Reason to Sing, known as Jazz, died Wednesday, November 25, 2009, at the equine hospital. I wish I could write an obituary for him like I did for Peggy, his sister. But what would I say? Peggy had children and accomplishments; Jazz had barely begun to live. So I’m just going to talk about him for a while.
Jazz’s mom was Blithe Song, one of our primary broodmares. He was her last baby, as she developed health problems and would not have survived another pregnancy. Like all but a couple of her children, he was named for music. As a baby, he had a sweet temper and loved being with people. But as he grew up, hitting the equine equivalent of being a teenager, he developed an attitude problem. He was so hard to break — perfectly behaved one day and dangerously flighty the next — that we resorted to sending him out.
The trainer we sent him to was one we had worked with before, but had quit using when his popularity went to his head and he started shirking his work. But he did break Jazz to the saddle. But he might have broken his spirit too. As we slowly realized, the trainer and the people caring for him were depriving him of adequate food, most likely to keep him subdued and easier to work with. Then he cut his lip and required stitches. The people charged with caring for all the horses at that ranch watched him rub the stitches out, doing nothing. So we brought him home within hours. We got his weight up and his lip healed. But Jazz was never quite the same.
In time, he went to the track to start his training there. But he got sick with a seasonal bug and struggled to get over it. Once he was healthy, it became clear that he had no desire to run. So he came home. But Jazz could have had another life with us. He was a talented jumper and an attractive mover, so he was slated to become a show horse. After everyone took the winter off, he would have started back to work.
But then he got a cut on his leg, which spiraled into an infection, despite treatment at the hospital, and finally into an unexpected and ultimately fatal intolerance for the antibiotics. He died for stupid, meaningless reasons. The Universe is spitting in our eye type reasons. He had a hard life, never quite getting a break, and then he died. And I don’t know what to say any more. I can’t find the good memories, something to immortalize him with that would be fitting.
I did not like him much, but I loved him. He was one of mine. And now, all I can think of are the things he won’t get to do. The potential that never got realized. Peggy only lived nine years, but she did so much. She got a life. Where was Jazz’s life? What did he get?
Sorry, everyone. That’s all I’ve got. Good night.