Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Maxter

Maxim XL was his formal name. He was bred and born at Colorado State University in 1985. He was part of an experiment to introduce the Salle Francais breed to the United States. Born of great athletic promise, he came to me broken down when he was fourteen. Last Wednesday, July 1st he succumbed to a massive infection. But Max's brain, personality and general ornerieness was totally missed by his former owners. He was passed to me to "use up" and learn from as he was a highly trained dressage horse. Nobody had ever asked him if he liked it at all. It took me four years to communicate with him and find out how much he hated arenas and the whole business.

I was privileged to know him, receive his hugs and smiles, and learn all the great lessons he had to teach me. I really thought there would be so much more! Retired, slowly becoming more arthritic, I really thought he could wile away his time under the sun until at least thirty. I was not prepared to spare him. But oh how I am so glad that I appreciated who he was and let him teach me the important things - the wonderful relationship a human can have with an animal - once the human has their head on straight.

Max I will always miss you! But I am so grateful for the years we had and especially for the two great hours before your death that I will always cherish, my brave big boy.

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