You will all excuse me a single post while I wax maudlin and sentimental. One does not breathe life into one’s existence by always looking at the details. Sometimes you need to go with the heart.
I met Duetz in June of 1995. My fortieth birthday present was a trip to Flagstaff, AZ to attend an adult camp in Williams, AZ at the Hat Ranch. The camp was a free-for-all of equestrian delights. Jeff chose to do the “endurance” track and at the end of the week won the “split-assed Jeans” award for braving a new world. I dabbled in several tracks including cutting cows, which let me just say is the best amusement park ride in the world. We, the campers, were paired up with retired World Champion equine partners. The lesson was to stay out of their way, balance and learn.
Duetz as the star of the “starting a young horse” class.Though in reality she was six years old and well started. We fell in love, but it wasn’t until November that year when I flew back to Tucson, AZ and bought her.
With winter bearing down on New England, and my family in the middle of a transition to buy a farm, I decided to leave her in Arizona until Spring. As hard as it was to delay the start of our partnership, I knew she would be well cared for and while I was overwhelmed with real estate and work. She arrived in April, during a Lunar Eclipse. We still hadn’t bought a farm, but were boarding our first two equines at a nice barn for the short-term. My magnificent mare and I began to get to know each other.
By June we all took up residence at the farm in Lunenburg. Our merry little band of horses grew to four of our own plus three of my doppelgänger’s horses who came to stay for a while. Duetz settled in and as boss mare, she ruled the pasture.
Duetz adapted to life in New England. She left her life of luxury as a show horse at Al-Marah Arabians, to become a first-class fox hunter in the hard-scrabble hills of Central Massachusetts.
The years brought changes and we moved several times. Finally we settled into a barn down the road from my current home at Mountain Lane Farm. This was our last ride together last summer.
I’m not sure why she has been on my mind so much lately. Maybe it is the slow dawning of spring after a winter she never would have survived. Maybe her strength and adaptability are guiding me as I move ahead with more changes in my life. Our partnership of 18 years taught me so much about adjusting to transitions and climbing the hills as they come.