Thursday, 13 February 2014


Too sad to blog today. The sweet little filly has died.

I was quite cheerful this morning, keeping my chin up in proper British fashion. The Horse Talker made me laugh; the horses themselves were at their funniest and sweetest. Then I had to write a farewell for HorseBack UK, and now my heart is too bashed for any more words.

This is what I wrote:

Today, we have only the saddest news. Our little Spirit has gone. For all her fighting heart, she could not beat off the brutal infection, and in the end, it mastered her.

Our own hearts are broken.

Nobody understands why these things happen. As anyone who keeps and loves animals knows, fate can sometimes be random and brutal. Awesome Spirit was so bonny, so bright, always a picture of health. She was such a vital and vivid presence, so actual in the world, that it seems almost impossible to believe that she is no longer in it.

It is an especially cruel blow because of the great man in whose memory she was named. Paul Burns was one of the most remarkable people who ever walked through the HorseBack gates, and every time we looked at Spirit, we thought of him. It was a lovely thing to have a living reminder of his own mighty battling heart. And now there is just a space left behind, where these two beloveds should be.

A shadow has fallen over us, but we shall rally. If the men and women who come here have taught us anything, it is the value of dauntlessness, doggedness, a refusal to give in. They show, over and over, the shining virtue of grace under pressure, which was Hemingway’s definition of courage. There is work to do. The HorseBack ship shall sail on.

But today is a day of sorrow. We say goodbye to a beautiful, fleet, dancing girl, who was taken too soon.

Farewell, Awesome Spirit. You brought us joy, and we loved you well.

Run free now.


13 Feb H1


  1. Oh Tania, I am so sorry. Can't think of anything else to say, just so, so sorry, Rachel

  2. As I said on the Horseback UK FB page, young lives - whatever the species - can be so particularly fragile. The skeins that bind any of us to the surface of this world are so so very fine and delicate, snapped irreparably in a moment. It's what makes life SO precious, knowing and believing that.and keeping it in the forefront of our hearts and minds.

    I do feel for her mother.

  3. Tears. It is hard enough when they are simply special horses, but with all that she represented ... she brought so much in her brief time here.


  4. I'm feeling so sad for everyone who loved her. Cellulitis is horrible. Everything that could be done was done. I'm so sorry. x


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