With a heavy heart I need to share that Playboy, my incredible equine partner, is no longer with us, in physical form. Due to health complications, he made his transition while I stroked his forelock and sobbed goodbye.
He was an integral part of my life and a beloved member of Beyond the Arena.
Playboy was one in a million.
He was a healer, steadfast friend, and coaching partner. More than a horse, he was an angel in equine form who blessed countless people’s lives with his unwavering strength, trusting nature, and gentle spirit.
He was family.
When he wasn’t helping people heal in the arena, he was in high demand for clients’ celebratory moments beyond the arena. Forever patient in front of a camera, his sweet face graced Facebook profile pictures, Christmas cards, senior high school pictures, and horse-themed baby announcements.
He was a safe presence.
One client, who battled an eating disorder, would lie on him bareback to feel more connected to her body. She felt safe with Playboy.
He was a life saver.
“Playboy was truly special and saved my life. I am so blessed I was able to have the bond with him that I did. I will never forget him and all that he taught me. He taught me how to trust again.”
He was a pillar of strength.
When a woman came out for a two-day retreat with her sister, mom and three best friends, she was in the throes of grieving. Her 21-year-old son had committed suicide.
Standing next to Playboy, I invited her to hug his neck, share her pain, and lean on him for support. As she wrapped her hands around him, she began to wail while Playboy stood still as a statue and didn’t flinch. When she needed it the most, he gave her unwavering strength.
A year ago, a sweet, sensitive young boy came to see Playboy. He was being bullied by his older brother and needed comfort and strength. As he reached up to stroke Playboy’s soft muzzle, he lowered his face down to the ground for the boy. In that moment, that boy leaned his forehead against Playboy’s face and said in a soft voice, “My parents don’t understand but Playboy knows…he understands.”
At that moment, I couldn’t help but cry. Playboy had an invaluable gift for helping people feel safe, heard, and understood.
I’m grateful for the sacred time I had with Playboy and to witness the difference he made in people’s lives. He left hoofprints on many hearts.
“There is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who choose to travel in the company of animals. It is a cycle unlike any other. To those who have never lived through its turnings and walked its rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge that they will be broken seems incomprehensible. Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive; our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the joy we have been given.” – Suzanne Clothier
If you knew Playboy, it would mean a lot to me if you’d leave a comment below and share a few words or a fond memory to honor him and celebrate his life.
He is and will forever be deeply missed.
Remembering a beloved friend who helped so many,