Memorial to Whisper – August 7, 2022
Today we lost a giant soul in a horse body. Our dear Whisper left us unexpectedly. She was 30 years old. We had the honor of spending the last 10 years of Whisper’s life together. She was absolutely gorgeous. She was also not an easy horse. Whisper was a perfect blend of being a dignified lady with a clear mind of her own as well as being very stubborn and set in her ways. She could be ornery at times, especially if she felt she wasn’t being heard or understood. But Whisper was also a gentle soul deep within. Whisper often quietly just hung in the background. She preferred her own company rather than that of other horses. Although she loved one gelding named Buster when he was still alive and she liked sharing pasture time with him. Otherwise, she was mostly a loner, yet she never truly wanted to be alone. Her caretakers understood her and she was very loved here.
All of us will miss the special nicker when she saw us coming to the fence to see her. We will miss the gentle but excited whinny when she knew it was time for her food to arrive and the enthusiasm with which she greeted the deliverer of her meals. We will miss her cantankerous kicking in her shed – often for no understandable reason other than to make a fuss.
And oh how we will miss seeing her lying in her favorite spot outside of her shed on the hillside, flat on her side, sun bathing on even the hottest of days. She loved soaking in the heat and penetrating warmth of the sun.
Whisper had come to us with severe leg injuries from neglect. While her legs could never recover from the severity of those injuries, we kept her comfortable with medications and special foot trimming and lots of help from her veterinary team. But the deepest scars, we think, were to her heart. Whisper held that trauma deeply with a sense of betrayal that was difficult for her to heal. She carried a grudge and we understood why.
In what became her final months, Whisper became a favorite to visitors on tours. She decided to participate with visitors for the first time in 10 years. She surprised us all. She’d whinny and come plodding over to the fence and stand there and let children and adults alike pet and stroke her. She often even greeted them with that low nicker that all of her caretakers knew so well. It was the sound of a tender heart and we knew under all her gruffness, that tenderness was very much still in there.
Today, we found her not willing to eat her breakfast which was highly unusual. We quickly realized we had a sick horse and veterinary exam revealed a twist in her small intestine. She was not a surgical candidate and the only choice was to help her to go. Run free girl. And know that the love you left with is the greatest healer of all.