Prophet has been with me for over 15 years, and Topper almost as much.
I spent the weekend going through 10 years of photographs. So many of my lovely boy, who was such a people guy, and except for the very earliest ones, Topper was usually there too.
Prophet came to me perfectly fine. People often lie to me about a horse, hoping to con me into taking a horse that doesn’t fit our mission. And Prophet was one. He was in the prime of his life, completely sound, well trained.
A beautiful arabian gelding, with personality plus, many people had a ride on him here at TGC, including children; In the pictures above, taken in November of 2009, he carried a little girl in a leadline class, and Sierra as well. He came home with a blue and a red ribbon .... All in a day's work for a 30 year old!
Many people couldn’t resist that face when he begged for a treat.
He was the least spooky Arabian I’ve ever known - calm and laid back, with a super long lazy stride at the walk, a dislike for the trot, and a rocking horse canter. Yes, I rode him many times in his early days here. A doll on the trail; perfect hard feet he held up for the farrier, never ever had to chase him to catch him.
No, he wanted to chat you up, see if you brought him a carrot bit or a cookie, go with you.
And yet, he was always the guardian and protector of a mare. First Ladyhawk ..
I will always remember the day his frantic cries alerted me to her final moments. And once he met her, the lovely Topper who was his constant companion and love for 10 years.
Topper was a different case - she had once been owned by an NBA player. That ‘didn’t work out’, I have no information as to why, but she ended up in the lesson program at Portuguese Bend Riding Club, where I first met her 25+ years ago.
A nice steady quarterhorse mare, not too big, with a great work ethic, she left that job when Nancy realized how burnt out she was, making one lap of that arena after another. Nancy made Topper her private horse, but due to health issues and a move out of state, came to TGC hoping Topper could find a retirement home here, which she did.
She was lovely on trails, we took her out several times, but she just HATED arena work, and with her arthritis, we soon allowed her to just be a horse, with Prophet, in their golden years, as is our mission here.
Both Prophet and Topper had devoted sponsors for many years, Diane Mitchell for Prophet, and in his last 6 months, Irene Jansen joined her to meet his needs; and Nancy continued to send money for Topper, and Irene again joined in to meet all her final needs. And oddly, they were both easy keepers.
Topper had to have an end stall, as she hated the idea of anyone close to her as she ate. And often towards the end, instead of eating, she would stand with her head thru the window between her and Prophet, watching him eat.
Although her old-lady hormones occasionally sent her looking for a young studmuffin like Laddie or Shine, and Prophet would call and call until she was brought into her stall by his side, she also got upset when Prophet spent some time watching Chacha or Basky.
They loved each other dearly, and may be the only couple we’ve ever had here who loved each other equally - usually, one is more needy than the other. These two had the same age, same size, level of training, and generally speaking the same temperament. A perfect match.
Here Topper stood guard over Prophet as he slept - a common sight in this last year of their lives.
Many of you have seen the commercial, I think it may be for diamonds, where a young couple strolls through the park, holding hands, until they come upon an elderly couple, tottering along, also holding hands. The love of Prophet and Topper was a forever love. I had to work to find pictures of them individually. They lived their lives together always, mostly with Topper following Prophet but always in sight of each other, eating together, wandering around together. Their devotion was extraordinary, and touched me so deeply that as each began to show the decline of age, I realized I had to send them onward together. I couldn't bear to see the grief that would surely be felt by either one, left behind. And in my mind's eye, as I finished this last task of love for them, I saw them strolling off, sides touching, to see what was out there....