Goodbye to Pistol
Hotterthanapistol - The protector
Came to TGC March 2014
Passed away 9/10/17
Dear Pistol is gone. While the exact problem will never be known, suffice it to say that he went down, and he could not get back up. He really didn’t try much. He’d been failing for about 30 days, but with nothing in particular to point a finger at.
I call Pistol the protector, because from the day he came in the door, he chose one frail small horse to protect after another.
First was Shelby. That was a relationship that broke all our hearts. Shelby was a badly foundered pony and didn’t have a lot of time with us. But once Pistol came, Shelby found the courage to travel around the whole facility, which his small crippled self couldn’t try before. With his big bodyguard closely following and sheltering, little Shelby’s world expanded. And Pistol was just that sweet, that when Shelby returned to the safety of his small southstream area, Pistol was happy to hang with him.
When Shelby passed on, Pistol briefly loved Corazon, but honestly, she didn’t have the time of day for him, and really didn’t need him either.
So he started hanging around Silver, a little Arabian pony whose best friend was Biscuit, an elderly curmudgeonly TB. So Silver lived with Pistol on one side, and Biscuit on the other.
When Silver passed away, Biscuit and I agreed that the only horse who could use his stall was Biscuit himself, and Pistol transferred his bodyguard duties to Biscuit. Strangely to me, Biscuit was fine with that. And they’ve been together since.
I felt that the horrible swelling/edema in Pistol’s right hind would benefit from being able to move around, so after all horses were in for the night, I would open his chains and allow him access outside all night. It’s a measure of their attachment that Pistol never left the area of his and Biscuit’s stalls - always close to his friend. Sometimes, around 2-3AM, Biscuit would wake and not see Pistol in his stall, and I’d awake to his quiet calls. Never more than one or two. And I know wherever Pistol had wandered to, he wandered back to his friend as he was always there each morning.
Pistol had a hot nature that made him well named, but in his travels around the country, racing everywhere, and somehow ending up in the Bakersfield area, he learned a lot of good manners. He tolerated so much treatment on that one bad leg. Nothing we did affected it much, but he didn’t mind us trying. He behaved for the farrier and vet, and was so intrigued when Dawn Fletcher (body work and adjustments) worked with him, it was cute to see.
He was big. That leg was ugly. And he cared more for his protectee of the moment than he ever cared for people visiting. He always seemed a little surprised when I offered a carrot bit or a cookie. But of course politely took it. He truly was a gentle giant. He’s one that reminds me how much I wish I could talk to them. I’d love to know what happened to him - in addition to that swollen hind leg, he had heavy ringbone on the same side front, and there were injuries and problems in all the muscles and joints along his right side. Some sort of serious accident, I think, that never really got treated. And once he couldn’t perform, dumped and ended up at a low end shelter in Bakersfield. But he was a kinder and more caring individual than any of the people who used him. And I’m glad we were able to help him, even for only 3 and a half years.
Biscuit knew Pistol had passed away. And oddly, he didn’t make a sound or even seem to understand for two days. But then, Tuesday, he cried and cried, and ran all over the entire property. Did Pistol’s spirit linger for a couple of days to be sure Biscuit was ok? It would certainly be consistent with his personality. And did Biscuit know when the spirit finally slipped away? I reminded him that Pistol will be like a lot of rescuers, if the stories are true. When he passes over into that better world we all hope is there, Shelby and Silver and even the lovely Corazon will be there, waiting for him, and welcoming him. I told Biscuit we will see them all again someday... But for Biscuit and I, its no real solace in the here and now.