Tag Archives | Mika
beloved horse, loved one, God, Jesus, miracles

Memorial to A Loved One

Tribute to A Loved One

It is with a heavy heart I write tonight.

We lost a treasured member of our family.

horse, beloved horse, loved one

Chili at 29 years old!

She came into our lives because of prayer and many miracles.

She was Mika’s horse for 8 years, but after Mika’s second year of college and a new horse, Chili adopted me.

If you’ve never been close to a horse you can’t grasp the depth of their love.

Their dedication to their loved ones.

Even their jealousy and depression.

Chili was dedicated to Mika. Had lifted her up when she was down, taught her things, and loved her. But when Mika got a new horse, Chili stopped coming into the barn and mopped around like a lost puppy. She slowly grew depressed and resentful towards Mika.

Out of pity I started walking out in the pasture to scratch her and love on her. It took me several months to gain her trust but eventually she decided I was ok and she would allow me to be her human.

From that point on she would follow me around like a dog. When I stopped she would almost push me over for attention. And without saying a word beg me to scratch or rub her.

And she enjoyed a good massage as much as you or I. Because of her troubled past she had knots in her neck muscles. She would press her neck against my chest and stand there. If I didn’t start rubbing she would put her head and neck over my shoulder and push down until I gave in and started rubbing.

I’ve had several amazing horses, but she was a one of a kind.

She would love on you till she almost knocked you down, but you always had to watch her because if you didn’t scratch her enough, or something didn’t sit just right, she would kick you.    Hard!

You could never ignore her that’s for sure!

Chili Was Our (First) Miracle Horse

She was a walking miracle.

And it took several miracles for her to walk into our lives.

She was flipped over backwards in a freak accident when she was three and shatter her withers. And a freak set of circumstances kept her alive.

When she lived through the initial accident, her owner at the time prayed over her every day for three years until she was healed.

Seven years later God brought her into our lives again through prayer and miracles.

Consequently she was a walking miracle in my opinion.

She was a tremendous competitor and an incredible teacher for my daughter. She taught her about being competitive, but also about collection, flexion, suppling, how to control every body part seperatly, or together, lead changes, rate of speed, showmanship, horsemanship, and animal husbandry like no other horse I had. She taught her about barrel racing, western pleasure, working cowhorse, and how a little horse could have a giant stride. A combination very few horses could do.

She was unique!

loved one, beloved horse

Mika and Chili

Therapy Horse

And she was the best therapy I could buy.

When Mika had surgery after blowing both her ACLs in different basketball games I would come home from work and . . . no Mika on the couch, no Mika in her room, no Mika in the house.

She was at the barn. Laying on Chili with her knee in this huge, bulky, brace thing.

When Mika had surgery on her spine, as soon as she could move, guess where I found her. . .

Yep, on Chili.

They were best friends.

She was my daughter’s confidant.

And then she became mine.

She knew when I was having a bad day and would lean a little harder. Force me to stop thinking about whatever was eating at me, and scratch her. Love on her.

Her healing love was . . .

Unconditional

Tender

Innocent

Inspirational

Lasting

Life changing

She helped me look at adversity with new eyes.

She should never have accomplished what she did without any withers.

Oh, I almost forgot, and a broken coffin bone!

We didn’t even know she had that until she had something wrong with her foot and the vet took an x-ray that revealed that the tip of her coffin bone had been broken off long before.

But she was a trouper and we would never have known if something else hadn’t happened and we had not taken that x-ray.

And if you’re a “horsey” person and are thinking, “Well why didn’t she have a pre-purchase exam? They would have found the broken coffin bone.” Yes, but with the broken withers she would never have passed the vet check. No vet in the world would have passed her. So why waste the money. Or the vet’s time.

I saw her true value even though to the world she was considered, “damaged,” “crippled”, and of no value.

But to us she was priceless.

To me especially.

She taught me about life.

About going on and striving to do your best no matter what the circumstances.

No matter what “life” has thrown at you, keep going. Keep trying. Keep striving to be and do better.

That your true value is what’s inside.

What you can share with those around you.

How much courage you have to go on in the face of adversity.

And how to share love and joy no matter what.

She did that for me, Mika, and anyone that had the privilege of knowing her.

She was, and to me, still is, and inspiration. And I promised her I will finish her story. She is my inspiration.

beloved horse, loved one, God, Jesus, miracles

Kristi and Chili just before Chili decided to buck!

I love you Chili.

You took a piece of my heart with you.

Go with God sweet mare. I’ll see you on the other side!

Did you have a beloved pet or animal you lost? Please tell me about them in the comments section below and create a tribute to them as well!

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Copyright © 2013, 2014, 2015, Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.
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Memorial, best friend, great horse, Banana, treasure, kindness,

Memorial to a Treasured Family Member

Memorial to Banana

We lost a treasured family member last week and she will be greatly missed.  She taught my family so many things but the most important one was life-long dedication to those we love.  She loved us, and saved my Dad’s life.  She deserves a memorial.

Even before Banana saved Dad she was a treasured family member.    I was telling Mika a day or two after she passed how when she came to us, she was a bit fractious, but once she bonded with us, “she would walked through fire for us and killed a mountain lion on the way.”

She had the biggest, kindest eye and when she saw you coming she would meet you at the gate and follow you wherever you went.  She couldn’t say a word but you knew she loved you.  The look in her eye, the tilt of her head, the way she worked her ears to hear your every word, the way she would walk up to you and wrap herself around you.   You knew she loved you.

She came to my family as a show horse, but became a member of the family by lucky default and I will be forever thankful.    She was incredible.  One of those once in a lifetime horses that changes every one fortunate enough to have known her.

Her outstanding athletic ability showed every time we did something with her.  Her back that was too long for a great athlete, but she didn’t know that.  When she was young she was incredibly physical.  She could stop like crazy, spin till she made you dizzy, and she was beautiful and such a great mover you couldn’t help but watch her.

 

memorial, love, family member, horse, Quarter Horses, riding, cowboys, cowgirls, Colorado, mountains, Las Vegas

Banana in one of her normal stops in Las Vegas at the Silver Dollar QH Show many years ago

 

She had amazing intelligence and could out smart any cow.  But her most endearing feature was the love that emanated from her.  You knew “Nana-Ba” loved you and she knew you loved her.  There was never a question.  It was just felt.

She was one horse you could always trust.  She went down the horse-show road with my ex-husband and I and had tremendous success.  After the divorce she stayed with Mika and me and was retired to the pasture.  But she was the horse you pulled out when you needed one you could count on.

When Mika outgrew her first barrel horse, I had Banana ready to take Mika to the next level in competition and Nana loved it!  But a couple weeks before they were able to go to their first barrel race stray dogs ran Banana through a fence.  Even after the wounds were healed she was still slightly lame so she was re-retired to the pasture.

A few years later when Mika hit high school she wanted to learn how to cut so Nana came back in from the pasture and taught Mika the basics.

 

memorial, family member, love, cattle, cowgirl, cowboy, cutting horse, Colorado, mountains, high school rodeo, family member

Nana teaching Mika how to cut

 

Soon her old soreness showed up again so back to the pasture she went and this time  she raised us an adorable little filly, Reva.  Who is now Hardy’s number one mount and also “eats cattle”.

 

Memorial, family member, love, Colorado, mountains, Dad, Mika, foal, colt, filly, best friend, great horse, Banana, treasure,  kindness,

Banana, baby Reva, Mika, and my Dad

 

Notice her eyes?  She never missed anything and would look right at you like she understood every word you said to her. It was as though she looked right into your soul.  And the love and caring she showed to every person involved with her taught us all so much.  Her dedication to us was incredible.  She would put herself between you and a dangerous cow, or a fractious colt.  She used her own body as a shield to protect you from any danger.

I mentioned earlier she saved my Dad’s life.  She did.  When Dad was getting up there in years he still thought he should take the colts to the mountain.  The last time he did he had yearlings and was going to ride Banana and lead the colts up the mountain.  He had saddled Nana at home and when he got to the mountain, at 75 or 80 years old he forgot to tighten his cinch before getting on.  He stepped on, tied a colt off hard and fast to the saddle horn, and started up the dirt road to the top of our summer mountain ground.  Not far up the trail the colt decided it didn’t want to lead and pulled back.  The loose cinch allowed the saddle to slip and in a flash turn completely under Banana’s belly with Dad hung up in the stirrup.  My Step Mom watched in horror as Banana spread all four legs out and straddled Dad.  Kay said she stood rock solid against the thrashing, fighting, frightened colt and protected Dad as he extracted himself from the stirrups, dropped to the ground, and finally crawled out from under her without a scratch.

We had always loved her but from that day on she was treasured for the unique individual she was.  She was amazing.  Not only did she protect Dad, but she protected the other horses in the field with her as well.  She was the official coyote chaser.  Any coyote that came in the pasture learned very quickly they were not welcome and would not be tolerated.  I never saw her kill one, but they certainly didn’t hang around long when she took out after them with her head low to the ground, ears pinned back tight, nostrils flared, eyes squinted, and running straight at them.

Just thinking about her makes me smile and sigh an incredibly peaceful sigh.  She had so much wisdom and talent but was so gentle and kind.

As she grew older she didn’t handle the cold well.  So a couple of years ago we let her go to Hardy and Mika’s little nephew, Kelby, and live in a warm canyon south of Cortez.

 

memorial, family member, love,horse, cowboy, cowgirl, Colorado, mountains, Mesa Verde, Indian

Nana and Kelby

 

I traveled down the canyon to be with Hardy’s family last Christmas.   I stepped out of the truck and hollered, “Nana-Ba,” and she threw up her head, eyes bright and eager, and ears turned right to me, as she loudly nickered her greeting!  If anyone ever tells you animals don’t have emotion, don’t believe them.  She was as thrilled to see me as I was to see her.  That life long love was still as strong as ever.

I’m glad she had a little boy who loved her the last months she was here on earth, but I certainly missed seeing her sweetness everyday.  And now my heart will never be whole again.  She took a little piece of it with her in her passing.  Those of us fortunate enough to have known her, loved her, and she loved us in return, deeply.

I hope I have learned your greatest lesson and gift, Nana.  To love, and remember, to the very end.

Good bye Nana.  You are still loved, and greatly missed by many.

Go with God and I’ll see you on the other side!

Do you have, or did you have an animal that touched your life?   If so, I encourage you to give them their memorial in the Comments section below.

 

Copyright © 2013 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Horses, cattle, cattle drive, Colorado, mountains, cowboys, cowgirls, dogs, cow dog, rancher, dude ranch, back country riders

When Do You Reach Higher Ground? 4th in the series

Are You Reaching Higher Ground?

When we last met Mika and I were pushing our little band of calves and babysitter cows up the narrow mountain trail toward their summer pasture on higher ground.

Over the top

As we rode over the crest of the trail and reached the lush, green grass on the mountain top, a cool breeze rustled the Aspen leaves overhead. Each year I am awestruck at the expanse of the country and the breathtaking beauty.

Horses, cattle, cattle drive, Colorado, mountains, cowboys, cowgirls, dogs, cow dog, rancher, dude ranch, back country riders

Mika holding herd on top

Talented, Trusting, Colts

This year I was also struck by the fact that both Mika and Hardy had completed the gather and cattle drive to higher ground riding green colts. Both were four-year-olds. It depends on who you talk to but one year for a horse can equal from 3 to 6.5 in human years. The normal age to start a Quarter Horse is 2 to 3 years old. By four they are far more set in their ways, and often take longer to gain the respect and trust required to be a steady mount.

horses, cattle, cattle drive, West, Western lifestyle, Colorado, cowboys, cowgirls, cow dog, Angus, mountain, dude ranch, dude riders

Riding colts

But today both handled their various situations incredibly.They have learned to wait and trust Mika and Hardy.

The Cattle Boss & His Wife

Hardy is the boss and because of that goes the farthest, and rides the toughest trails. He takes care of all of us, reminds us to care for our horses, guides us, reprimands us, and teaches us as we go about our cattle drive, while making sure us “helper” cowboys and cowgirls and our horses can handle our jobs successfully.

He is a great young man and an incredible leader.  Mika is his right hand man and does a great job, too. She challenges and teaches with everything she asks us to do, even her mom!

Trusting Partners

The reason I was so struck by the fact they were riding colts is because of all the things they were able to do on them. Even an experienced horse person would have been impressed with how calm the colts were. They were level headed, willing, responsive, sure-footed, hardworking partners.

They went anywhere and did anything asked of them. This is the result of the trust they have built in Mika and Hardy.

A horse’s natural instinct is flight or fight when they sense danger. Throughout the day there were many situation where the colt’s natural instinct would have been to run away – flight. But instead they trusted Mika or Hardy, stayed calm, and waited for their rider to show them what they needed to do next.

A perfect example of how these colts rely on that trust happened in the creek bottom with Mika and her four-year-old. The willows were so thick you couldn’t see and she was trying to get a stubborn cow and her calf out of there. She jumped the creek and the colt literally became high centered on willows under his belly. With all four feet off the ground they were hung there, suspended.

Mika said rather go into panic mode the colt just waited for her to tell him what to do. He waited on her for guidance to get him out of trouble.

Horses, cattle, cattle drive, Colorado, mountains, cowboys, cowgirls, dogs, cow dog, rancher, dude ranch, back country riders

Colts getting a drink

I have been in similar situations in my own life. Many times I’ve panicked, but I am striving to learn to pause, pray, and wait for guidance.

Has there ever been a time when you have had to wait for guidance to get out of trouble yourself?

Did you wait or go into panic mode?

What do you think?  Is this a good series or not?

Thanks for stopping by!  God Bless you!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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