I don't know how to describe the sick feeling in my heart right now. Katchi got smothered by me tonight - with hugs, kisses, carrots, oranges, and peppermints. He didn't understand. But I told him I just needed to be near him today, and he obliged - it was too hot to protest anyhow.
Katchi and I were to ride with Boyd Martin at 8:00 this morning, for oxer boot camp. We also had a 2:30 ride scheduled with Silva Martin to polish off our Second Level dressage moves. But, the eventing world stopped yesterday morning, and all plans, hopes, and dreams were derailed by the tragedy of the present. Least of all were mine. Katchi's boot camp is delayed, but it will be there another day. But for the 6 ponies lost in the barn fire at Boyd Martin's barn at True Prospect Farm early Tuesday morning, there is no today or tomorrow.
I cannot begin to put into words the sorrow I have felt since reading the tragic news on Eventing Nation early yesterday morning. I've burst into tears more times than I can count. It's hard to explain why the eventing community shares such a collective pain in this situation, but I think it's because, we put every bit of our soul into the trust and bond we develop with our horses - the horses that learn from us, and teach us, and protect us, and give their hearts to us. The thought of those same special horses coming to such a tragic end - it's devastating. Somehow, when one of us loses one of our special partners, we all lose a little piece of our heart.
Two things have hit me hardest about this tragedy - the first was when I read yesterday that firefighters physically restrained Lillian, Caitlin, and Ryan from re-entering the barn to try to save the rest of the horses. The second was in Boyd's post today - learning that Neville got out because Boyd and Phillip went back into the burning barn and drug him out, against the orders of the firefighters. I burst into tears again. I think it's because everyone of us knows that we wouldn't even think twice about doing the exact same thing - but the thought of being in that position is terrifying.
So, on the off chance that 1 or 2 people read this blog who did not know about this tragedy and who did not know about the donation options - let me spread the word! There are several funds that have been set up, and Eventing Nation lists them all here. I made my donation to the True Prospect Relief Fund because it will be shared be the entire True Prospect family. I think it's really important to realize that more than a barn was lost - horses belonging to 6 different families were lost, hope was lost, dreams were lost, tack was lost, and those living in the apartment above the barn lost all their personal possessions. Some things can be replaced; other things can never be replaced. But, as Boyd said today, "life must go on." So above all, please find a way to show everyone who is suffering that we are a community that believes in each other, in our horses, and in recovering from adversity.