Monday, December 15, 2008

A Permanent Solution to a Temporary Problem

We lost a member of our Tribe Saturday night. For whatever reason he decided to take matters into his own hands and take the long sleep.

The last time I saw him was the day after Thanksgiving. He was the man who trained me my first night almost five years ago. He was amused by the fact that I am a short little shit and the horse we drove that night, Sam, was a behemoth of a Clydesdale who's back I could barely reach on tip toe to groom.

He hadn't worked much over the past year; he was kind of a grumpy guy, and difficult to get to know. If he thought you knew something about horses then he was okay to you. If he perceived you as a fool he treated you as such. But the fact of the matter is, he left a wife we liked and two pre-teen boys fatherless and heartbroken, and the rest of us wondering when it all went south, and what we might have been able to do to change the turn of events.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

The event has left a pall hanging over the barn. The next 10 days are our crunch time. This is when business gets hopping and those families who make taking carriage rides a tradition become frantic when they realize that time is running short and once again Christmas has snuck up on them. We tend to circle the wagons, trying to keep our petty bickering and high emotions in check because we are all, by now, exhausted and frazzled. The weather was crappy on Saturday. Traffic was a nightmare, the snow making getting around town an exercise in creative carriage driving, and every one of us now on the bubble. But, the end is in sight, we have passed through the eye of the needle and come out unscathed, putting our shoulders to the yoke and pulling straight ahead until we get to the other side.

We are a group of strangers who have morphed into a quasi-family, our employment and common love for the equine persuasion the tie that binds. This makes us our own special tribe. That we've lost a member is stunning to us. But we will carry on, trying to reach out to the rest of our herd and let them know that no matter what is happening in their lives we are there, we have their back, and they can come to us anytime they feel the need to vent, to rant, to cry, to hide. Because the alternative is permanent. And it pisses us off.

5 comments:

ddusty said...

I am so sorry for your tribe and for the family your friend left behind. We can't understand everything we see.

Dusty

Jenn said...

Wow, his poor, poor family. I can't imagine life being so terrible, so horrible, so unliveable that I would end it, but for some people it seems like the only way out.

Belle's personal assistant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MichaleenFlynn said...

I'm very sorry for your loss, what a tragedy.

MichaleenFlynn said...

I'm sorry to post this on such a tragic entry, but I don't have any other way of contacting you. Just wanted to let you and your readers know that someone is bad-mouthing your horses in SLC over on this site http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/31649871.html?view=4251602767#t4251602767
Her user name is glas smaragaide, I can't link you to the actual post, but it's on page 2 of the comments, about half way down the page, right after the pic of the overturned horse & carriage.
Maybe you could defend your industry in memory of your poor pal.
Just wanted to let you know.