Red and his Fawn Buddy

In 2011 Canadians met Red after he adopted a tiny fawn and the story was shown on TV news and appeared in horse magazines. He chased away all adult deer from his grain and hay, but willingly shared it with this late-born, orphaned fawn. The old gelding became the fawn's nearly constant companion. All winter the pair were together. We knew Red was a special horse, but felt he was even more special for his kindness to this wee fawn. My father rescued Red, a Quarter horse, 28 years ago when he was just a two year old. He was rake thin and missing chunks of hair all over his body. Years later a stranger would comment that Red became the rescuer.

We will always remember Red as the horse who in his old age, behaved as though he were human. When my husband would forget to close the paddock gate so the other horses couldn't eat his grain, Red would stand at the metal gate and push on it with his nose to make it bang until he got Don's attention. My teenage daughters were convinced he could talk to you like a person through the expressions on his face. Even as recently as yesterday when he saw us coming he would whinny happily to greet us.

Today we said good bye to a dear old friend, Red (Ima Red Kidnap). His heart was failing and his organs had begun to shut down. Our veterinarian put him to sleep. He is buried in our backyard next to the riding ring you see in the photos. Old Red ferried many small children, including my two daughters, around that ring. For most it was their first experience riding a horse and as you would expect, he ensured they felt safe and protected.

I couldn't help but smile through my tears this afternoon. My husband had just heard that Nelson Mandela had passed away. His comment: "Today two legends left us."

Red spent his last day standing in his stall in the barn with his head in my lap. He knew it was time, and let me know too.

As anyone who has ever owned a special horse knows, not all horses have the same ability to touch your life. This one was special and I will miss him incredibly much.