The Sky Horse

The Sky Horse is an unusual post for me, but it's a story worth telling. I have a dear friend whose whole life is about horses. She has spent a lifetime riding and training horses - everything from breaking colts to training champion barrel racing, reining and working cowhorses.

She loves horses so much that when she was young, her grandpa used to say, “if you fell and cracked your head open, little horses would run out!”

She’s a one-person business and I admire her greatly. I’ve been to shows with her where we pulled up in her truck and trailer next to fancy-pants super-sized semi rigs, where much more affluent horse people strutted around on their very expensive, professionally trained horses, and have watched her put them to shame on her lovely Quarter horse mare Chex, who she trained herself.

Chex in the pen before a reining competition

Nothing against rich people who can afford such luxuries, but it’s inspiring to watch the underdog come out on top, because I know what went into that hard-earned win.

She bred and raised Chex from a foal. Chex was born dark, but quickly went gray, eventually becoming what is commonly called “fleabitten” gray, a white coat with little dark flecks all over. She also owns Lena, a half-sister to Chex that she raised and trained as well. But Chex was her favorite. She put everything she had into training this horse; all the years of her knowledge and experience was used in making Chex a champion reiner, trail horse and all around cowhorse. They spent many good years piling up trophies, gear and saddles from their many wins.

More than just a friend

So when I heard the news that Chex had died, I was shocked and saddened. I called my friend and shared her sorrow. I know what it feels like to lose a beloved horse. But my friend is not one to wallow in grief. She had other horses to take care of and she dealt with her pain in her own way. I admired her strength as she picked herself up by the bootstraps and got on with her life.

She did share this one thing with me, though. It is a remarkable story. On the morning after she buried Chex, she was outside and happened to look up in the sky, and saw this amazing cloud formation above the mountains, and snapped a photo with her cell phone.

The Sky Horse amazing cloud formation

How does this happen? I believe it was a gift to help her heart heal. It was as if Chex was there, just for her, galloping across the sky, telling my friend that she is OK and is in happy, greener pastures now.

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