Beaudacious, Beau, Grumps — my darling and beloved cranky old gelding passed away suddenly a few hours ago. I just found out. I didn’t own him, never leased him, but rode him a hundred-hundred times all the same. I was sometimes scared of him, but mostly just deeply and overwhelmingly in love with one ancient ugly duckling of a horse. He was my Monster and I miss him so much.
When I found out, I went out to the shed and put my face in his spare halter, still caked with sand and hair from the last time he rolled in it, and cried and cried.
I don’t even know how to deal with the hole in my life left by this horse, except to get back up in the saddle and ride until I can’t remember what it felt like to trust a horse so much that I could drop the reins bareback and pick blackberries on the move — to ride until I trust another horse precisely that much, and love it even a little bit more for having loved and lost before.
Damn you for leaving me, Beau, and damn you for being the best horse in the whole goddamn world.