“A horse gallops with his legs, perseveres with his heart, and he wins with his character.”
— From Ride Like a Girl —
His legs carried me to barrel races and rodeos in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and of course our home state of South Dakota.
His heart persevered through all his pain and injuries (fractured side-bones, low ringbone, and navicular) — giving me 110% EVERY DANG TIME.
His character, grit, determination and love for me kept him going — when others would have quit.
All the years.
All the smiles.
All the miles.
All the lessons.
All the struggles.
There have been tears of joy and the tears of defeat.
And more tears, knowing he owes me nothing and has given me more than he knows.
One More Year…
When Avie came up lame in April of 2019, (at age 16), I selfishly wasn’t ready to let him go. I knew I hadn’t finished completing my goals on him, and that he still had more to give me. I told my vet, and farrier, if I could get one more year…
One more year to have him help me show the youngsters in my string what the world off the ranch was like…
One more year to work on my goals… And this was a good year. He won me almost 5K in slot races and the likes. We were on fire this summer — for a bit. It was fun. He felt good. I had my confidence back.
Honestly, I didn’t go Texas knowing I was for sure going to retire him after our last run on Sunday, November 15th, but I had an inkling. He’d fired okay in Huron, SD a couple weeks before. But in Verndale, MN, he felt tired. His heart was there, but his body wasn’t. I’d already entered the WPRA Finals in Texas, so when I got home, I gave him a day off, and went back to work conditioning him.
He was off the pace in Texas — a second off where he’d run three years prior — and after the first day, I knew. I’d promised myself that if I got my permit filled on him, I’d turn him out and let him live out his days, fat and happy, but after the first day, and a tipped barrel I knew I wasn’t going to get it done. Not this time. Not on him. He’s won me just over a third what I need to fill my permit, and that will have to be enough. He’s tired. He’s given me his all. I find it fitting that my Texas bred horse, made his last runs on Texas dirt.
Thanks for ALL the rides, buddy (2012 -2020). You’re the best. There will never be another like you.
Enjoy your rest. You’ve earned it.