Appaloosa

A Tribute to Tim

Tim - Horse

{Tim & Me — March 2009}

Over the summer, I posted about my friend Tim. But he isn’t like most friends. He’s non-verbal, more than 1500 pounds, and will love you to death if you bring treats. Yes, Tim is a horse, and it is with great sadness that I must tell you of his passing. To read the full post about our bond, click here.

I was just finishing up kickboxing class on Saturday when I received a text message from Tim’s owner. The text read, “Tim is down and it looks like today is the day.” Tim had a wonderful life with his long-time owner, Loraine. Seriously, if I come back in another life, I’d like to be one of her horses.

Loraine owned Tim for most of his life. She purchased him when he was a youngster, around 5 years old, and he was in his late thirties at the time of his passing. He was a loyal companion, barn favorite, and easily identifiable with his big brown spots.

Tim - Horse

As I sat at my computer desk last night contemplating a topic for today’s post, I knew I had to honor Tim. He was a huge part of my life growing up and his photos still reside on my nightstand—long after my years as an equestrian.

I am so grateful that I had the privilege of knowing Tim. From riding him bareback on a warm summer day, to taking him down to the field for some grass, life always seemed a little brighter when he was in your presence.

Horsin’ Around

Appaloosa Horse

Meet Tim! A thirty-something year old Appaloosa with an infectious personality that could rival most humans. Tim and I go way back — to my days when I used to ride regularly and spend most of my waking hours at the barn. While my life no longer revolves around horses, I made an exception this past weekend.

I haven’t seen Tim in seven years. Yet somehow, this cantankerous Appaloosa didn’t forget the sound of my voice, or that I nicknamed him “fluffy” because he always grew such a thick coat in winter. No, this senior horse knew me by the way I slipped the halter over his head and how I talked to him as we walked side by side in the courtyard. He recognized an old friend. For both of us, it was like we had just seen each other yesterday — without missing a beat. I guess that’s how you are with old friends.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, well known for an apt phrase, once commented “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” I’ve always found that it is impossible to be upset when you’re in the company of an animal — whether it’s a cat, dog, or horse.

Tim is quiet, seldom uttering horse sounds. Yet as a non-verbal animal, the best therapy I ever received was from Tim. He will unconditionally listen to anyone he meets, and he never passes judgement (unless you forget to give him a treat!). That’s the greatest characteristic anyone could ask for in a friend.