I found out today that the best horse ever in the whole universe (and Spirit’s archenemy), Q, died.

Q came into our lives a year or two after I got Spirit. My friend’s family bought him and another large pony because she was outgrowing the pony she had. Q was a stallion at the time but was still the most gentle horse ever. Spirit met him before Q was gelded and that formed the basis of lifelong hatred. If they were turned out together they would literally try to kill each other. They could be ridden together but if Spirit thought we weren’t watching he’d take a nip at Q as they rode side by side. The best thing about this rivalry is that Spirit hated for Q to be in his trailer. So, if I was going to a show I’d invite Q to go along. Q would load into the trailer and then Spirit would demand to go into the trailer too. As long as the divider was there so they couldn’t see each other directly they had no problems in the trailer. It was win-win. I didn’t have to deal with Spirit being bad about loading and Q and his person got to go to more shows than they might have otherwise.

Q was the horse that you could put anyone on. He babysat everyone on trail rides. Nothing fazed him. He carried flags and banners in parades, let generations of kids compete in every horse show class known to man, and even was known to bring sleeping kids home from trail rides. I talked to my SIL today and told her to pass the message on to my brother that Q had died. She asked who that was and I said that it was horse that my brother used to ride. She was shocked that he had ever ridden a horse. I explained that he occasionally rode and whenever he did he rode Q. Everyone (and their brother) rode him.

He was nearing 30 but up to a few months ago was still competing. My friend’s son was riding him in walk-trot barrel racing. Q was never a speed demon but he was the perfect beginner horse. He had just retired (again) because his rider was moving up to a real barrel horse.

When I was talking to my mom about possibly selling Prize I explained that she was so much work to ride that it wasn’t fun. I summed it up as, “I need a Q.” She understood immediately. Patient, kind, forgiving, and up for anything.

He colicked and at his age he wasn’t a good surgical candidate so they put him down. I went out and hugged Spirit since he is the only one left of all the horses that we grew up with. Q was the best of the bunch – sorry, Spirit, but even you have to admit he was a sweetie. It was probably part of the reason you hated him so much!