My trip to Texas was altogether overwhelming and fun.
I’m frankly worn out and I’ve been home for three days now. There’s laundry piled high in the hallway, I have two photography projects to work on (one of which you cannot see until after the wedding because they’re bridal portraits, but trust me- WORTH. THE. WAIT!) now that I’m back, and the madness doesn’t end there! I have a Senior Photo Shoot on Saturday.
But first- if you don’t follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you wouldn’t know that while I was home this time, I decided it was time to say goodbye to my friend for the last 18 years, my horse, Zero.
He was born on the historic WT Waggoner Ranch in Texas, in July of 1981. He spent several years on the ranch, until he was sold to a team roper who heeled on him. She ended up with a shoulder injury and was unable to rope for a while, and I was fortunate enough to buy him. He was the first horse we’d ever bought that cost more than a few hundred dollars. We gave $5,000 for him in 1994. I’m pretty sure Daddy knew it was gonna hurt to write that check, and if you don’t have a family that’s into rodeoing and you’re the only one, that is a lot to spend. I wouldn’t think that now – of course! For a horse like him you’d expect to spend 20k or more these days. He could clock with the pros on a standard barrel racing pattern, you could heel on him and he was much sought after to rope on by the boys; he was always hard across the line in the breakaway and ribbon roping and if you weren’t ready for the stop, you’d end up in the dirt because when he stopped, he stopped. I’ve yet to ride another horse that could stop as hard as he could. And in the goat tying they didn’t get more honest or fun to ride. He was 14 when I purchased him, had no arthritis and was “healthy as a horse”! Pun intended. I didn’t keep track of the miles we logged, but at 75 rodeos a year for several years, it was plenty.
I’ve ridden a bunch of cowy horses in my day, but he was dang near one of the cowiest I’ve been on. He would even “cow” the barrels. I really wish I had more photos of him from the rodeo trail, but when I was in college I was a poor kid, and of course when you’re the only person in your family that rodeos there’s only so much money to go around when there are siblings doing different activites.
He wasn’t sick, though he was getting thinner as he didn’t have a whole lot of teeth left. He just looked… tired. And as much as I tried to ignore that nagging feeling I had when I first arrived home and saw him, I couldn’t. Then one day, I watched as he took a sunbath standing up and as he relaxed and slept he almost fell down. Which had me thinking- I bet he can’t lay down anymore. How terrible would that be to be unable to lay down? He was never one to just give up, so I decided I’d help him along and save him from a fight he couldn’t win. Heaven got a good horse this week and I hope that God takes advantage and throws a leg over him, because He won’t be disappointed.
Rest in Peace, Friend.