1988 - 2009
My heart is broken. My bad, wonderful, willful, arrogant, amazing Shaka has died.
He suffered a colic yesterday. Shaka never coliced, but the one he had was one he couldn't overcome. So last evening we put him to peace.
He was the one. A difficult, HOT, smart and extremely talented horse who could buzz-saw his way through trainers. When we finally found the right one, he showed how much it was worth, tolerating that so difficult personality. He proved a horse did not need to be 18 hands to move like the warmbloods.
When I first saw him something clicked. He immediately dumped me, hard. I wrote a check and I wrote many, many checks for years after. My husband would ask me "Isn't that horse trained yet?" Not when he had the sky's the limit talent. His last trainer wanted to take him to Florida with him over the winter to finish him at Grand Prix, but I wouldn't let him go. I was his guardian, the wall between people who could get so frustrated with him there was a real risk for abuse. So he never quite finished the quest, but not because he couldn't. He retired the following year because of arthritis in a knee.
He never actually retired though. Not in his mind. He maintained his position of honor in the barn as well as the pasture. He was the one and he knew it. Bossy, nosey, loved.
I can't believe I won't see those small, alert ears perked forward as he hears the cellophane wrapper coming off his peppermint candy. He was a junkie for peppermint. His deep-throated uh uh as he anticipates something. He came like a dog when called, so I could always count on him to bring the herd up by calling "Shaka!"
Funny that a horse so many people did not like, I loved fiercely. He was my boy. My bad boy. All those years ago when I hit the ground and bought the horse neither one of us knew the adventure we would embark on. We didn't know at the time that I was the person he needed to have, the person who let it roll, no matter what. A perfect team. Now my heart breaks.
Shaka will lay in the pasture next to my other beloved, LF Diamond Rose.