Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Warden Hill

 In the last year, it seems like many horses have been lost  to illness, old age, or accident.  Some have been  owned by friends, some by acquaintances, and some by people I know of, but don't really know. Each time my heart has ached, because I have an inkling what the owners are going through. I know I'll be there at some point. We all will have to say goodbye someday.

Then last night someone posted to the Dressage list on COTH that they had lost their heart-horse. I don' t know what made me think of it, but years ago, in the seventies,  The Chronicle of the Horse used to publish poetry.  I remembered saving one particular poem in a journal I kept in high school. I dug through my bookshelves and found my journal and the poem. As I re-read it for the first time in years, I cried.   It is a wonderful poem and I wish I had known the writer. I did find an obit for someone by that name who was a poet and foxhunter. Wonder if that was her...

Warden Hill

A packet of poppies for Warden
Poppies are flowers for forgetting,
aren't they?
Rosemary remembers, they say.
Warden, I will plant a bouquet
of both kinds.

You never liked light flowers moving
in any sort of wind.
Warden, it's
all right.
These poppies are not white.
They will grow only fetlock height.

The rosemary seeds I plant for you
will grow too gray, too stiff for wind.
Never mind.
Sleep welll.
I will grow you a warm farewell
of poppies and of good spice smell
Warden Hill,
Sleep well.

Lynn Stefenhagen


  1. Ohhh boy. Now I'm crying too.

  2. The picture goes so well with the post and poem too.

    I have lost a few horses over the years, each one special in their own way. My heart goes out to everyone who has been down that road or has yet to. It is not easy to let go or say goodbye.

  3. We all have been down this road, whether with horses or with other four-leggeds. It is never easy, but making the decision to send our beloved "heart animal" on the next journey is a sign of our humanity and compassion. Because my animals are my family, I must believe that we will meet again, that they wait patiently across the Rainbow Bridge for the news that we are coming. Such a stampede there will be. I keep my animals in my heart. Their pictures bring tears now and then, but those of us who share this experience can take solace that they had a good life with us and we did our best.

  4. Tears. I am planting tulips on Salina's grave in the fall. She is buried at the end of our arena, and now instead of entering at A, we enter at sAlina. She's gone and free of her 30-year old knees that were stiff and sore, but her beautiful German Hannoverian spirit is very much with us, every single day.


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