My second horse was purchased after I was married. The horse was a birthday gift from my husband, whose favorite brand of beer was Heineken, thus the horse's new name. She was a very gentle horse and easy to ride. I spent many days riding through the woods and on back country roads. In the summer she was pastured at our farm and in the winter I boarded her in a friend's barn.
Then came the terrible day that our house burned down. My cousin came to get Heineken, and take her away from all the noise and confusion, glaring flashing lights and smoke, and flames. Unknown to me at the time, instead of taking her through the back fields or woods, he rode her right up through our backyard and right past the firetrucks and crowds of people who came to watch. I was in shock most of that day, just watched our dreams become ashes.
After it was all over I went to my uncle's farm to see about my horse. There I found a much different horse. She was jumpy and had a wild look in her eyes. I could not even get near, as she fought the ropes that held her, rearing up if anyone got too close. A few days later my cousin attempted to ride her once more and she reared up and almost fell over backwards, and he barely escaped injury when he was thrown off.
We had a horse expert look at her and the news was not good. My gentle loving horse was now crazy. Something in her brain could not handle the fear and confusion of the day before. The chance of riding her again was near zero. I had to give her away to someone who tried to help her regain something close to normal thought, but it was a lost cause and in the end she was put down.
I had lost my home and my horse all in one day. Knowing I had to get my life back in some form of order and find a place to live, our life moved on. But even now looking at the pictures of her in my albums and remembering times of riding her still brings tears to my eyes and a deep sadness that I carry to this day.