Last night at 1.30 am the angels came and took Pickles to heaven.He fought a gallant battle for 2 days and then it was his time to go.I wanted to throw myself on top of him and go with him.
I am so grateful to have known this very very special horse.He was bred in Georgia near Pine Top by Harry Varn. He came to me years ago from a friend named Emily Gainey.I loved him from the minute I saw him. He was practically unbroken. He definitely wouldn't steer or canter. Emily wanted to know what to do with him.After watching him haul her around I said "let me ride him."After 5 minutes I said "Leave him here overnight".As soon as Emily left that afternoon with great reluctance on her part ,I tacked him up again and took him out to my cross country field and we jumped the entire beginner novice course that very day.He just did it.I knew then he would never leave the farm.
Pickles had a long back. When he came to the farm,I almost named him sausage,but thought that might not go down so well.So he became a pickle instead.
Our relationship was not an easy one. Over the next 7 years ,I had many a war with Pickles. Sometimes he was a sweet gherkin and sometimes is was a dill.There were so many times I couldn't communicate with him.
I spent buckets of money trying to find out what was wrong with him.I had vets,chiropractors,acupuncture,saddle fitters,even a damn bone scan to try and find out why we couldn't get it together in our dressage and our jumping.Bottom line was,,,,,,,,,,I simply needed to take more time and learn to ride him.......There was nothing wrong with him. It was me. IT was us... But I knew I wanted the relationship to work. And he waited for me to learn how to ride him till the end.He waited for me patiently and clearly taught me more lessons than any horse.I will remember Pickles as one of my best teachers. Our relationship did work. It was worth it all. Every single bit of all the less than ideal times.
Barby said to me last night as we sat in the darkness crying our heads off,"I wish he could have taken you to the top."My respond was easy. "He did".
Though we never found nirvana in the dressage ring,I did find it in the jumping.After retiring Riverdance, Pickles moved up into the number one jumping spot. He was like an old pair of loafers. He was reliable,safe and true. He gave me consistant clear rounds on loose reins ,where I could jump the jumps with an open hand. He gave me exactly what I had been looking for for so long in my riding. Most importantly ,he gave me back my confidence and I knew he had the same confidence in me. My last round at Rocking horse was in a snaffle on a loose rein.
Pickles was kind. He was a worrier.He was very loyal. And he was loved by us all. Barby had a very special relationship with him.My vet ,Linda Hickey thankfully never left my side. I do not know what I would have done without her. I am indebted to her for the rest of my life. I promise you there are three people in Aiken today with tremendous headaches and broken hearts.
I just got his passport. I had just entered him in his first Intermediate.He is safe now. He is at peace. There is no more pain. And best for him,no more Dressage.No more of that damn small arena.Run Pickles. You can fly now with your head as high up as you want.God Bless you.
I love you Pickles. You shall go with us everywhere. I cannot wait to see you again.Thankyou my friend for your lessons.Thankyou for being so handsome and kind to me.Thankyou for everything you did for us all. You had so many friends. He always had children everywhere ask about him.
My final word is a simple one. Love