Last night I dreamt I was with my dear horse friend, my greatest teacher; this morning I found out she had passed away. Florentine is now wild and free, galloping on far greener pastures.
She wasn’t my horse and our time together only amounted to a little over a year. And yet I loved her like my own.
I fell in love with her the very first time we met. Rather than continue where I had left off with show jumping fifteen years earlier, Florentine inspired me to learn all the ins and outs of dressage, instead. I’d never felt such a sense of connection with a horse before; Florentine helped me to stay completely focused on whatever we were doing. She led me to some deeper place I hadn’t known existed.
We made progress at an intense pace, our bond deepening with each passing day. I got to train under the instruction of a Spanish Grand Prix-level dressage master, gallop over green fields, and experience numerous successes, the greatest ones of which took place this fall, only a few weeks before Florentine’s passing.
When my cat Romppu was fighting for his life this fall, the homeopath treating him told me that animals are here to teach us things; when they have fulfilled their mission, they leave us.
What I experienced with Florentine is simply impossible to put into words, and it almost makes me wonder sometimes, if it isn’t all in my head. My gratitude for the beautiful thing we had is stronger than the sorrow or longing that I currently feel. Somehow the stages and meanings of our journey seem very clear to me.
The passing of this beautiful mare leaves its mark on a hobby that has become very dear to me. When I met Florentine, I promised myself that horses would always be a part of my life however, and getting up in the saddle again is probably the best therapy for me – as painful as it may be. And who knows if, in the future, I might meet another great horse teacher.
Rest in peace, my love.
Photo Mikko Rasila
Translation Katja Nikula