Two Hearts

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I told him to come to the barn. I didn't want him to feel mine was an exclusive world, although it had been for so many years.

Today was a day not unusual to me, although to him it was entirely novel. After 3100 miles, he would step off the trailer.

We had not met him, only seen one photo. But he already had a name. Stepping off the long carpeted ramp, Salut spotted my husband, Andrei. The handler handed him to me, but he had yet to see me.

Compelled by his eyes, Andrei greeted him. Salut followed him into the paddock, springing around on the fresh grass, just off Andrei's shoulder.

And there he stayed, leaning onto him for support when I first sat on his back, looking for him when he stepped out of the ring after his first show, and when he was in the throes of stomach ulcers, in pain and scared.

He became Andrei's training partner, jogging with him up the hills in the park, drinking beer with him after, and laying in the grass, together.

And he also helped Andrei understand me, understand this connection into the spiritual world of horses. It had been my respite and now it was his.

Then before we could blink, Salut was gone. Like an angel that graces this earth but doesn't stay. Gone much too fast.

They say the best ones can't stay. They always leave too soon because you spend years in their glow, captivated. And can you never truly capture their significance, until it is gone.

But their spirit lives on in you, moving through you in ways you cannot anticipate.

— Claire Nana

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