Sunday, December 30, 2018

Christmas Recess and RIP Blanche

We went south to Myrtle Beach (via car) for Christmas, hence the radio silence. I tend to not do bloggy things without at least a laptop and I didn't want to use my parent's computer. All of the critters were in my neighbor's capable hands.

The kids had a good time, I got sick AND injured (though I managed to do quite a bit of exercising which is great for me!) and I'm still recovering from the injury.

Meanwhile, it seems that Saffron decided to be a troublemaker while I was gone! Neighbor texted to inform me that Saffron went on walkabout one of the days, but was caught and returned.

Of course, when we got home (2 am, decided to drive all the way through rather than stop for the night thanks to a vomiting child...) I was rudely woken up early by the news that Saffron was out AGAIN.  And then got a text that she was out a second time in the same day.

It's been about a year since her last escapades but we had discovered her means of egress and blocked it. Her method is once again a mystery.

 And then last night I got a message from Cheri that said that Blanche, Gwyn's aunt, had passed away in the pasture.  They found her down in the yard, with erratic movement that the vet later said indicated a possible heart attack. She was gone quite quickly, which is a blessing. She was a grand old mare, just a few months shy of 27 years old and had done a LOT in her life.

My friend put it best:

3 hours ago, we lost one of the most phenomenal, athletic, and beautiful mares that I have ever owned. Eric and I came home from an afternoon out, to find Blanche down and uncoordinatedly ‘galloping’. In the time it took for us to find her, and call the vet, it was over, and she was gone. The vet says she had either a heart attack or an aortic aneurism; the ‘galloping’ movements being one of the classic signs. Either one, didn’t matter. It was over super quickly.
While I am incredibly sad, I am glad that Eric and I got to be her final owners. And tho I was raised on a horse farm, Blanche taught me so very much. She’s the first senior horse I’ve ever owned. She loved men and children about as much as she loved peppermints and chicken salad sammiches. She was careful with toddlers and new riders, and a fancy, saucy ride for the more experienced. She was always careful when she took a treat from you, and never stepped on someone unless she thought they deserved it. She only kicked me once because I touched her udder while applying bug repellent. She never kicked Eric. She had 7 babies, of which Nyx is the last one. She excelled at combined driving, got 9’s on her trot in driving dressage, and qualified for World. She and two sisters pulled their original owner 3,200 miles across the U.S. to raise awareness for handicapable horse men and women. She also loved to tilt and joust, tho she wasn’t too keen on mounted combat. She loved a good stall, and several times she busted out of her pen and parked herself on a neighbor’s porch. She was an unofficial member of the BCSO Mounted Posse.
Stonewall Blanche, big leopard Stonewall Sporthorse mare, you almost made it to 27. You were amazing. Gonna miss you so very much.
I dug through my past photos to find the ones of Blanche. They were taken when film was still better than a cell phone.
That's a young Gwyn on the left, Blanche in the middle and Blanche's daughter Nyx on the right

But at least she's with Stella again. <3 

And now I'm finishing my vacation glued to the couch, foot elevated and KT-taped while watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And I'm going to hug Gwyn tonight and teach the new foster child next door everything she could ever want to know about horses.


  1. I hope your foot heels quickly and I am very sorry for the loss of such a great mare.