Optimal thought and optimal fitness through reason, logic, science, passion, and wisdom.
RIP Bey Heiric, 1997–2016
RIP Bey Heiric, 1997–2016

RIP Bey Heiric, 1997–2016

After doing an autopsy Tuesday before noon, the vet said the cause of death was diaphragmatic hernia. Don’t ask me. Just Google it. Imagine that happening to you. Or a loved one.

Would have been hard or impossible to know that before the fact. Nothing I or anyone could have done. I never noticed any loss or breath or difficulty breathing. Heiric was running and strong until the end.

Nothing, unless we could have caught it at the get-go by preventing the hernia. But it could have happened a week ago, three years ago, or before birth. I do not know. They can start small, the vet said, stay that way for years, then not become traumatic until they are suddenly terminal.

If I could have moved the world to save my horse, I would have. I was powerless.

Things like this make you appreciate and understand the ancient stories about Death. We would trade half our soul, or all our soul, to give back a loved one life and have them with us. Or of situations in movie, where someone trades their life so a loved one can live.

He was 18 years old, not yet 19. I do not know his birthday. Years ago, I tried to find out, but the man I bought Bey Heiric from had gotten really sick, and his “caretakers” were careless and inconsiderate in keeping up with the man’s business. They did not respect the man and his property, and do their jobs, as they should have.

Heiric and I became a herd in 2000.

Most years, I would go out a few times a week to see him, three times or five times, but, for the past few years, Heiric and I would see each other every single day, almost without exception.

He loved to rub against me when I first went out there to see him. I would open his stall door, and he would rub his head against me. As he did that, I would rub his neck. He rubbed hard. Sometimes, I’d have to hold on to a wall or brace my fee against the floor or he’d push me over. First thing, before I did anything else, I always said hi to him.

He had total trust in me. I would walk up to him when he was in a pasture, say “come. come.” then turn around and walk toward his stall. He would follow, right into his stall. I did not touch him. I did not use a lead rope. I did not grab his halter. He followed. That’s respect I earned with love and leadership, not the fake respect that fear brings.

He would not always follow. If he had not been out long enough, he would protest at the injustice. He would not follow me or he would run away. “More grass! More freedom!” I’d have to chase him a little till he saw I was set in my mind, then he would follow. Sometimes I’d be in a hurry, and I’d gently lead him along by his halter.

Years ago, he even once tried to follow me into a barn’s lab/kitchen. One of the managers there got mad at me, but I did not ask that of him. He followed of his own accord. It was a surprise to me, too. And he would follow me onto an unhitched flatbed trailer, if I asked him to.

Love. Trust. Companionship. Irreplaceable and like no other. Holy and sacred. What makes life worth living.



    1. Michael Gold

      Yeah. 🙂 LOL. Maybe they made jokes about us. 🙂

      And thank you for bringing joy and health to his life: giving Heiric water, petting him sometimes, whatever other good you did I have forgotten.

      Glad I could do the same for Tucker. Durn horse, always spilling and playing with his water!! lol 🙂

  1. Carlton

    I grew up being taught and always having thought horses to be dumb animals. I think I told you that before. When my dad and I came to work out in the woods, I was astonished. Of course I’d seen some horses that can dance and stuff, but I had never seen nor heard of a horse that was as much of a companion, appreciative of people, and as playful as yours. When I saw that, it reminded me of my own companion, my dog Bear. Unfortunately, I lost Bear to unnatural causes, and I am still tempted to go after the person who did it sometimes. Whenever I think of her I boil with anger which turns to sadness, I know you must feel really sad about it. Your horse reminded me of my dog because of its intelligence and loyalness. Heiric was truly special.

    1. Michael Gold

      Thank you, Carlton. I’m glad you were able to spend time with Heiric a few times. We all have things to learn from each other. You learned from him, he learned from you.

      I’m sorry about the loss of Bear. I always enjoyed petting him and enjoyed his company when I was over at your house. I’m glad I gave him some joy and affection in life.

      We both had beloved animals taken too soon. They should have lived a full, total life and died of old age.

      May all you love live a long, full life to its last dying days.

      But may you know more pain of loss — because, if you don’t, then you did not love fully and deeply, and life would be futile and barren. Live and love rationally, objectively, passionately, deeply.

  2. Linda Krueger

    Michael, I am so saddened to hear about the loss of your stallion. He was a magnificent horse with a personality to match his looks. I loved to watch you play with him at liberty in the arena at Callegari. He was a special horse. I will always remember you, barefoot, taking him out to the trails. I envied your relationship and full trust in each other. You did have a very special connection. Please know that he will not be forgotten by those of us that were at Callegari with you two. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

    1. Michael Gold

      Thank you, Linda. Your sympathy is much appreciated. You are a kind soul.

      Thank you for the words and for the striking memories. You triggered some in me, too.

      Sorry you will have to feel this, too, but without making it possible by loving, life would not be worth living. You know that. We have circled the sun enough times.

      May all you love live a long, full life to its last dying days.

  3. Sandra Brents (Sandi )


    Reading this & seeing the beautiful pictures of Bey Heiric brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you can find solace in the wonderful memories the two of you made together.

    1. Michael Gold

      Thank you, Sandi, thank you. Appreciated.

      You’ve known more, I know that. My deep condolences to you, again, too. R.I.P. Jim. He was a good man, who I wish I had known better.

      May that which you love be long-lasting, and may your love be deep and rich.

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