My first year without Cocoa has had a lot of ups and downs. It feels a bit like a blur, as if no time has passed at all, but yet it feels as if eons have passed. I'm not sure if everyone who goes through grief experiences this weird time anomaly but it has been mine.
|Cocoa and I enjoying some bareback in 2015.|
The first months after Cocoa's death were the most difficult. Especially since that included the fall which was our biggest trail riding time. I still sorely miss our bareback trail rides. He loved them as much as I did. Once I started riding bareback he got grumpy if I put a saddle on him. Although, he didn't mind the treeless one I bought and used our last summer together.
He was a unique horse. He loved people (but always wanted to be the leader) and he was quite the curious goofball. Here are a few stories from the memoir book I put together.
|Cocoa enjoying a Michigan winter.|
We were due for a good storm (winter in Michigan) so I was putting straw in his pen and Cocoa was making a pest of himself. He kept rubbing his nose in the puff of yarn on the top of my stocking cap. It didn't take him long to sink his teeth into it - felt more like he was trying to take off my scalp - and yank my hat off to go drop it into his manure.
Cocoa, with mom, Sheeba, and I would go t the fairgrounds for practices with my 4-H club. Normally we would stop at McDonald's on the way because it was a week night and we had to leave right after I got home from school. I found out that Cocoa liked the fries and a piece of my Big Mac. As time went on we would pull up to the drive thru and he would start nickering for the fries since he could smell them.
Cocoa was also being ridden on the roads around home to get him more used to things and to put miles on him. He was giving in more and more with less fo a stubborn fight.
One day while we were out we stopped at my Aunt's house, she lives just down the road. As were talking she went to get apples for the horses. She held out her hand to Cocoa who put his lips over the apple to suck o nit and it went shooting out of her hand and through the air. He had no idea how to eat an apple! This happened several times with the piece of fruit flying all over the place. Finally he got the idea he needed to bite down on it. Only he didn't take the whole apple, he ate it in bites, slobbering all over and he still eats apples that way. we were used to Sheeba who would take the apple in one bite.
For some time there had been a pile of wood in cocoa's pasture. One day my mom was out there putting the wood into the wheelbarrow to move it. After she had dropped a few logs into it, she couldn't figure out why it still sounded so empty upon each landing. She looked behind her to see Cocoa reach in, pull out the log she had just dropped in, and take it out to drop it on the ground.
She scolded him , which made Cocoa walk away a few feet and turn his butt to her to pout. Five minutes later he came back and tipped the wheelbarrow over and then turned tail and ran to the barn before she could scold him further.
|Cocoa and I out for a trail ride in Michigan.|
Those are mostly from our early years together but they are also very memorable because of that. He never quit doing silly things and as time passed and our bond grew I could often tell what he was thinking. More times than not I would also let him go through with it too because I really enjoyed that part of his personality.
I am glad that I don't have to worry about my beloved boy ever being in any kind of pain due to his Cushing's and laminitis but I miss him very much. Some times it still hurts a lot to think he's not around to offer his friendship and comfort. I do know that nothing or no one will ever fill the Cocoa shaped hole that he left when his life came to an end.