Lucky first came to our farm in the summer of 2010, shortly after we returned from Zambia. We bought her on a whim (it was an amazing deal we couldn’t pass up!), knowing how much Kanah was interested in horses. We knew nothing about caring for a horse. We knew nothing of Lucky’s history. We took a chance and it turned out to be a “lucky” one. Lucky and Kanah were inseparable. Caring for Lucky become Kanah’s passion and it forced her to mature quickly and manage the responsibility. Seeing Kanah go out to the barn every morning at 6:30am, regardless of the weather, convinced us of her love and devotion. Watching her spend hours teaching Lucky to respond simply to voice commands was astounding.
On the weekend, we received the very sad news that Lucky had to be put down. Apparently, she had fallen and shattered a hind leg – a catastrophic injury for a horse.
Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy. We first said goodbye to Lucky in December, when we took her to her new home at U-Turn Ranch. U-Turn is a family-operated farm that runs children’s camps during the summer months. Both Kanah and Talya have attended camps there. One of their programs for campers includes learning to care for and ride horses. Lucky was to be the perfect addition to their herd – her smaller size made her ideal for younger children who might have been intimidated by a full size horse. We were thrilled that U-Turn decided to take Lucky. We knew that she would have a loving new home that would appreciate her gentle nature and her unique ability with children. But still, saying goodbye to Lucky when we left her at U-Turn was heartbreaking for us all, especially for Kanah.
There is a unique bond between a girl and her horse that we simply do not understand, but that we have witnessed first hand. They understood each other. They trusted each other. They learned to work together and they loved each other.
We had hoped that we would be able to see Lucky next summer when we visit Ontario. We looked forward to seeing her thrive in her new environment, happy to be a part of a herd of horses again. We now grieve that we will never have that opportunity.
Losing a loved-one (whether a person or an animal) is one of life’s tough lessons. Kanah has now had to face that lesson multiple times. She’s done so honourably. Even in her passing, Lucky has influenced Kanah and taught her how to grieve gracefully. As we told Kanah, there will be other horses in her life. And there will be more losses. But there will never be another Lucky. She was truly special and deeply loved.