On May 28th, 2012, Damien and I were both very honored to have done a photo shoot for a very touching story about an owner and her horse. We asked the owner to tell us a little bit about their journey together….
“Dakota, was born in the high mountains in Vernon in 2000. After watching him for 2 years, he was the last wild mustang to be roped in and hauled in a back of a trailer to Maple Ridge, British Columbia, when we met. I was his new mom. We used to have this game of tag around the trees; he would grab my jacket sleeve, and pull me back. He’s a character! Dakota is so full of love, energy, and spunk. We had our rough patches, but it was all in the training. Once we had that under our saddle, I broke my back. Dakota was my rehab. It was him that made me get out of bed every day, as he needed his feed. He respected me, and never moved fast around me. He would even go as far as to lowing his back to make it easier for me.
Six months after my back surgery I was ready to ride again. I was scared to death as I know what he’s like. I could feel the energy in his legs. I slowly pulled myself up to him, moving very slow and gentle. Amazed with his compassion, we rode for hours.
I received a phone call one day that he was bleeding in the barn. He had stepped on a piece of rebar and it had stabbed him deep inside his upper back leg area, missing the main vein and muscles. We were so lucky. I arrived on the scene to blood everywhere. I went running to him, wrapping my arms around him and as he rested his head on my shoulder, and he let out a sigh. He had surgery and healed. That turned into three months of us growing stronger and stronger together as a team as needles, stitching, taping, and dressings had to be changed daily. He trusted me with his life, as I did him with mine.
On May 16th, 2012, Dakota was running like normal in our field while the thunder rolled. Waking up to him not putting pressure on his right hind hock, we all figured that he just pulled a muscle and that he would be fine. He’s only 12 years old and full of life. Not thinking anything was wrong, we just watched for swelling and heat but nothing showed until May 24th, 2012. I called the vet to come out to have x-rays and was told later that he had cracked and chipped his hock (meaning, never to run, never to be ridden, and for arthritis to take over in 5 years). I knew this was not a life for my horse. The hardest decision any person to ever make, but I will not be selfish. I will not make him suffer. I will show him as much love as possible and let him go in peace. I will let him run in the land of pain free.
I put a call out on Facebook, for someone to come and photograph my family and him. I am so used to being at the other end of the lens, but this time I wanted to be in front. I have the blessing of Damien and Rachel to answer my call and I am so blessed for them fulfilling my request. Not only was it on a rainy Monday in Cranbrook, but on my Birthday. Once they arrived, there was blue sky over us, a gentle wind blowing, and Dakota was relaxed, comfortable, and semi cooperating (he hates his photos lol).
I hate every minute of knowing he will be going soon. I am so blessed to have the lovely, outstanding, beautiful photos of us with him. They are memories to last a life time.”
Dakota will be laid to rest June 2nd, 2012.
Vincent Photography would like to express our deepest condolences to Tanya and her family.