back on track” after a rough patch. Today we share Indra’s story of her three horses.
I am lucky. Abby was introduced to me just weeks before one of the most testing times in my life. My sweet mare was given to me on a free lease on December 31, 2010 and on January 11, 2011 my older brother died. Just twelve years old, I escaped to my barn and found comfort in my new friend. This utter tragedy pushed Abby and me together and she quickly became my best friend. Abby taught me how to love again, how to live with joy and purpose, but most of all, how to live with compassion.
I was fortunate to have Abby by my side for four years. She was unconventional for the sport of eventing: standing just under 15 hands, we called her a brick house. She was the most gentle and patient chestnut mare and stayed barefoot through the 1*. Together we ran our first beginner novice, then novice. Two years later we ran our first training, and just months later, our first prelim. Our second prelim was our first CIC* and we had our eyes set on the 2014 NAJYRC.
We struggled through the next several months as we had changed so much with our ride. Two non-qualifying rides later at a CIC* and a CCI* we went on to win the CIC* at Little Bromont. It was one of the best days of my life. NAJYRC 2014 was an incredible experience and I was honored to compete with my best friend. I cherished every moment of it. Abby was now eighteen or so but never showed a sign of age. She stayed happy, healthy and sound and we planned to return to NAJYRC this year.
At our first event of the season in Aiken we were in a devastating accident and I lost my best friend. We believe Abby had an aneurism as she left the ground to jump 11B. I broke my femur, along with a few other small injuries, but I am lucky to be alive, and I recognize that every day. In the cruel irony of it all, I lost my best friend on my brother’s birthday. Abby saved my life every day, and that is something I will never forget. I will always remember her big ears, long back, short legs, white face and the freckles everyone knew.
I am so incredibly fortunate to have the supporters that I do: I have the most amazing family and friends. Before winter I bought a four-year-old off the track and he has helped me enormously in my recovery. Returning to the farm every day was a little easier knowing I had my sweet and huge baby horse. In an incredible act of generosity I was given another off the track horse after I lost Abby. Cheese and Taxi now get me through the day. Goofy and sweet, they both bring a little light to life after tragedy. They are helping me get back on track after losing the horse that saved my life.
Here at Horse Nation, we believe that the best therapists are our own horses. We love sharing the stories of special equines and the lessons horses have taught us — email yours to [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming edition of Back on Track “Horse Therapy.” Go Back on Track, and Go Riding!