*28 February 1993 †21 November 2013

IMG_1400With great sadness in our hearts but with the knowledge that the right moment has come, we said farewell to a wonderful companion this morning.

Cira came from the race track completely broken at three years old. Trained and raced from 18 months, she was “retired” injured. Happily, that was not the end; she was bought by a farmer and spent a further 16 years on his farm, being ridden by Hetty in the style that most suited her – free in the woods, unfettered by dressage or other rules.

It was here that I also got to know Cira and was lucky enough to ride her too. And honoured I was, too – Cira has never been a great fan of men but somehow, we managed to hit it off 🙂

It took some doing, but finally, her owner was convinced that she should come off shoes and go barefoot – sadly too late. Ten years earlier and the story could have been different; but the damage was already done. Her hooves took beautifully to barefoot and right up to the last trim, she was the most helpful and gentle horse I have trimmed. But arthritis is no respecter of beauty and Cira’s front knees were steadily turning to gross caricatures of what they should be.

But full of fire and spirit, she carried on, adapting to her disability in a way that many a human could learn from. Until it was time.

And as we all said our final farewells, the sky cried for her…