Year of Birth: Somewhere between 1998 and 2000
Colour and Markings: Flaxen chestnut with two socks and a star, interrupted stripe and snip
Breed: GOK (Goodness Only Knows)
Discipline: Western trail rides
Skye is the indomitable warrior queen of the little herd. Proud, fiery, willing, courageous, game for anything and ferociously loyal, she’s been my horse, my confidante and my friend since I was seven.
My parents got her for me about ten years ago, on a late autumn day I will never forget. She was the first horse whose eyes I looked into to see the stars. We picked her up for R2250 (less than $200) from a farmer who was selling out his stock and took her home, where our journey began.
It was a typical green horse, green rider situation. She was somewhere between four and six years old, half-backed, and impossible to catch. I was a clueless, gawky first-grader who’d learnt pretty much everything I knew about horses from The Best Book of Ponies. By all the rules, it should never have worked. God does not play by man’s rules. It was a match made in Heaven.
I basically grew up on her back; she helped the Mutterer to teach me to ride when I was about ten and from then on my butt and her spine were pretty much fused together. We lived in our own special world, accessible only to a child and a horse; we explored the entire farm and I probably gave my guardian angel grey hairs because I never hesitated, never bothered with a saddle and would try anything. Since she would try anything, too, we spent a lot of time leaping over banks, galloping flat-out and running through water. She played the roles of unicorn, pegasus, valiant steed and even the bottom half of a centaur a few times; I was a prince or a fairy or a knight or the top half of a centaur.
Skye was there for everything from my first preteen temper tantrum to my first pimple to my first kiss. She’s been my friend for so long that I don’t remember a time before her.
I’d pretty much outgrown the magical kingdom stage, and had started to look for a real magic kingdom, when Skye came down with Africa’s killer disease, AHS. The vet told me the mortality rate was 50%; for certain strains, it was 90%. By the grace of God, my charger pulled through and bounced back to full health and strength; in the process, I learned that when you hit rock bottom, Jesus is your rock. I prayed the prayer of faith, and Jesus saved my soul.
Skye is still my confidante and friend. Although she’s in her mid teens, she still charges through life with undiminished spirit and bravery. She’s getting a little fat and arthritic, so rides are mostly just walking hacks around the farm, but after a long day of horse work it’s exactly what I need. Our friendship remains a bright flame in my life, and I thank God for my undeserved blessings less than I should.