Goodbye, Joyful


My big redhead, Joyful, passed today. I’ve been her friend and caretaker for 16 years. I can hardly imagine a world without her.

Today I wept as she died, wept as I tried to comfort Surely, wept as I went thru the one year of photos I have for her. Wept at such a loss…

Joyful was our darling supermodel baby when she came in. Literally l saw a field of dropped equine jaws, as she swirled around the paddock, young, gorgeous, show ready! But her people discarded because she was smart (they were overjumping the shit out of her, and she started to balk). Discarded because she’d had some ovarian problem that resulted in her being infertile. Basically, discarded because she wasn’t “useful” anymore. The very wealthy family sent a little money for two years, and then abandoned us.

But this girl was a golden a soul as you could ever hope to find. A true caretaker, of people and her equine friends. She was big, and young, and gorgeous but oddly never really attracted the attention of the males until her last year. The ovarian thing? I don’t know. But no one ever gave her any crap, and she and her bffs Surely and Anya were fast friends, always together, always concerned for one another.

And o the glory of that last six months of her life, when Bo became her sometime beau! So cute.


She did have a six months in 2009 when she adored our Prophet too, because they trailered together to a show. And that show! The rider was a local self-taught natural rider, who took lessons on Joyful for over two months, several times a week before the show. She rode brilliantly here and Joyful loved it. At the show, the rider was stricken by overwhelming stage fright, and sat on Joyful like a waxworks – and dear Joy stepped right up. She sailed thru the classes on her own, like she was in her element! Did we win? No, but not because of Joy. She took care of her rider, as she always took care of everyone.

She was friendly to people, just adored being groomed even before her Cushings caused her to retain so much hair. Loved to get her toes trimmed. Loved any kind of visitor, and happily carried riders as well, adult or child.

 Look at that face.  I was privileged to see that face every day for so many years.

Joyful had what is called “the prophet’s mark” – a deep indentation in the side of her neck which is apparently caused by a hind foot when the foal is folded up in the womb – and it’s said these are the very best horses. She was. The best. As I type, I hear Surely’s cries. How much more loss can we take?