Faithful Friends Wall of Honor

These horses have been honored with a donation to the American Saddlebred Horse Association
towards the technology upgrade, which will enhance the ASHA website and help support the advancement of our breed.

CH The Bess Yet

CHThe Bess Yet

CHThe Bess Yet was a great show horse. She always made her presence in the show ring known, the big black mare who didn’t just trot, she floated. But anyone who knew this horse knew the kind of show horse she was. I don’t want to tell you about CH The Bess Yet; I want to tell you about Bess.

Bess was a prima donna to the extreme. As my mom likes to say, she was a queen who just let us live in her world. But she could be very affectionate when she wanted to. Whenever I would walk into the barn, the second she heard my voice, she would start nickering and she wouldn’t stop until I opened her door to pet her. Of course, she’d only let me pet her for about two minutes before she’d lose interest, but she would never stop nickering. She had the stall right next to the tack room, so when I would come for lessons and would be going in and out of the tack room, she nickered constantly. Whenever I’d come back out of the tack room, she’d have her head pressed right up against the corner of the door so she could see me, as if she was asking me to come pet her. And I could never deny those big brown eyes.

When we stopped showing Bess, we sent her to Judy Werner at Redwing Farm to be a broodmare and while she was there, she finally got to go outside, get fat, and be a horse. We went to visit her a few months after she arrived and she was calmer than we’d ever known her at home. She was so calm that Judy actually let me take her outside to graze. When she first asked me if I wanted to take her out, I just looked at her blankly. I asked if that was really a good idea and Judy just laughed and handed me a lead rope. I took her out and, like I expected, she didn’t let me lead her. She decided where she wanted to go, sniffing around for the best grass outside of the barn and going wherever her nose took her. In those all too brief moments, I got to witness Bess as a horse, a calm horse whose biggest concern was what grass to eat. And with her dirty coat and her growing forelock, she was the most beautiful I’d ever seen her.

The last time I saw Bess, she was suffering from founder. Standing in deep sawdust with bandages around her feet, she heaved in each breath as the 100 degree heat pressed down on her. For hours, she refused to lie down as her last baby moved around her. But finally, she laid down, tucking her painful feet under her. We were getting ready to leave right when she did this and I needed to say goodbye. So I kneeled down in front of her, held the sides of her head, and pressed my forehead against hers. And in those few moments, her labored breathing calmed and she nickered at me. I kissed her head before standing and leaving my sweet black mare behind. I didn’t know then that was the last time I would see her, but I’m glad now that those were my last moments with her because I was able to comfort her in some small way. As my goodbye, I tried to give her back just a little bit of all that she had given me.

Yes, CHThe Bess Yet was a great show horse, but she was so much more. She was my Bess, my beautiful black mare, my once in a lifetime horse, and I will always love and miss her.

Posted 8/2013

Faithful Friends Wall of Honor

We welcome photos of your Faithful Friends. Show ring photos are fine, but we would prefer personal
photos along with a short story of 100 words or less about a favorite memory of your horse.
Please email webmaster to submit your photos and stories.

Make a tax deductible donation of $200 to ASHA to honor YOUR special horse on the Faithful Friends Wall of Honor,
or print out the nomination form (pdf).