This page is dedicated to these special animals who all played an important part in my life when they lived and caused great sadness with their passing.
'Nothing is more sacred as the bond between a horse and a rider. No other creature can ever become so emotionally close to a human as a horse. When a horse dies, the memory lives on, because an enormous part of his owner's heart, soul and the very existence dies also' - Stephanie M Thom
He was my first horse that I purchased to fulfill my horsey dreams after arriving in Cooktown. He was bought from the Cherox Arabian Stud in Vacy, NSW. He was trained/started in Natural Horsemanship by a reputed Horse Trainer in the Hunter Valley then transported to Mareeba. I brought him to Cooktown on the 28th November, 1998. This photo was taken the day later, on our first and only outing. I was completely mesmerized by his presence and over the moon with owning such a fabulous horse. It is written all over my face!! He died suddenly and mysteriously 3 days later on the 3rd December, 1998. I am still shocked and baffled by his death and still searching for answers.
You can also see Buffy, my faithful wee dog swimming out, determined to be in the picture..!
17th August, 2008, Billy Jean and her accomplices escaped through a downed fence one night and milled around the Mulligan Highway. The first traffic of the morning was the Collingwood Mine workers speeding to work to Rossville for a 0600 start. Billy Jean was killed at dawn writing off the work truck but thankfully, no one was injured. None of the other escapees were injured. To lose an animal on a road is awful and to lose a favourite, valuable and such a perfect horse in such a way cuts a hole in your heart that you believe at the time, will never heal.
I bought Mac and his mates Dusty and Manuel from the Pinevale Riding Establishment, Mareeba in 2000. They were all aged and experienced trail horses and to me, very valuable horses to start a horse riding business with. This photo is of Mac, little worse for the wear from insect bites at the time, is carrying my mum Leola who was at the time in her early 70's! That is how much I trusted him. Hidden Valley Trail Rides would probably never have started without Mac, Dusty and Manuel. They knew more about trail riding then than me! Mac's face would be in a perpetual grin when on a trail carrying kids. He never put one hoof wrong - ever. Mac was put to rest May 2009 out at my Kaiteri farm after becoming too ill to enjoy his retirement. He was in his mid 20's.
Thomas, affectionately known as Thomas the tank. I bought Thomas and his mate Hector from a horse dealer that rescued trotters from the meat works in Melbourne, in 2000. He was such an ugly duckling then - all head and legs. He had one turned in hoof and the other one was club which would have been the reason he was gotten rid of so young. Apart from being girth proud and causing us to take ages to slowly put the saddle on, he was such a perfect horse for anyone. He could take total beginners down the main street in the June Festival Parade without a baulk and did so for years - even winning a prize one year. He was good with kids learning to ride and could step it up for blokes that wanted a horse with a bit of 'go'. He was especially good for any rider that topped over 120 kg! He made my stables look good being such a huge handsome horse. I taped him as 16.3 hh but I couldn't reach up high enough to check whether the ruler was straight so he may have been even bigger!. He died from a Taipan bite when being ridden by one of my WWOOFA's on September 28th, 2009. It only took about 20 minutes. No one knew he had even been bitten while being ridden. The only and also most significant sign on him was a blood bubble on his top lip between his nostrils. I found the dead snake with a broken back on the trail a few days later when it was beginning to smell which is how I am able to piece the puzzle all together.
Buffy was my dog for 11 years - longer than any boyfriend or husband! I wrote the following poem to help the grieving.
Our perfect companions never have fewer than 4 feet!