Sunday April 12, 2009

Narrow Escape



We lost Narrow Escape yesterday afternoon.  At age 26, she told us it was her time and was euthanized in a green, grassy pasture on a beautiful spring day in Kentucky. 


Narrow Escape was Old Friends’ very first horse, making her in many ways our role model and inspiration.  Her owner kindly donated her to Old Friends after a successful broodmare career.   Narrow Escape was a lovely, medium-sized bay mare who for a long time lived in a large paddock at Old Friends with her friend and co-conspirator Bonnie’s Poker.  The two mares were inseparable, but nevertheless Narrow Escape was the boss.  Eventually Cozy Miss and more recently, Hidden Lake joined the little band of mares.  Narrow Escape remained in charge, deciding who was allowed into the run-in shed with her and who got the best pile of hay.  Naturally, the choicest hay was all hers.   She didn’t often come over for treats, preferring to be left alone to graze or nap as the mood took her.  Sometimes, though, she came over to pick up some carrots and have her face rubbed.  We will all miss her, but I believe Bonnie will miss her most of all.


In one of those quirks of fate, Narrow Escape’s very name was prescient as her sire, the great racehorse Exceller, died in a slaughterhouse in Sweden.   Along with Bull inthe Heather, a son of Ferdinand, Narrow Escape became a living reminder of how narrow the line can be for any unwanted animal.   In her own gentle way, she also showed us everyday that the old horses have value, even if for no other reason than their beauty, kindness and heart.


A couple of weeks ago, the four mares moved to the new part of the farm, to a large paddock where the grass was green alfalfa and the breeze blew, well-removed from road noise and everyday happenings at the farm.  The mares are happy there, with grain, water, good grazing and room to stretch their old legs.  It’s the most peaceful part of the farm and on a day like yesterday– with warm sunshine, a gentle breeze and that impossibly green Kentucky grass– you can almost imagine it is a mirror of the place where old horses go when they die.  I think Narrow Escape tried it, liked it, and decided it was time to move on to the real thing. 




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11 responses to “Sunday April 12, 2009

  1. mary adams

    so sorry to hear about narrow escape
    she lived her last few years where she was loved

  2. MRO

    RIP Narrow Escape. We’ll miss you!

  3. There is something very special about the first horse for a rescue or retirement facility–losing them changes the landscape, but her reflection will always be in the water, painted in the clouds. Dignity, even in the shroud of death, is always a good thing, and love is the best–you gave her both. Peace to all the Old Friends family.

  4. Viv from Ivytree

    Val – you know how sad Bea and I are about lovely Miss Narrow. She was a gentle soul and a true lady with the heart of a champion. Thanks to Michael, Diane and everyone in the Old Friends family, she lived out her days as all horses should…grazing in green pastures, surrounded by good friends and forever loved. Thank you for your wonderful tribute. I am sure she has joined the others in that little eternal band of Old Friends. God Bless her.

  5. Brianna

    this is a beautiful tribute….rest in peace Narrow Escape… :o(

  6. Christine

    My sincere condolences for your loss of Narrow Escape. Kristin, what a true and beautiful sentiment. How fortunate that Narrow Escape and Old Friends had one another.

  7. My sincere condolences over your loss of Narrow Escape. All horses go to heaven and will be waiting for us there along with the rest of God’s creatures.
    It hurts when they cross over though–I know.

  8. Maeve

    What a lovely testament to the power of one woman and one horse. I know you and her friends will miss her greatly.

    Maeve in ND 🙂

  9. I read about Narrow Escape this morning. You gave her such a gift; and obviously it was returned to you. Nothing will take her place. She will be sorely missed. Rest now gallant mare!

  10. colmel

    I’m so very glad we got to see Narrow Escape when we were there! She actually seemed to be in better shape than Bonnie that day. I guess she was happy until the end. Wish all could have that peaceful end. Now, dear mare, run with your dad!

  11. Bert

    Val, your words are so beautiful. Your last paragraph, and sentence, at once made my eyes mist over and yet brought a smile to my face. How poetic. Thank you for sharing your gift, with us and with these magnificent animals.

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