4th of July - parade day. A couple neighbor girls helped me by catching up the grays while I filled a bucket of water to sponge them down. I thought it was taking longer than needed, so I walked across to the corral and realized they didn't know how to open the panels to get the horses to the gates. We don't usually have the panels attached, but we had a neighbor horse in one of the pens yesterday and had to secure the panels. I opened the gates as I went through our pen system, opened the panel for them, then followed them back to the lodge. We got the horses all cleaned up and parade ready. After the parade, as we were walking the two grays back, I noticed Ranger (the Horse) standing on the other side of the panels, watching us. Then I realized, that both gates were standing wide open - and so was the panel I had unhooked!! After I had walked into the first pen, Ranger came walking through the panel and met me at the second gate. He had stayed in the pen all by himself, with all the gates wide open, during the whole parade! He gave me his 'look': you don't go through a gate without your human. I hugged him and walked home shaking my head to tell Bill what a wonderful horse he owned.
I want to send out a heartfelt "Thanks" to all those who sent condolences for the loss of Estes. She was a very special lady and we spent today as a sort of memorial to her. I did not want to ride in the 4th of July parade today, as it was something special that GunDiva and I did together every year; you know, a mother-daughter-and-their-horses sort of thing. Then granddaughter Autobot asked to ride my other horse in the parade and things progressed from there. Autobot created a banner for the back of the truck in Estes' stead; we cleaned up the two grays, letting Washoe wear Estes' red, white, and blue saddle pad. GunDiva's daughter, Ashee, bugged GunDiva until she relented to come up and then Ashee painted a heart and Estes' brand on the hip of both grays. It turned out to be a very therapeutic happening for me, although as I rode Jesse behind the truck, looking at that banner, I had to keep reminding myself to not cry in the parade. Now that it's all over, I sort of feel like I had some closure with a tribute to the Queen, Estes. Thank you all - and yes, we have many years of happy memories to sustain us until we meet again.