She was but a wonderful dream for a few years, until I found the right stallion for her Mom, a Khemosabi son / Varian bred handsome man by the name of Mexico V. It was just weeks before 9/11 her Mom was bred, and we could see in the sonagram a fat and fertile egg that would grow to be our beautiful Destinee Rose —
The excitement as the day neared where she would make her presence on the planet was to be Khemosabi’s birthday May the 10th, it also happened to be the year he died, I always felt he would be her guardian angel along the way somehow.
The preparations for a safe delivery, the utmost of care for her mom for those 11 + months. Finding the perfect place for her to be birthed. Watching all the videos on birthing a foal and what could go wrong and how to help in case the vet was not there. Talking to Echo’s belly everyday, playing soft beautiful music, as I cleaned the pens each day, and just waiting for my hopes wishes and dreams to arrive.
She arrived early, on her own schedule, on May 2, 2002, a difficult birth, God made sure I was there to intervene to save them both as night was turning softly in to day. I held her in my lap, while Echo licked her and softly cooed to her welcoming her,I marveled at the fact we had a red head not the Bey I had expected, with lots of Khemo chrome and flaxen mane and tail.
She was up and about within the half hour as I helped her take those first steps, nursing within the hour, and doing all the things a newly born foal should do, and I did all the imprintng too. The vet came, took blood to make sure she had the right levels, checked her over, a tetanus shot was given, and life began with Destinee Rose.
Over the months of her first year, she was so easy to train, so cooperative, but with an opinion of things as any good Arabian would know, trailer loading, leading a snap, saddling the first time no problem at age 2, so at the age of 4 we began her riding time, but something was wrong, she would tie up, she would be “off” and no one could figure what was wrong, this went on for months, until she went down in a July, and she would not get up for several days in the summer of her fourth year.
Under a full moon sky as I laid in the shavings with her, when she was so sick, I promised if she wanted me to help her cross I would do that, because I loved her enough to let her go, but if she wanted to stay she had to show me, and the next morning she was up and whinnying to me, so the journey began.
Many tests, many sleepless nights, and it was found she had contracted EPM. The local vets had no clue as to what to do, Dr Wessner treated her with homeopathy, she began to improve, she was up, she got better by the day then she got laminitis; it became chronic, on again off again; she was IR, she was metabolic they all said, soaked hay, special expensive supplements designed around hair tests, nothing seemed to help, yet she cooperated with it all; there was also some nerve issues from the effects of the EPM; then we would have times where she was great, many months of it, hand walking & turnouts but could not be ridden, and I kept searching, kept trying, became an expert on hoof boots, and trimming, nutrition and we kept going. I would never give up on her if she was not ready to give up.
She was beautiful beyond belief, she allowed me to do so many things to her to try to help her that no other horse would have ever allowed or would have just given up. She even laid down for her bare foot trims to make it easier on her and us. She was one tough little horse.
Finally in her 10th year I knew I had to find our own place where she could have peace, away from judgmental questioning people and eyes, where she could heal more and have a lot of room to move and be who she was, no matter how she was for as long as she wanted to be here. I found a wonderful place where she could have a stall for the bad weather, piled with fresh shavings, a turn out facing the east and incredible sunrise’s of the high desert, room to move, and have all her horse family around her.
We moved the end of October 2012, Margit Deerman brought her three horse slant load and Destinee to all our amazement was the first one to jump on the trailer, she could not wait to see where we would live. It was a couple hour journey and a bit hard on her as she had had a fall cortisol release in September and a bout of laminitis followed, but with her Soft Riders we did it! She was home! She looked around, walked to her stall and laid down, and peacefully slept for a couple of hours, she was home.
She could go out in her turn out at night with a clear view of all the stars in the heaven and she told Aunt Lydia one time how she loved to look at the stars at night and travel to them in her mind, wondering what it would be like to run through them set free from a body that no longer served her. Lydia had never had a horse tell her that before!
For almost two years she had peace, the beauty of the high desert, clean water, clean air, good hay; we had seasons, warm blankets, the stars and milky way, horse heaven on earth.
Because Cheyanne was such a bully, and I wanted Destinee to never feel alone I found a little friend for her, she was a mini colored the same as Destinee Rose, from a rescue operation whose numbers counted 85, out of Iowa with 19 other little friends coming to California from that group (one other from that group in foal at that time would come be Annie’s friend), we named her Annie Rose. Destinee was taking a nap when we arrived with Annie and this is their first photo together. It was friends at first sight!
Annie and Destinee were a herd of two for exactly a year and spent their days together, going in and out of the stall to the turn out, sharing their hay pillows, then they would go out to the big pasture where they could spend time at the fence with Echo and Cheyanne safely, then return to the barn for dinner.
Life is and can be excruciatingly fragile, we want to protect and nuture – Yet there is no way to bubble or shrink wrap a horse or keep them in a thickly padded stall, nor can we always keep the horses we love safe; keeping them as though a treasured gift to truly grasp tightly to forever. We cannot dig in hard enough, pull back on the reins well or long enough, have whoah enough – to keep those we love so much here with us forever – when it is their time to leave no matter too soon, it is their journey not ours.
We do not get to choose how long we keep them, but we do get to choose how we treat them. For when it is time they will break free to run in the heavenly herd, sometime needing our help to set them free, & we do it for love. Running free, no longer touched with the hand, a glove, the eye, a brush, they will soar and they will gallop into places we cannot see, nor visit because there are no visiting hours in heaven; nor can we call after them, until we too break free of our earthly constraints, where we have no track of time to catch up to the familiar form and ride those we have looked after and loved in a world without form, to love again forever free, riding through the stars, close up, that is the divine finish for those of us who have loved a special horse.
As the summer solstice of 2014 was dawning it was becoming more clear to me that the Rainbow bridge was beginning to call to my beautiful Destinee Rose, I could see that the times she was up were becoming less, and the times she wanted to lay down in her stall or out in the sun more frequent and longer, one day she took one last walk around the big pen with Annie Rose, and that was her last. Herbal Horseprin was being replaced by Bute, so I knew that the level of comfort was changing along with the quality of her life. There were times Destinee was cranky with Annie.
Annie was always by her side, no matter what, watching over her as she slept in the sun, standing eating with her. I spent more and more time with her, and talked about our days, how much I loved her, hugged her neck often, shared about the places we lived, her life’s story, and in mid-July phoned Aunt Lydia, but in my heart I knew the answer already, I had to hear it, I wanted confirmation, to find out what Destinee was feeling and thinking, what she was wanting, and she said that she didn’t know how much longer she could really be here, it was becoming too hard.
While she still had dignity, her beauty and she could take the last walk, the date was set, I loved her enough to set her free, from a body that no longer served her, so she could run in the stars she so loved, healthy and whole again; we had our final day together, carrots, alfalfa, root beer (her favorite from a can) and stories, brushing her mane and marveling at her beauty, sharing them with Annie too. I could feel and sense my Dad, who had come and was there to help her cross, so she would not be alone in her journey, he would take her lead rope to guide her on the other side, there were horses from my past also there that only she could see and she was calling to them up the drive way towards the house as we helped her to cross that bridge… on July 25th 2014 at 10:30 am.
I birthed her and held her when she took her first breath and I had the honor of being there for her as she took her last, with every moment shared in between, she was never alone, I spent every moment of her life with her, loving every moment I had with her, and then setting her free on her journey in time over that rainbow bridge.
So, in the blur of tears and heartache that few can understand, because not many birth them and have them till the end, as I write this story of Destinee Rose, my thoughts fall to the following poem and feel it’s fitting in the day God called her home:
God looked at the little angel standing by His side,
and smiled as He whispered you need a horse to ride
So, He looked the whole world over
for one He trusted dear
but to our utmost sorrow
the one He chose was here
Where God took this precious horse
there are pastures free to roam
and on the wings of angels
He took our little mare home
Now on her back sits proudly
a little angel strong and true
as they race the winds of heaven
watching over all of you.
All life begins and finishes….
It is what is in between that matters, so I continue to rejoice in the beautiful heart felt moments that we shared for 12 years …. she taught me much, she pushed the envelope of my knowledge in helping horses to heal, on issues with EPM, of hoof health, of bare foot trimmers, of nutrition, homeopathy, and herbal blends. It was because of Destinee Rose that I have a web site which reaches out to help so many others with their horses, in so many ways and on so many levels, it is the least I can do in her memory to honor who she was and all that she taught me!