The Price of Love

There is a price to horseback riding. More than the price of their stabling, more than the price of their feed, their maintenance and their upkeep. More than all the gold in the world.

It’s a small price at first. A wish here, a dream there. The need to touch a horse. Then, without warning, like an aggressive, malignant cancer it spreads and consumes you. Your soul, your being, your life suddenly belongs to them. To their rhythm, to their touch and their strange, quiet love which they give you in return for your heart.

I saw a piece of my friend die today. Her stallion, the golden stallion, died from a terrible disease called African Horse Sickness. It is a virus that kills horses here in Africa. You can vaccinate and pray but, inevitably, it will strike and you will be left to the mercy of fate. Your horse will die or your horse will live.

If he lives, you know you’re safe for another year but if he dies, you die and the world ends. For second, for a minute and in a sense for the lifetime that you were with him.

I lost my first horse years ago, and carry that sorrow with me to this day, like parcel of pain, wrapped up to try and conceal the impact of it. I was aware of it tonight, as I listened to my friend sob in a way nobody else could understand. It’s what it sounds like when someone has lost a part of themselves which they will never get back. A heart beat, a spark of love, a piece of soul – forever gone.

6 thoughts on “The Price of Love

  1. Jenn March 24, 2011 / 6:50 pm

    Bautifully said. My heart is breaking too for her. Sending you both hugz.

  2. Phoenix March 24, 2011 / 8:53 pm

    A price everyone who has companions has to pay eventually, I hate to say. But while we pay the price, we have received far more from them over the time that we have had them in our lives so we still walk away richer than if we had never known them.

    • ingrid March 24, 2011 / 9:52 pm

      Ai, dis vreeslik. Ek is so jammer.

  3. suzy wong March 25, 2011 / 2:40 pm


  4. Marsha March 26, 2011 / 12:16 am

    I’m so sorry Alyssa. Please give your friend my love. I’ve never had horses, but I’ve lost cats and dogs that I have loved. They are like my children. Each time I swear I won’t go through it again, but I fall in love with another one every time.

  5. hearandlearn March 27, 2011 / 10:12 am

    Well written Alyssa! A heartbreak for sure! I have a friend with three horses, one of them having number four. Its name, Thunder, but after two days on earth, Thunder left us faster than when he arrived. So, so terribly sad. What a precious loss. It took my breath away, and he wasn’t even my horse! A wise man once said that if we get to have any animals in Heaven, the horse will be the first ones! Please write more! Take Care! Don

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