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The Tribute Arena

6/18/08, 11 y.o. Intermediaire Schoolmaster

Yesterday morning, I had to put down my 11 year old Intermediaire horse Sitni. We fought the good fight against a never understood neurological disorder that robbed my good boy not just his active, excellent performance life but also cruelly, the ability to have the good and honorable retirement that he deserved. Despite gaining ground in some of the battles, we, perhaps inevitably, lost the war.

My heart is broken.

Sitni was a monumental horse...in size, in gaits, in talent. His work ethic was the stuff of dreams. The word "no" simply wasn't in his vocabulary. His success in the ring was a gift from the gods and beautifully channeled through my trainer Cathy Morelli who campaigned him so brilliantly. The judges lovedhim and rewarded him every time. I had the great privilege of receiving fan mail on his behalf. Simply to know him, was to love him.

I have never known a horse with such heart. He was huge, forward, expressive in every respect. Passage was his natural gait. Where other horses just trotted, he floated three feet above the ground. Perhaps he knew just what a king he truly was! Strong but sensitive, a go button barely needed a whip, no test movement was too difficult for him yet a novice amateur could ride him and be completely safe, provided, of course, they could sit that trot!

He was such a character! He was studly, truly believing he owned the barn, challenging all equine comers, making sure they knew he owned the place! On the other hand, he loved humans...I often thought he'd love to come home with me each night, watch TV, hang out, share a pizza...he really was that kind of guy!

He was the horse of a lifetime. He taught me more than I ever believed  possible. He was the answer to every hope I ever had in dressage. He was the amateur's dream..the horse that could do it all and be ridden by one of us. He was my dream come true and my horse of a lifetime.

He was a great gift to and in my life. I will love and miss him always...

Thank you for letting me share my love and my grief...




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