Wednesday, April 13, 2016

the goddess would have turned 33

Three years ago I wrote a blog post about Salina, our black goddess mare, turning 30 years old.

That turned out to be her final year but her spirit lives on here on November Hill.

This is what I wrote about her in March 2013:

Tomorrow Salina turns 30 years old. She was born in Germany to two Hannoverians, Kurtisane and Salut, and was branded as well as entered into the Main Mare Book as she got older and went to inspections.

She was imported as a brood mare to the U.S. Somewhere along the way she was trained to at least fourth level dressage, lost an eye, and developed arthritis in both knees.

When she was 23 she came to live with us on November Hill. I have said before: I saw her photograph and fell in love with her spirit and personality, and although originally I thought she would be a therapy horse for my clients, in the end she has turned out to be a therapy horse for me.

She can be high-strung, is very opinionated, and has been high maintenance from the beginning. She gave me some of the most advanced rides of my life, taught me about hoof abscesses, senior feeds, arthritic joints, helping horses get up when they can't do it on their own, and is teaching me now about Cushing's disease.

She became, early on, my sister in spirit at the barn. If anything goes on here and I don't know about it, she tells me. She has come to my bedroom window in the night and woken me with her insistent, urgent, whinny. On many occasions I have felt pain in my own body at the site of her aches and pains.

The most important thing and the first thing she taught me was to center myself when asking for anything from a horse.

She is wise and beautiful and we love her.
Happy birthday, Salina! I'll add a birthday portrait tomorrow, but wanted to get this up today.

Everything she taught me still holds true. I miss her physical body. She loved being pampered and groomed and fussed over. Now and then I glance out and see her standing in the barnyard or the front field, and then when I do a double-take she's gone again. I talk to her at least a few times a week when I pass her burial mound. I sometimes say her name out loud to the horses and donkeys and tell them how much I miss her.

As I type this I am no longer moved to tears thinking of her. I think that means she's part of me now, the grief has transformed to something sweeter - the memories that live inside. 

Happy birthday that would have been, sweet Salina-bina. 


Anonymous said...

A lovely tribute. Glad she's still with you in spirit.

billie said...

She was such an amazing mare! Thanks for the comment, Kate.

Grey Horse Matters said...

A very heart warming tribute to a very special mare. Salina was one of those rare and unique horses we are lucky to come across in our lifetime. Although you will always miss her physical presence you know her spirit is with you in everything you do.

Matthew said...

Your post did draw some tears for me though.

billie said...

Sorry, Matthew. :/

She seems very strong in her presence here to me - more so than any other of the animal family members we've said goodbye to.

billie said...

Arlene, it's so true - she was one of a kind. :)