It’s not often that you can point to an exact moment where your life changes. Mine did with the words “ you can ride the new horse if you want to.” Punk was a 6 year old OTTB … a leggy redhead that had more issues and quirks than any horse I’ve ever known. She wouldn’t walk into the barn, so I had to back her in then back her into the wash stall. On that first ride, when I asked for the canter, she put her hind foot through the kick board in the indoor then swapped leads every 2 or 3 strides. If you even carried a crop, she became set in concrete and refused to move. Over those first months, as I taught her to trust, she taught me to respect and listen, too. My abilities grew and her glorious spirit started to emerge. And that continued over 27 years.
I learned to massage for her and that grew into a new career path… that was 20 years ago. Massage also deepened our bond. For that I am ever grateful. I speak a lot about destiny when I speak of Punk. We were both what we both needed.
In life, I was her protector and partner. As spirited as she was, she never took a cheap shot. Those times that I found myself on the ground were mostly my fault. And, she would look at me as if she were shaking her head at my incompetence. The last look she gave me was when we said goodbye exactly one year ago today. As the vet was easing her transition, Punk only had eyes for me. Right before she dropped, she gave me a one eyed wink. Our private and mutual “thanks, lady. See you soon. Finish what we started.”
After the shock of her loss, my memories have been a blessing and a joyful one at that.
The few times I showed Punk, her show name was ‘Breathless’. She took my breath away, sometimes physically, always emotionally. It was an absolute privilege to be with this beautiful mare. I will be grateful till my last breath