DB Destiny Moniet - The Perfect Ride

 

Rabanna Moon at 22 years old. Photo by S. HarmonOn November 12, 2003 we lost the mare Rabanna Moon at 25 years old. For several years she had been the constant companion to my senior stallion DB Destiny Moniet, known here on the ranch as Tim. A trip to the vet for one necessitated the need for both to go as they would not willingly be separated. She would fret and cry, as if she had lost a foal. He would bugle and challenge, looking for his missing lady. For all of our sakes, I caved in and kept them together. She produced her last foal, DA Blue Moon in February of that year with Tim looking over the stall door to welcome their precious replacement. They lived as a family unit until weaning time. How was Tim to cope with a separation this permanent?

 On the 13th I had friends come to my house to take me riding and try to nudge me out of the depression and grief I was swimming in. Tim was grieving as well, and so I opted to take both of us away from the house for awhile. It had been a while since I had ridden him. At 22 years old he was mostly retired and younger horses had taken over his duties. Today, we needed the time together. I told my friends it would be an easy toodle down the road as a concession to his age and mood.

 As we started down the road he walked with a hesitant, old man gait. Not entirely steady, and not much drive. Occasionally he would stumble. Again I grieved. Would this be the last ride we would share? The girls I rode with slowed their horses to accommodate his slower pace. Due respect was given to his age and dignity. As we traveled and talked, his movement improved.

Eventually we came to the wash. This is a dry, winding, narrow, sandy bottomed stream bed for spring run off. Once spring has passed it is a favorite place for horseback riders to take their horses for a canter. As a young horse Tim had run the wash on many occasions. I paused at the entrance, planning to let my friends go while Tim and I walked back. Tim stopped, head raised and ears pricked. Looking up the wash and recognizing the area, remembering the speed and the run. I turned slightly in the saddle to ask my friends if they wanted to go run the wash. The old stallion beneath me quivered. At the word go, the years dropped away and you would swear someone had fired off a starter pistol. He launched himself into a run. Not a canter, nothing so civilized as collection, but a joyous, flat out, reach and bunch run. And I was with him, a perfect partnership of human and horse. We flung ourselves around corners, madly, gaily, joyfully. This was a ride of perfect trust and harmony. We flew, leaving our riding companions behind trying frantically to catch up. High speed, and high risk as well. What if we stumbled? No, there was no hesitation, no doubts and no holding back. For two miles we flew, leaving behind age and grief as we embraced our partnership and memories of previous runs, previous races. As the wash ended, we came back up to the road and waited, impatiently pawing the ground, for our companions to catch up. Tim danced home, bugling a challenge to the younger stallions as we returned to the yard.  

DB Destiny Moniet & Sheila Harmon completing their first 50 mile endurance ride in 1990..Tim ended up with a new lady to live with and sired several more foals. Over the next three years, I continued to take Tim out for trail rides. We never again pushed the envelope as we did on that glorious day but it will live in my memory as the perfect ride. Our final ride came in July of 2006. No one was allowed in front of him he was the declared leader. He would walk beside another horse, as long as he was a nose ahead. We took friends out for a full moon trail ride and he danced home in the lead. Less than a month later he would be gone, leaving a hole in my heart, and a beautiful legacy in my pastures. He sired 63 foals. His progeny included 36 mares and 24 stallions. 29 qualified as Sheykh Obeyd, 37 as Al Khamsa, 19 as General List and 8 were Half-Arabians. He left his mark.

 Sheila Harmon

 


Sheila Harmon
6974 Pearl Road - P.O. Box 1180 - Eagle, Idaho 83616
(208) 866-1024 hm - (208) 863-8474 cell - 800-327-6540
E-Mail to: Sheila@DestinyArabians.com
Web Page: www.destinyarabians.com