Our Beloved, Beloved horse, Amie, has Died

Our enormously beloved horse, Amie (pronounced in the French, ah-mi) died this morning. She was 30 years old.

There will never be another horse like you, Amie.

Our neighbor owned and loved Amie before we did. My step-daughter Ariel fell in love with Amie as a little girl and wanted to buy her. Charmayne and I had just been married and our horse was the first thing we purchased. Ariel was over-the-moon happy and has loved her horse devotedly ever since. I still don’t think our neighbor really wanted to part with Amie, but she knew how much Ariel loved her, and decided to let us buy her.

Amie was the most gentle children’s horse on earth. This is no exaggeration. She would let the kids walk through her legs for hours. Xander spent so many hours with her. I always knew I could trust Amie with him alone in her pasture from the time he could walk by himself. He was so curious about her and she patiently stood by him while he would walk up and down underneath her belly!! He would check out her teeth, rub her knees, and explore every aspect of this magnificent beast, and she never once blinked an eye.

When both Amie and I were a bit younger, I would ride her for hours. I rode her up the mountain at the mouth of American Fork Canyon. And I used to ride her along the top of Traverse Ridge, before all the houses were built up there. Charmayne would laugh and call her my hobbit horse because Amie was always short, and I am tall, so it never looked right when I was riding her. Me and kids rode her for hours in the pasture. The day came, about five years ago, when Amie was just too old for me to ride her, but she continued to let the kids ride her, almost always bareback.

We had many large groups of kids come and ride Amie. She was the hit of our family parties, and the kids from the extended family would come and ride her. Xander’s kindergarten class came here for a field trip last year and they all rode her. All the grandkids loved her. She will be missed terribly.

Amie was famous. She was featured in my first book, both in print and photos. She is featured in my new book coming out in 2013 -- I just saw her pictures in the proof the publisher sent me last week. Amie was seen by more than 1,000 people who have toured our garden over the past year.

Thirty years old is a very old age for a horse -- it’s 90 in human years. She had been going downhill, losing a lot of weight, and we had been told to prepare for her death. But then we had a vet out, and she had oral surgery, and the vet put her on a special diet -- and Amie began to gain weight. Over the past 2-3 months she had gained about 80 pounds, and had begun to look so much more healthy. She never had a sick day. We had gotten rid of our two cows, and Amie had the green pasture all to herself again, which you could tell she loved. She was happy.

This morning, Ariel went out to feed her breakfast at 7:30 a.m. as usual. She found Amie at the south end of the pasture, behind the hill we had “built” for the kids a couple years ago. She immediately called the house. Charmayne and I were in bed asleep. I heard the phone ring, and then I heard Charmayne scream, and I knew something terrible had happened. We called Conrad and Xander and Ada and Dominick to tell them the news. Xander and Ada came over on their way to school to say goodbye. Xander was wearing his Halloween costume, and went into the pasture, walked over his hill, and ran down the hill to kneel by Amie’s side. Ada, who is only 2, had a hard time understanding.

Amie will always be beloved to me. You were the best horse, Amie. You let the kids love you. We miss you hugely this morning, but we are grateful that you didn’t suffer. You were happy last night! A happy horse for 30 happy years. Mourned by us all.

Even now, two hours after she found her, Ariel is in the pasture alone with her horse. The grass is covered with white frost. -Caleb


  1. This made me cry. I'm sad for all of you. (((Hugs)))

  2. I am sorry you lost such a wonderful friend. It's always so hard to let the special ones go.