Goodbye Sweet Corazon

The day after we lost our Bucky, resident of 14 years, we where shocked to the core to lose Corazon, who barely had 2 years here to be a horse. The very day she died, our volunteer Irene had been grooming her again, which she loved. She ate well and gave every evidence of being in the pink, with many more years of retirement ahead. She went down just before dinnertime, and passed we believe from a heart attack or stroke (she did have a heart murmur as so many of our oldsters do).

Dear Corazon was born Cousin Wanda, a glorious chestnut mare who probably refused to run on the track for fear of hearing her weird name announced! I don’t know how it came about, but she did end up ‘employed’ by the notorious Hart Ranch, hence the heart brand on her shoulder. The Hart Ranch horses are used hard. But Cousin Wanda survived it, and became a polo pony. Her polo owner renamed her Corazon (“heart” in Spanish). After some time as a polo pony, her owner gave her to some folks for retirement. Somewhere along the way, we think she got hurt in that herd, and was unable to compete for her share of the feed, and the next thing you know, her photo, wet, skinny and miserable, shows up on rescue pages. Cathy Trope of Polo Pony Rescue knew her and advised her earlier polo owner, who drove up and retrieved Corazon, gave her a few weeks to recover and brought her here to retire.

At the start, Corazon was in our quarantine area next to Shelby. Little old Shelby adored her, but she had no use for him at all! Later Pistol lived briefly in the round pen next to Cora and Shelby, and he found her fascinating, and she had no use for him either! From early on, Corazon loved Pepe Grillo, and Keller. Every day she would run to them once I let her into the open areas, and never looked back at Shelby and Pistol. And when the day arrived that I could put her next to Keller, she looked so happy I had to laugh! She fluffed like a happy hen on a good nest - I’m home! She’d always been a bit jittery and excitable to handle, but the second she was with “her” boys, she settled right down, content to her last day. She followed her boys everywhere. I should have noticed when she started leading the way into the stalls at night - the boys wouldn’t go in until she was in. Maybe her heart was slowing her down even then, and they knew it.

Corazon’s time here was short. Just over two years. She was a well trained horse, as so many polo ponies are, but with her age and that left fetlock giving her pain off and on, there was no consideration given to using her. I’m glad we didn’t, as she was clearly content to be Pepe and Keller’s girl. She gained weight, looked great, and seemed happy right up to the time her heart gave out. Her end was swift and easy, with just a short period when she couldn’t get up. During that time, Pepe screamed his heart out for her to get up and come to her stall; and finally, she gave one weak whinny to tell him goodbye. He shut up right after.

Corazon was used hard all her life. Racing, Polo, rental string horse, she really worked hard for her two years of retirement. I continue to be sickened that those people who made money from her, or for whom she was no expense because she earned at least enough to meet her own needs, never thought to set aside money for her retirement. Her polo owner did make a donation, and did extract her from the bad situation she’d inadvertently put Corazon in. But otherwise, Corazon was a piece of equipment to the people in her life. So no surprise that when she was given a choice, she spent her retirement time and attention on other horses, gracefully accepting cookies and grooming from the humans here, behaving for farrier and vet as she had been trained to do, and otherwise having no use for humanity as a whole. That’s ok. That’s what we want to do in these final years - let them have a choice.

I don't want you to think Corazon is not mourned. Pepe, Keller, and I are missing our golden girl.  But honestly, The Golden Carrot got it right with her, and she was a lucky one.  She had her time here. She found the friends she wanted, and they were bereft when she was gone. And her end was quick - even sudden - unexpected, while she still had her health.  Its what I wish for, for all of our residents.  I'll never forget the glory of her chestnut coat, and her sweet determination to be near her man. Corazon was a better name for her, with her faithful steadfast heart.