As horse lovers we view our animals as more than pets. They are family, our soulmates and for most of us our first true love. From the moment we lay our eyes on them, we just know… we’re hooked, head over heels, end of story. Unfortunately, what no one tells you about falling so deeply in love is how much it can hurt.
Early last week our boss and longtime friend, Christine Moser, was faced with the difficult decision to put her horse down after discovering a fractured vertebra in his neck. Solmir was a once in a life time horse, THE horse; who in his 34 years fell in love with Christine just as hard as she fell for him.
Solmir had a heart of gold, but it was indisputable who it belonged to. He decided early on upon entering the Johnson and Wales equestrian program that there was only room for one girl in his life—and that was Christine. She was it—his person, and he was her little black dress–that she wore just right. Slowly, Soli began to tell everyone, and those who refused to listen got taken for quite the ride, literally… Having a 17.3 hand horse can be hard to handle, but when he makes it obvious that he’s a taken man and puts his hoof down…it’s even harder, just ask any rider at Johnson and Wales who rode Solmir, usually, rather unsuccessfully.
His demeanor matched his physical presence, grand yet elegant, loving yet loyal. He was a caretaker, he watched over everyone and everything at the barn—Stanhope Stables—and knew when anything was amiss. That’s probably how he got his nickname “The Mayor”.
Losing your best friend and love of your life is not easy. Grieving takes time and memories will make you cry, and keep crying. Eventually the memories will make you smile and offer solace. There is no way to prepare for such a loss, even if you think you’re ready, chances are you’re not. I will say… I don’t think time heals all wounds. For those who say it does, I say you have never experienced loss. Time doesn’t heal, but it facilitates.
Although Solmir is no longer with us physically he has forever left a hoof print in our hearts. It is clear that he made quite an impact considering the hundreds of condolences and memories on Facebook, but we didn’t think that was quite enough…
A Tribute to Solmir and Christine
“The more I think about it the more I think Soli was a guardian angel… I’m actually positive of it. Of course he still is, now more than ever, but here in the physical he served such a great purpose. It is such a rare occasion to love and be loved unconditionally and unselfishly. Christine and Soli did just that, the connection undeniable and beautiful. I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with Solmir, but when I did he told me stories. He was so soulful, just by looking into his eyes you could tell he had so much to say, so much to tell and so much love to give” – Cait Fanning
“Throughout the years I have seen and heard about the relationship Christine and Solmir had. When Christine talked about Soli her eyes lit up and she was always be expressing details about the love and adventures they shared” –Kim Bulmer
““When two souls connect in recognition the entire world goes silent” –Lenita Vangellis That is how Christine and Solmir were, true soulmates. They were a sight to behold in the ring and in the barn. He told the best stories and always had a glint in his eye when he was up to something ( orrrr about to take off). I’m grateful to have had a relationship with Solmir and to witness firsthand the bond between them.” –Kim Baker
“As the proclaimed “Mayor of Stanhope”, Solmir was always watching over Amelia and I. Even with his wet hay cube kisses, he was always curious and interested in everything going on around him and it was a comfort having him there. I am so thankful to have been a part of his life—it was to know true love to know Christine and Solmir.—Allie Boehm
“I’ve met a lot of horses and horse owners as a veterinarian. I knew from the first story Christine told me about Soli that they had a special bond. His personality was like none other and the love they shared only grew in all these years—you only had to meet Soli or Christine once to know that. I am so glad I was able to share in that bond, even if for a short time. They were so lucky to have each other”—Emily Olsen
“I will always remember, not too long after we became friends, riding in the indoor together. Christine and I switched horses. I jumped a 4’ cross rail on Soli—at least he thought he needed to just it that big—while Christine rode Connor who was always very well behaved (except for that day). We both nearly came off that day”—Andrea Misuraca
Although the outpouring of emotions, memories and kind gestures was grand, we welcome you (and encourage you) to continue and help us pay tribute. Comment on our blog or on our Facebook page; write us any memories you may have, even if it’s just seeing Christine and Soli in passing.
We love you Christine and we are here for you through this experience just as you have been there for us through, well, just about everything.