Zydeco was laid to rest today beneath the Manitoba Maples beside his pasture. My father continues to hate Manitoba Maples but they shade my horse's resting place, and so now they hold a dear place in my heart.
I don't know if this will be my last post about Zydeco. I do know that I would like to sit here and write for hours about every memory I have of him, every single thing he ever did for me. This post would be far too long, and so I won't be writing all that out here.
I said my final good bye to Zydeco on the fourteenth because I decided not to be here when he was put down. This tore my heart for weeks because I felt I should be here for my boy in his final moments; however, I was not sure if I wanted a picture of him laying on the ground, lifeless, as the last picture of him I hold in my mind.
My final good bye was full of sobbing, weeping, singing, and pouring my heart out. Zydo stood for all of this in his good-natured way. I don't know if he was listening or not. I went over him with a curry comb, I put show-sheen on his mane and tail. I brushed him until he was his shiny old self. I coated his sore knee with Blue Lotion and I kissed his face for as long as he would stand.
Mostly I was just saying thank you. Thank you for putting up with my mistakes, thank you for letting me learn. Thank you for letting me love you and thank you for loving me back.
Riding over the past three years has given me a freedom I have never known before. It has given me peace and given me power. I have found my passion in riding and in loving this horse. I feel like this horse has truly taught me the meaning of love and for that I am forever grateful.
Knowing Zydeco has taught me how to accept mistakes, how to overcome obstacles, how to pray, how to focus, how be at one with another force in this world. He taught me that love can come in many forms and that every love song on the radio can relate to him in some fashion. He taught me about power, persistence, and passion.
When my parents bought Zydeco for me, I was defeated by life. Depressed, jobless, supporting my mother through cancer, deflated over where life had taken me. Zydeco brought new meaning to my life and for the past three years I have been experiencing this new meaning in a multitude of ways.
He was put down by our veterinarian this morning. I had half hoped to myself that the vet would get here and say no, this horse can go for another year. Instead he had a lot to say about euthanasia, how he does not believe in it. He then went on to say that, judging by the X-rays we took at the beginning of May this year, it would be impossible for Zydo to comfortably make it through one more winter, even on the maximum amount of painkillers. My beautiful, magnificent Zydeco was in constant pain that even the strongest drugs could not counter.
We had a back hoe here to dig the hole, and Zydeco was brought out from the barn. He stood for the vet like the gentleman he is, not wincing a bit. My father then climbed into the hole, curling up each of Zydeco's feet and curling his head around his body so it appeared that he was sleeping. The back hoe driver was incredibly gracious and careful, so that my horse was laid to rest with not a mark on him. I am eternally grateful that my horse was in his perfect, shiny, Chestnut state when he was laid in the ground on this Ranch that I was born on.
I have shed many tears over the past several days and I'm sure that there are more tears to come. Every now and then it hits me: I will no longer have someone to visit after my long shifts at work, I will no longer honk my horn as I drive by him in his pasture in an attempt to make him run. I'll never kiss his velvet-y soft nose ever again in my life. I will never be able to lean on his withers and feel his fine Chestnut hair beneath my cheek. These thoughts hurt very, very much.
One thing I am hopeful for is this: love exists in this world, and it exists in many forms. While I am absolutely heartbroken over the loss of what I thought was my one true horse, I do have a firm belief that I will go on to find love while never forgetting about all that Zydeco has done for me.
I also believe in heaven. I truly, honestly believe that Zydeco has gone to heaven and that he has met a rider there. I believe that there are fields of jumps for him to go over, I believe that no butterflies will ever scare him up there. I believe that he is now free from the pain he was in and that he will exist forever, making other horse people in heaven as happy as he made me on Earth.
Today as I was driving home, I saw a shooting star. I couldn't come up with a concrete wish during that moment, so I just wished for Zydeco. I hope that now he can experience the peace that he so often brought to me.
I love you, Big Guy.