Earlier this week I said farewell to a 21 year friend and member of the family. Texas had been in our lives for 21 years and has provided many hours of pleasure. The farewell took place with mixed feelings. The decision was between relieving pain and hanging on. Texas was euthanized at 9:00 am on November 8th, 2010.
Texas contracted an injury in September, which affected the movement of her rear hock. At first treatment seemed hopeful and the swelling of her hock retracted, but by week three it became more severe, eventually covering the whole leg. Thursday November 1st I reached the conclusion that this mare, who had never been lame all her life, did not deserve to go through the horrors of an Albertan winter. With sinking heart, the decision was made on Sunday that the humane action had to be taken. Having made arrangements with the veterinarian on Sunday evening, I was fortunate to meet a cheerful horse on Monday morning, that I spent 90 minutes with, while she grazed, before the veterinarian arrived.
Texas became part of the family on December 27th 1989. We already had a Polish Arabian Horse, Trixie (Kalila Bahaze). Texas was to be the pick up truck, Trixie was the Porsche. As a ten year old Texas was overweight, barn sour and required a lot of patience. She was too big for a saddle initially, thus work on the longe line was necessary to trim some weight of her. I will never forget the first time I mounted her. She looked at me as to say : Are you kidding?. It took a fair bit of coaxing to finally get her to move. I knew I would be in trouble if she bucked. She was still fairly large at the time.
Patience and a lot of riding eventually payed off and by June she had become a reliable mount, willing to do what she was asked. She had trimmed down, was co-operative and was able to beat the Porsche (Trixie) over 100 metres. She got to know theStrait songs "Amarillo by Morning" and "All my Xs live in Texas" by heart. She was a proficient cow horse, who took her job seriously.
On one occasion a friend of mine, who had a herd South of my spread, had difficulty loading a bull. The attempt was made to load him with the help of Texas. The silly bull decided to headbutt Texas under the chin. That was a bad move on his part, Texas struck him with her front hoof, and as he turned bit him in the butt. It was amazing how quickly that bull wanted to get into the cattle liner.
In 1993 I wanted a foal out of my Arabian mare. This was not to be. In 1994 Texas was taken to a son of the famous AQHA stud Zan Par Bar in Vermillion, Alberta. She remained there for a month and a year later gave us the gift of our first foal. Little Texas was born in May 1995.
She had another foal (Mandy) in 2000, which unfortunately did not survive past day 2. In 2001 she gave birth to Texas Mando (Spunky), who is still with us, at the age of 21.
On one occasion, my neighbor had difficulty getting a cow out of the bush. Horses were in the back 40s, it was getting late. Texas was the obvious choice to get this cow moving and in. She was quickly saddled in the pasture, moved in to dislodge the cow in the bush and chased the cow home quickly. Texas was always dependable that way.
Texas was a willing steady mount, a horse with character and will never be forgotten. Even while facing death she went down gracefully and with dignity. She lives with her offspring. Whisper, a grandson, born in 2000, Spunky, a son, born in 2001, Sparky a great grandson, and Captain Canada, a grandson.
Texas has provided joy over 21 years and will never be forgotten. May she have rich pastures always. Farewell my friend.