Thursday, April 10, 2014

Missing Him

I haven't talked about Cuna at all on here lately. Every once in a while, I try to type something up and I just can't.

I don't even know how to put into words the enormity of what my old man horse meant to me. He canters through my dreams and when I wake up, I can almost touch him.

But he's still gone.

I know that all the fun I'm having with Courage is only because Cuna carried me through a very rough time in my riding and brought me out on the other side, a stronger and more confident version of myself.

I miss the view between those red ears. I miss all the time we spent puttering around the hills and roads without a care in the world.

There's still a gaping hole in my psyche that's supposed to be filled by a big red horse with big brown eyes who paddles on both front legs. I don't want to sound dramatic or crazy or like I can't let go. It's not that. I understand what happened and while I'll never know why it had to happen to us, the nightmares have mostly subsided.

It's just that he was so quintessentially my horse. My every decision was made in light of what was best for us. Because we were a team. Because those crazy goofy adventures were never just my idea.

After a great ride on Courage, I'm all smiles. I clean up my stuff, get in the car, and drive home with a red horse in my head. I think about him when I'm quiet and alone.

He was the one that would always be quiet and alone with me.

We understood each other.

Maybe someday I'll have that again. I know it was special and not something everyone gets to experience. I know I was lucky to have it once, even for so short a time.

I see flashes of it with Courage every once in a while. He's an old soul, like Cuna. A war horse, like Cuna.

Kind and gentle, yet sensitive, opinionated, and passionate. Noble, but silly.

I miss you, red man.


  1. "An old soul," "a war horse." The best kind of partner...

  2. Even the once in a lifetime partnerships can happen again, in different, but just as amazing ways. Cuna led you to Courage, in more ways than one -- but you know that already. :)

    It does get a little bit easier, I promise.

  3. Aw, I love this post and thank you for feeling strong enough to continue typing so you could share it with all of us. Everyone tells me Riley has an old soul too (and the same has been said about me)... sometimes you just find the right horse at the right time and everything makes sense. hugs.

  4. I miss him too even though I was never fortunate enough to meet him in person. There are a lot of red heads who have some awfully big shoes to fill in order to follow in his foot steps. <3

  5. There is a fresian cross at my barn that looks almost *exactly* like my old man! Monday, I walked into the barn aisle, and that face was looking at me with his ears up... I threw my arms in the air and squealed, "Hell-O, beautiful!" and walked up to him. He put his face in my chest and hugged me back. His owner came out of the tack room giggling at us, and I conveyed to her the brief moment where I saw Opie in her horse's face. And that was when I started bawling...
    It has been just over a year since I lost him... Most days I'm better, but it never quite goes away...

  6. I'm so, so sorry. I know there's nothing I can really say, but I am really, really sorry. No one should have to go through this, losing horses isn't like losing another animal, it's losing a friend. I can't imagine losing my boy. Stay strong. ♥

  7. He sure is a gorgeous. I 'm glad you had your time with him though, it made you! And you have so many memories and pictures :) stay strong love <3

  8. This had me in tears all over again. It's been over a month since I put my dog to sleep and I still wake up crying. :( It's so hard. I'm glad we both have our pictures and memories. Make sure to save your blog... I just lost one of mine (not my public ones thank goodness)... you don't want to lose your old Cuna posts. *hugs*

  9. <3 You put into words feelings that I carry in my heart from losing my heart horse many years ago. You have a special gift to articulate such things, and it brings tears to my eyes for both you and your Cuna, and me and my Bo.

  10. Oh boy, this made me cry. I lost my own red, wonderful, confidence-building heart horse this summer and your beautiful words really hit home. In a weird way, it's a comfort to know that there are others who truly "get it," though I hate that you have to go through this too. Someone once said to me that a loss like this - when you've had the kind of incredible connection that you and Cuna shared - will hurt long and hard, but even so, I know I wouldn't have missed one second of the journey, and I suspect you feel the same way. Smile at the wonderful memories, celebrate everything he taught you, and know that it's OK to miss him and mourn him - and doing so certainly doesn't make you "dramatic or crazy!" Sending lots of warm thoughts your way.

  11. This post is so sweet and there's nothing like THAT horse to get you where you are. They'll always be there. It's been 3 years for LB and you know what, I cry about it about at least weekly, missing him. But I look at what I've built with B and it would have never happened without that psycho bay in my life. Same thing with Cuna. You wouldn't be the person, the rider, the horseman for Courage without him. <3

  12. What wonderful memories! Hugs

  13. There will always be a Cuna-shaped hole in your heart, but eventually it will not be so raw and sore.
    I know it sucks. And it's not fair. Ever. That's unfortunately the price we pay for all the wonderful things these animals give us.
    This February, it was 5 years since I lost my big goofy 23-year old TB boy. He died suddenly, and fairly violently, and it still hurts to think about it. But I think about it much less now. I think of how he would stick his tongue waaaaay out of the side if his mouth and suck on it for half an hour after he got a peppermint. And how he always managed to lie in every manure pile in his stall (he was a grey, of course), how he thought he was still a 2-year-old and would pull all kinds of norty tricks (and yet I always felt safe on him). Andwhat an amazing, talented, athletic goofball of a horse he was. During his last lameness exam, my vet said, "It's so hard with him, because he's really trying not to be lame. He's all heart. He just wants to do his job."
    Sorry to ramble. Just wanted you to know that I can definitely empathize. You'll always miss him. I miss Mac, but I know he wouldn't want me to dwell on him and not allow another horse into my heart; because he would want another horse to have the opportunity to be loved and spoiled just like he was.

  14. Heh... I have to say, that it's been almost two years for me and while my heart has grown to include my new guy... it still aches for the old one I'll never see again.

  15. :( Got tears reading about the pain in your heart. Thank you for sharing that vulnerability with us.

  16. It's been four years and I still miss the red mare that gave me so much. They may be gone, but they will never be forgotten.

  17. (hug) I know the feeling. I still miss my Smokey girl after 3 years and still choke up and cry thinking about that day and that hardest decision. It's ok to miss our heart-mates.

  18. Ah I had the same problem with Dino... He was that once-in-a-lifetime horse that you have such an incredible relationship with. Sometimes I see flashes of it with Wiz, but it's still not the same. Maybe it will be one day, I'm not sure. But it's been 5 years and I still miss him all the time :( So you're not dramatic nor crazy!


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