Goodbye Navigator

Passed away 3-11-2015

On March 11 2015 the Golden Carrot lost one of our very long-time residents - Navigator. Very simply his age had caught up with him. I suspect cancer but realistically our Narvi was in his 30s. Death comes to us all. For my sake and Jordan’s I held off making this decision possibly longer than I should have but Narvi’s needs trumped ours - our good boy is now at peace. Help me celebrate his life.

He was with me for at least 14 years. That’s a span of time. I have so many pictures and memories of my good little boy. Because despite his size and age Navigator was always my good little boy. Some of you moms out there may have that little boy who - when given a task - just works their little butts off doing the best they can. Struggling with that broom and showing you proudly every bit of dirt in the dust pan; painting the fence and coming in covered with paint. Always doing their best even when they’re not sure what is going on. That was Narvi.



When he came to TGC he was 20. He’d been a lesson horse in the Portuguese Bend Riding Club program. He was 17 hands and black and in pretty good health. A note about him is that Stephanie Olsen (who formerly owned our Mack) had taken lessons on Narvi and loved him - each Christmas when her dad gave her $50 she would send it on to Narvi. She’s the one who told me about his nickname - and once knowing I went out to see - Hay Narvi! And his head came right out of his feed bowl to see - I think for a hopeful moment he thought it was Steph! She did have a chance to see him again when she brought Mack here and it seemed to me that he remembered her too.

With his beady eye and slightly roman nose he wouldn’t win a lot of beauty contests - but man if you’d ever ridden his trot! He was a metronome - perfect rhythm - like a machine. I’m betting a LOT of people learned to post on our boy. He was happiest in the riding arena or round pen - that was a task he understood and did well. But he was always that little boy - willing to go on the trail if you asked but very worried ... very worried. One of my favorite memories of him revolved around that kind of worry. We went on a ride along the roads with some other folks. At some point about a mile out I had to get off to help another rider. And could not get back on! He was tall - I have bum knees - but mostly he was so antsy he’d step away at just the right moment time and again! It ended up I decided, as he got more and more agitated to walk him back home. I can still remember clinging to his bridle taking 12 foot leaps attempting to keep up with the fastest “walk” I’d ever seen. I swear he didn’t run or even trot. It was a walk but speed walk for sure! And the second we came in our gate he deflated with a huge sigh of relief and looked at me clearly proud that he’d brought us home safe! Dork! I couldn’t be mad at him.

He was never a leader. He took confidence from his friends, and his humans. He was sensitive and kind of a scaredy-cat but so brave. He’d gather his courage and do as he was asked despite his fears. In his time here he found friends who were more confident. One was the lovely Beau. Beau and Narvi were besties and Beau also squired Shawnee.

And I think when Beau decided to leave us he told Narvi to take care of Shawnee. And in a perfect example of his desire to be a good boy Narvi tried. But he was a confirmed bachelor and never had any real confidence in himself so after a short time Shawnee left him. And he heaved a sigh of relief!

When Jordan came into Beau’s stall another friendship began. While Jordie can be a little boy as well I think his regard for the elder Narvi actually boosted Narvi’s self-confidence a little. And Jordan’s size was a protection for Narvi. So those two bonded like two nerdy boys....

Navigator was happy here, and after his years of service as a lesson horse in a jumping barn he had earned his retirement. After those first couple of years when I rode him a few times he just got to hang out and be himself. As time went by and his face grayed and he started getting abscesses all the time I realized his time was running out. We did try pergolide in case he was just a Cushings horse but no matter how small or large the dose it threw him completely off his feed. And Navigator never had a spare pound on him. Up to his last week he ate very well but as time went by it didn’t seem to stay with him. And his energy level was failing day by day.

Finally I told him he’d finished his tasks and he could rest now. And he heaved a sigh of relief. I promised to take care of Jordan and my good boy happily went to his final rest. He wasn’t the easiest horse. But no one tried harder to be the best horse possible. He was a lesson to me in how effort can make up for talent. Love you Narvi!