A Tribute to Nathan 1994 - 2009
by Joy Smith

NathanIn the world of horses there is a phrase to describe the truly special equines that enter our lives - a "horse of a lifetime". That's not to say that other horses in our lives are not special or not loved as much but often there's just that "one". Sometimes, if you're really lucky we'll have more than one "one" in our lives. But it is truly a blessing to have even one horse in a lifetime to give that label to.

Nathan (registered and shown under the name "Magnetic") was my one. For 10 ½ years he was a huge part of Preston's and my lives. And, huge, he was - at 17.1 hands and 1,600 lbs. His head was half my size and I loved nothing more than embracing that head, looking into those soulful brown eyes and kissing his soft, fragrant muzzle.

Nathan and Joy in a field
On his back I felt so special and on top of the world - and, yes, it was a long way down as I experienced many times! Nathan wasn't perfect and we didn't get along perfectly at all times. Just has in any relationship we had "disagreements". What a stubborn streak he could put forth! I was just as stubborn. Sometimes, I'd win the argument - mind over power and, sometimes, he'd win - power over mind. But most days we'd be in perfect harmony. Those are the truly special times I hold close to my heart. No matter what, when the day was done I still loved him and he still loved me. I know that in my heart.

NathanOn January 29, 2009 the day was just beginning with the sun coming up and birds singing as my beloved friend cast his last breath upon my cheek. A much too soon and completely senseless end. This mighty all powerful animal was felled by an unseen enemy that he was unknowingly eating for a period of time, probably several weeks. Fortunately not common, but not unheard of, a toxic weed makes its way into the hay and is consumed by the horse. If enough of the toxin is ingested over a period of time the liver is compromised and begins to fail. Unfortunately, the symptoms are little to none until the horse is in critical condition. Every horse at FieldHaven was affected with Nathan being the worst. One other horse, Decker, lost his life as well. All the other horses are recovering well and should be fine.

Click here for more information on this deadly toxin.

It is too late to save my beautiful Nathan but perhaps this information can save someone else's horse - maybe even their "horse of a lifetime".

Snapshots 1 Snapshots 2 Snapshots 3 Nathan and Joy
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