Heaven for horses seems a bit far fetched, especially for someone who lacks certainty about heaven even for people. Nevertheless, it remains a comforting concept. Yesterday, I buried Starry Miracle, less than two, an orphan I bottle fed every 3-4 hours day and night when his mother, Miracle, died. He not only survived, he thrived.
Around 4:30 Wednesday, friends went to my place to ride Rosie, a chunky, red roan mare. They found Star dead. It appeared he had been playing, jumping, and rearing, and freakily caught his ankle in a space between the pipe gate and fence, broke it and ruptured his femoral artery, then bled to death. When they called to tell me, disbelief set in. As a horse owner for many years, I know the common causes of horse deaths, colic mainly, from which Miracle died three days after his birth. I have inspected fences and corrals for safety many times. The possibility of such an accident never even entered my mind.
His body stiff, distorted, his coat, lusterless, bore no resemblance to his burnished copper body, glinting in the sun, following me, nipping if I ignored him. Often, I thought he thought I was a horse or he a human.
The two surviving horses spent hours standing in the spot where he died, licking the pipe fence from which I had hosed off his blood, smelling the ground, neighing. They even failed to rush to their hay when I fed them. Eventually, I opened their gates. They ran across the rugged canyon land constantly for fifteen minutes, dream horses running in the wind.
Miracle, Star’s mother, deceased, July 2010. Rosie who “adopted” Star after Miracle died, and Cool, the other orphaned horse I raised.