Artist’s Image: A once in a lifetime equine

Published 2:43 pm Wednesday, March 28, 2012

If, you are lucky and a horse lover, you have a dream and perhaps the joy of experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime equine.

Artist's Image (photo submitted by Deborah Bundy)

I was one of those lucky people.

In 1985, a 6-year-old thoroughbred, housed in a shed in a backyard in Indiana, poked his head out the window and I fell in love. He was lame, had rain rot and an engine so big that I, a novice rider, couldn’t control him.

My trainer said “walk away,” the vet said “walk away,” friends said, “run,” but I couldn’t.

The handsome fellow had snatched a piece of my heart and if I left it would stay with him.

I named him Artist’s Image. He never refused a fence and carried me as high as I dared go in the eventing world.

Image then carried our daughter to the upper Three-Day levels. The horse loved to gallop and jump. He was bigger than any dream I ever dreamed and gave me years of joy.

Today (Monday, Feb. 27), at the age of 33, in a pasture showing a promise of spring, beneath the warmth of the sun, I couldn’t refuse him one last fence into a pain-free tomorrow.

I wish I could have been on his back when he took it, experiencing the power and courage beneath me one more time. I knew he’d gallop it fearlessly, as only he could, without my help.

He’d never needed my guidance; I’d only been a passenger. This time, I said a reluctant good-bye and walked away.

That piece of my heart he’d snatched so many years ago?

It stayed behind and went with him.

– article submitted by Deborah Bundy