Benny was the older of the two horses. At 25 years of age he had long and decorated life, an ex-show horse, a beautiful dark brown body with a white star shaped blaze between his eyes. He spent most of his life locked in stables, mistreated and misunderstood. He jumped obstacles and trotted around arenas, winning show after show, title after title. Gradually becoming very nervous and wary of humans, bucking riders off and bolting at the sight of a saddle. Keith found him on a property about 12 years ago, the owners no longer wanted him and traded him for a case of beer. Keith could see that Benny needed to learn to be a horse again, he needed to learn how to interact and feed himself. The only way to teach Benny how to be a horse was to leave him alone with other horses. After six months in the bush with brumbies and cattle, the spark had returned to Benny's eyes.
I always had a special connection with dear old Benny, he was calmer around women, and I was calmer around him. He let me learn to handle a horse, he was patient and understanding. He never tried to kick or bite, always gently rubbing his head on my side, grateful to be loved and left alone. He was great listener, at times when a newborn Will was awake, I would sneak out to the paddock, babe in my arms, and go and have a chat or shed a tear with Benny.
We all knew that the day would come, sooner rather than later, when Benny would leave this earth. This time came last July, the dead of winter, a horrible grey and wet day. Sometime the night before Benny had slipped into the dam at the bottom of the paddock, trapped under the weight of his rug, he could not get out. It was heartbreaking and sudden, well I hope it was sudden, for my own peace of mind. Not a day goes by that we don't think about him or talk about him.
I came across these beautiful horses the other day. They reminded me of Benny, and we needed something beautiful and bright to honour his memory. I had to have them. Made by Delilah Devine, an Adelaide company run by an old work friend of mine, Linda. They are made from sustainable timber and vintage wallpaper.
If you are in Adelaide this weekend (23rd to 25th of March) you can find Delilah Devine and many other amazing designers at the Bowerbird Bazaar held at the Adelaide Show grounds.