Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Friday, February 17, 2012

We Are Champions

WF Last Of Roses
My Zinger, my orphan baby, born to the beloved LF Diamond Rose on a beautiful June afternoon, shortly afterward to be left in my inadequate sole care. I have never felt so ill equipped for a task in my life; a newborn foal relying upon my ability to keep him alive and to raise him to function as a horse.
Somehow, I managed to do both, although we hit a really bad patch one week into it, he inhaled milk into his lungs and a miserable case of pneumonia developed. Which I was told he would not survive. I was his champion and I would not allow it. It was my moment to step up. I have a sense of awe that through sheer will and determination I kept the boy alive. 

I became Zing's dam. He reacted to me as a foal does to his mother, a strange and graceful relationship between the two-legger and a much more noble beast. He spent the summer mostly in the barn, to protect him in his weakened condition from the heat of the day. But, as he improved we would go out to the babies pasture in the early morning so he could intermingle with his own kind. I had to be a good mare, allowing him to venture forth into the little herd of mamas and babies, touching noses and quickly darting back to my protection. Running joyfully around me, as foals do, showing off his magnificence for all to see. This became our morning routine, our communing among the quiet of a herd of mothers mindfully tending their charges. No one seemed to find it odd that I was inserting myself as one of them. When I came to the pasture with my colt they graciously accepted me into their tightly knit band, as good mares will do.
He grew big and he grew strong. I was his champion, I protected and corrected and cared for my colt. He learned to be a horse. My old, gentle man Tanzar cared for Zing when he was finally well enough to spend the day outside. Bounce taught him to roll in the mud like you mean it. He became a show horse before he reached one year old. Tall and gangly, he showed himself like he meant it. He became my champion.

He gave me something I never expected to have; a Nationally titled stallion. A multiple Champion in a cutthroat industry, but always my colt Zing, the goofy, slightly skewed Zing.
He has taught Kristina to be brave, to be bold and to ride like she means it. He has taught us both to be patient, to realize somethings don't really matter. It is the journey that counts. I have journeyed with him for eleven years now, eleven years. I can hardly believe that so much time has passed since he ran circles around me, showing off for all the world he had in that pasture.
This is what got me thinking about my colt. The eleven year old Zinger snoozing in the sun this morning, just another horse in winter garb taking a nap in the warm sunshine. Not looking anything like a champion, yet I know; we are champions, he and I. He knows it too. It is our shared history.

10 comments:

  1. you are indeed champions. I love this story. so much. tho' I'll admit I thought it was going to be an obituary. I'm very glad it wasn't.

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  2. Wow! I loved reading this so much! I always knew you were a good horse mama; this proves it. You are both champions in my eyes.

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  3. julochka, it was supposed to be an obit, only one written 11 yrs. ago. I worked my behind off keeping him alive long enough for the antibiotics to work. He was fed about an ounce of milk every 20 min. or so, around the clock for 2 weeks. The sick baby wouldn't eat enough to live and this was the only way to get enough into him. This sealed the deal though. He became totally dependent upon me as his dam and would not take his milk any way other than from a bottle. Mark took much of the night feeding duty, so he was like a secondary mom to Zing, allowing Mark to feed him. People tried to help me, but Zing would not 'nurse' from a strange 'mare'. It was quite the time.

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  4. Ganeida, I don't think I could do that again. It is easier when you don't know what you are in for to just jump in and do it. The misery of it unfolds as you go along, making it begin to seem normal!

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  5. Well told. It made me teary, and he is a noble creature. Loved that photo of him in the sun, looking back at you with those wise and understanding eyes...

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  6. Leslie, Zing is exceptionally smart and very forgiving, but wisdom is not his strong suit! Thank you for reading my boys tale.

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  7. Be still my heart! he looks just like my Sultan or my beloved Sultan once looked like him.

    It made me feel young again, strong enough to ride again, all the things I will never do again. And yet, I am so happy that it has a happy ending and because you trusted your instincts and so did he. What is there to wonder about you two being Champions?

    And I will never be lost to you, you have my word.

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  8. I'm so happy to hear from you, Allegra! I feel old when I think of what I used to do. I know I would struggle to do this now. But I would try, I know that!

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  9. What a gorgeous creature. So glad you were able to save him. Can't imagine how hard it was to feed him every 20 minutes. Looks like he is doing very well at 11!

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  10. Thank you Lori. The first couple of weeks nearly killed me. It was what kept him alive, but it was awful. He is tall for an Arabian, 16hh. We joke it was the goat milk that did it!

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I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.