The Story of Rocky - a Much Loved Friend
The saddest story to drop into our inbox this week comes from Sheila Brookes who lost Rocky her beloved pony and best friend of 10 years through a tragic accident in November 1994.
Sheila remembers with fondness the last time she saw Rocky in full flight, and being a keen photographer she recorded the event.
A few nights later Sheila and her best friend Almut took the children to feed Rocky, Bubbles and their pals down at their winter accommodation which was a much larger field 3 miles away. It was a cold wintry night and whilst Sheila was preparing Rocky's evening meal at the stables, Almut and Lloyd were frantically trying to find Rocky. Their attempts were being hindered by the adverse weather conditions of high cold winds and lashing rain.
Parts of the 40 acre field were a quagmire and no amount of shouting and whistling was making Rocky appear. Almut and Lloyd were finding it difficult to wade through the mud and became frantic with worry. Then suddenly there in front of them was Rocky standing in the middle of the field, motionless. Almut and Lloyd went cold. They knew something was wrong and were beginning to think the unthinkable. Lloyd was trembling as he examined Rocky a combination of being frozen and fear of the outcome. Then the awful truth dawned.
Rocky had broken his leg and had stood like a statue for at least 3 hours, slowly sinking into the sodden ground and unable to move. The damage to his leg was irreparable and Lloyd now had the awful task of telling his mother (who was now waiting at the gate wondering what was going on) that her companion would have to be put down. Sheila's world fell apart and an eerie stillness fell over the busy stable yard when the vet confirmed Rocky's fate.
The next day, in mourning and still in great shock having gone through what seemed like the longest night of their lives, Lloyd and Sheila transported Rocky's body back to his home paddock where he was buried on the spot from which he spent hours admiring the view across the fields. Lloyd laid out Rocky's tack and Sheila's riding equipment on the body of the much loved pony before tossing the first handful of soil. A last tearful good-bye was said and Rocky was covered.
To this day nothing in Rocky's paddock has changed. It is exactly as it was on the day he left to graze his winter pasture, except there is now a path to the grave formed by Rocky's family and friends who continue to mourn the loss of a very special companion.
Sheila's best friend Almut wrote this special poem for Rocky which sums up his irreplaceable spirit. She would like to share this with you:
How lonely, lonely is your field
Why did you have to take a stand
And now you lie in your lonely grave
Almut Muir 28-11-94
Sheila tells us that she would like to hear from other horse owners who have experienced similar loss. Her e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story and pictures © Horsecrazy.com
Poem © Almut Muir