Dear Departed Dollar

I found out this week my dad’s horse has died, which makes me rather sad. Dollar lived to the ripe old age of 31, which is pretty good going for a horse.

My dad bought him seventeen years ago, when he and my stepmother moved to Scotland from Manchester. The lady they bought Dollar off ran a riding school, and wanted to sell him because his temperament was not appropriate for her pupils. He was a very strong-minded horse, and he really didn’t like having nervous riders on his back. I am not a horse rider – I can count the number of times I’ve been on the back of a horse on the fingers of one hand, and I’ve never had lessons. And I’m very nervous when I’m up there. All I can think about is what a long way down to the ground it is. I tried riding Dollar once, but he knew I was nervous and acted on it. I never tried again. With my dad, Dollar knew who was boss, and my dad rode him a lot. The remote Scottish island my dad and stepmother live on only has one taxi, and the nearest pub is rather a long walk. So my dad would ride Dollar down to the pub and back when he fancied a few drinks – there are no laws against riding a horse under the influence, after all. The horse has a mind of his own, and knows how to get home.

But Dollar got too old to be a riding horse a while ago, and for the last few years he has been enjoying his retirement, doing nothing more strenous than ambling about his field eating grass.

He was a horse with personality. He loved carrots. He loved company. He was free to roam the confines of my dad’s land, and though he was normally happy to stay in his field, if he felt he had been ignored for too long, he would pace up and down around the house, peering pointedly in the windows every few minutes as if to say, “hey, I’m still here. Come and talk to me. Give me some carrots.”

But every living thing has a finite life span, and here I say farewell to poor old Dollar. He had a long and happy horsey life, and everyone who met him will miss him.

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5 comments so far

  1. Dad on

    thanks Sara, Nice little write up

  2. Dad on

    The ride to the pub from smithy croft was nearly all off road, on a track by the fields, by the way.

    • Rosie Quigley on

      Lol…glad to hear that.
      The visual conjured up, of you and Dollar wending your way home in the dark on the road, was quite funny.

  3. Vanessa on

    Good old Dollar, I loved the old man. Ryan never got to meet him but was sad to hear he passed nonetheless. I have fond memories old the man, what a pal to have for Dad and Liz. Rest in peace old Dollar!

  4. Dad on

    I might add, this would normally be sunday afteroon, not in the dark. And the horse has to be controled, 2 or 3 pints, more than I would normally drive after, but not drunk


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