It was the the end of an era at Byalee Stables with the sudden death of our much-loved school horse Miss Molly ... we were not to know that her lesson two days ago was her last, that her work with special needs students on Sunday was at an end, that her happy face at feed-up this morning would be mssing tomorrow.
Molly reached the grand age of 27 and was by the imported stallion APH Koernisburg (Libby Sauer) out of TB mare and had two foals before arriving at Byalee to be part of the harem of RIchmeed Medallion (imp) back in 2006. After refusing to stay in foal, we discovered that she was the quietest horse on the property and she slotted immediately into lessons for both children and adults as number one school horse.
Molly was especially invaluable at helping so, so many adults to regain their confidence after time out of riding or after falls that shattered their joy - she gave it back, allowing them to move onto to other horses and adventures. Hundreds of those riders have gone on to compete again, to trail ride again, to enjoy their passion again.
Molly has taken students back to competing - Byalee Krystelle sounded so flash, hey Molly?!
She has carried Special Olympics riders safely through their debut State Championships, shared sack races, apple bobbing and obstacle courses as well as resigned herself to being bridled and saddled by beginners in extremely innovative ways ... she has had people dismount and fall under her while she stood stock still, been accidentally kicked and bumped and fallen off as beginners and the not-so-graceful got stuck mounting and dismounting, even allowed both adults and children to vault on her wide old back. She taught special needs students to lead and groom and hose safely.
When it became obvious that Molly could not be saved this afternoon, she died surrounded by those who had ridden her and loved her, and the last she heard was the sound of afternoon lessons floating from the indoor.
To say she will be missed would be the most incredible understatement possible ... there will never be another Miss Molly.
RIP Miss Dimity
Became a spirit horse on November 6 2017
A tremendous thunderstorm this afternoon was a fitting requiem for our beloved Miss D, put to sleep today after complications from an ongoing Cushings condition. Despite being on daily medication to control the condition, and living to the grand old age of 32 against the odds, she suffered a heart attack last night from which she was unable to recover.
Miss D – her name was Dimity but we couldn’t have two of them, one is enough! – proved herself on and off the lunge with children as small as 2yo, allowing them to pilot her independently around the arena.
She has helped to teach hundreds of small children to learn to ride and still had a turn of speed in the barrels at school holiday camps, occasionally unexpectedly cantering home but always in a straight line to keep her little riders safe.
As her work on the arena scaled back she was also an invaluable foal-sitter and helped to keep many weanling colts in line as she chaperoned them one at a time into life without their dams. We will never forget the sight of Miss D’s evil glare subduing even the biggest, boldest colt into stepping awaaaay from the feedbin …
We were so lucky to have had the care of Miss D in her twilight years, and blessed to have had her to share in our equestrian endeavours.
RIP Miss D … you were one in a million and your petite little teddybear self will be sadly missed.