Saturday, January 31, 2015

De La Rey...

RIP De La Rey. Born 28 December 2002. Died 1 January 2015 .

"..That night he dreamt of horses in a field on a high plain where the spring rains had brought up the grass and the wildflowers out of the ground and the flowers ran all blue and yellow far as the eye could see and in the dream he was among the horses running and in the dream he himself could run with the horses and they coursed the young mares and fillies over the plain where their rich bay and their rich chestnut colors shone in the sun and the young colts ran with their dams and trampled down the flowers in a haze of pollen that hung in the sun like powdered gold and they ran he and the horses out along the high mesas where the ground resounded under their running hooves and they flowed and changed and ran and their manes and tails blew off of them like spume and there was nothing else at all in that high world and they moved all of them in a resonance that was like a music among them and they were none of them afraid neither horse nor colt nor mare and they ran in that resonance which is the world itself and which cannot be spoken but only praised.” 
― Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

I don’t want a fuss. I despise sentimentality. But I feel I owe you the story. Perhaps I owe it to myself. It is hard. I don’t like talking about it and I find it very hard to write about. I didn’t think I would survive it. I think I even wrote that if he died, “I’ll give up the fight” in my last post. But of course you don’t. Of course the sun rises and the world keeps spinning and the children keep waking and going to school. And so do you. I gave up smoking instead. I decided I wanted to live. I don’t know why. I thought that I couldn’t possibly smoke all my anger away, anyway. So I am living with it instead.

This horse was my soul horse. I loved him. More than any other horse. He was a champion, my lil cow poke pony. We escaped charging elephant in West Kilimanjaro; we galloped over the Ngaserai Plains; he won Novice A dressage, by reading my thoughts, by being aware of the slightest shift in leg or weight or breath, floating; he won jumping events, being the only one who cleared every single jump. He hated knocking poles down. He could jump the moon, I swear. He taught me so much. How to let go. With my hands. With my life. I’m trying. I really am. But it’s hard.

When horses die, they explode out their bodies, like thunder flashes. His little friend, Sukari, is lonely. You can’t keep a horse on their own. Sometimes, early in the morning, at sun rise, I hear him calling and I imagine De La Rey has been to see him and has left with the moon...

He was diagnosed with cancer. He was very ill. Over Christmas he declined dramatically. It broke my heart to see him literally fade away in front of me. And so, on the 1st of January we dug the grave. I went to say good bye to him. He leaned against me for a brief while, taking small sharp breaths,and turned away as if to say, “Now go.”

It almost broke me clean up into a million pieces. I think it did. I hear Caroline sayin' "Skattie. Cowgals don't cry in front of their horses..."

Safari C shot him. With his Dakota .450.

It was clean and quick. And loud. Godi, who was standing next to the horse, thought he had been shot. He leapt 4 feet into the air and rolled into the grass. The grave diggers all ran and jumped the fence and stood on the other side.

But only the horse lay dead, after all.

Sometimes I dream of him. He comes and stands next to me, his head next to mine. Just so. Like he used to.

I haven’t quite got over this yet.



"Yo no se, amigos. Montad en suestros caballos. Ride. Ride. " Tom Horn In Cheyenne Jail.