Home > Dispatches >Daily Dispatches 2022 > Daily Dispatch #270

October 2, 2022: A Letter to Fran

I just got an email message from my friend Fran, who knew Tinni well and sent her condolences. She reads my dispatches, so I am writing her this letter.

Dear Fran,

Thanks for your kind and thoughtful email. I appreciate it. My friendship with you goes back at least 14 or so years, about the time that Tinni came into our lives. This to me, is significant. You know what a special horse he was and remains. And yes, the grief, as did in the deaths of Signy and Siggi, seems to come in waves.

Pete and Tinni riding next to a Friesian

I have been thinking about how Tinni for many years, was at the center of what was going on horse-wise here. I learned from him how to ride on trails, both individually and in groups. And I continued to include him in on horsey doings around the place after I retired him. I hope that he felt included and knew that right up until the end, he was much loved.

He made the acquaintance of so many horse and non-horse people. And always, he went willingly on trails, crossing creeks, and carefully making his way through rutted and boggy terrain. There are so many memories, I am right now picturing him crossing Moose Creek when it was ripping, Dick Stoffel riding Tinni and ponying Siggi – they hit a hole and Tinni went down into it, the water covering his nose. He came back up and kept on going. This was the way he was.

Specific rides and people have been coming back to mind since his passing. He was sort of like John the Baptist; in that he paved the way for my riding more willful Raudi. I did ride him less as I rode Raudi more – and I’ll never know if this bothered him.

Tinni came from the other side of the tracks so to speak – Bernie, the fellow who brought him here from Iceland, via Canada, was competition driven and intent on preserving the Icelandic way of training and communicating with horses. He had an exclusionary attitude. I was excluded.

I keep hoping that someone will materialize here, someone who is interested in positive reinforcement training and Centered Riding, because it’s all my herd and I are lacking.

In the meantime (and this is so very important), I am continuing to spend as much time as is humanly possible with my horses, on the ground and in the saddle. The three who are left, remain, like Tinni, at the center of what’s going on here.

When beloved animals die, we are left with question, did I do enough to show this animal that they were cared about and loved? I will have to live with the uncertainty that comes in saying, “I just will never know.”

Next: 271. 10/3/22: The Fall State of the Farm Address

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