These past few weeks he’s been on my mind. First, there was a hunt at the last place I ever rode him. I couldn’t bring myself to ride there this fall because it was almost exactly the date when he first started to show the symptoms of the blood clot that took his life.
Then, this week, I had a compulsion to ride Freedom in Kroni’s bitless bridle. I soon remembered that Freedom is not Kroni and that bitless to him just means brake-less.
No, Freedom isn’t Kroni. But I’ve been lucky to forge such a strong partnership with him. When you lose a horse like Kroni you wonder if you’ll ever have a horse that you can relate to in the same way and enjoy as much. Freedom hasn’t exactly replaced Kroni but his extreme willingness to please and his sweet disposition have gone a long way toward making him irreplaceable in a different way. His extreme athleticism doesn’t hurt, either.
When Kroni died, Freedom missed him terribly too. He was very bonded to Kroni, certainly more than he was bonded to me. It was partially in response to that loss that he now is bonded to me. I might not have gone to the barn much at all after Kroni died except for the fact that Freedom needed the attention and the distraction and it was in those firs few months that he started to become more than just my “spare” horse.
I’m sure if horses have an after life, Kroni is enjoying the green fields and is grateful that Freedom is now hauling my butt over all those fences and making sure that I stay safe. He did a good job for so many years, I guess it was time for him to pass me along to the next horse. He chose well.