Temperature is an odd thing. This morning it was 44 degrees when I walked across the yard from my house to the barn. It was chilly and wet but I was warm in my muck boots with wool socks, my husband's winter jacket, my leather gloves and my qiviet hat. Yesterday morning it was nearly the same temperature and I was wearing nearly the same clothes and I was freezing. This morning all the animals were looking forward to being fed. They were happy although a bit huddled against the cold. They greeted me cheerfully. Yesterday was very different. Most of the animals were fine but we had one very old very sick horse who was struggling.
Check out Peggy's feed on Facebook. She has posted some wonderful pictures of Jazz in his prime. She rode him in Welsh Pony shows in Texas and Oklahoma for a number of years until she passed him on to her son Robert who rode Jazz to acclaim for a number of more years. Jazz was a wonderful sweet pony. He always had one good buck in him per show but that usually happened while he was being lunged rather than during a class. In the ring he put his head down and worked the plan. Walk, Trot, Canter in an English Pleasure class? You bet. Over fences in a Hunter class? You bet. Dressed up and cleaned up he looked stunning at a show. Back here on the farm he was just as dirty and stinky from rolling in the mud as they all are. He has truly enjoyed his retirement here on the farm.
Yesterday morning we called all over the area to find someone with the equipment needed to bury a horse. It's a big job not ever done by hand. The grave needs to be large and deep. We found some wonderful guys from down the road to come out. They were concerned about getting the backhoe stuck in the mud with all the rain we've had but decided it would be fine. The huge tractor, complete with front end loader and backhoe arrived and promptly got buried above the axles in the mud. Soon an even larger tractor arrived to pull out the first one. It would almost have been funny except the reason they were here was so sad and the damage done to my pasture isn't pretty. I've got holes 4 - 5' deep that will need to be smoothed out at some point.
I rode Jazz a couple of times. I even had first dibs to buy him in the beginning. I decided he wasn't the horse I wanted and Peggy was smart enough to snap him up immediately. Jazz came to live with me as soon as Peggy paid for him. Her subdivision is not set up for livestock much as I think she would have loved to have him in her back yard. Over the years we have had various horses and Jazz moved in and out of the pasture pairings easily. He was not usually top dog but was happily in the middle of the herd. He wasn't particularly pushy and had a surprisingly high pitched nicker given his size. I will miss his stability and his attention.
Horses have great hearing and great eyesight. Jazz always knew what the feeding plan was and when I walked around the studio on my way to his pasture he was always 3/4 of the way up the hill. He would walk down the fence line as I walked across the property and we always arrived at the gate at just the same time.
Yes, I couldn't get warm yesterday. Even later in the day when I was in the house, I kept adding more layers to help thaw the cold feeling in my heart. Today is better. I don't feel cold to the core although I keep glancing out to the pasture and expect to see Jazz. Then I'm sad when he's not there.
I will miss him.