Through the years, I've seen alot of great horses, but some horses go above and beyond the expected and really hold a place in your memory and in your heart. Wylie was one of those horses!
You can see pictures of Such A Zevi aka "Wylie" on the "Sold" page.
When we put Wylie up for sale, we had no idea the way he would touch and impact someone else's life. We knew he was a wonderful horse, but he was really given the opportunity to shine with his new owner, Gina.
I think that Wylie deserves for his story to be told and I wanted to set aside this page just for him.
Below is Wylie's story as told by Gina's mother.
I hope this warms your heart like it does mine and I hope you have tissues handy.
Wylie started life racing, then began a second career with fancy English training. He won ribbons and awards. But the best thing he ever got, he stole. What he took was a young girl’s heart.
Gina wanted a horse nearly every second of her life. She had a malignant brain tumor at age four that did a lot of damage. Fifteen surgeries later, she is left with, in areas touched by the tumor, the abilities of a 7-year old, even now, in her 27-year old body.
Through all of the surgeries, the hospital stays, the physical therapies, one thought kept her going, "horses." Gina started riding at 6, and finally, at 26, she was going to get her own horse.
Gina stood 4’9” and 78 lb., deaf in one ear, with balance problems, an ataxic gait, weakness in her left side, and delayed neurological responses. Not just any horse would do. But Wylie would do just fine.
Gina and her mom looked forever for the perfect horse. The day she met Wylie, Gina rode him for nearly 3 hours. Amber, his owner, let them ride and ride. Gina practiced showmanship. They did equitation; they did dressage. He would even do a side pass for her. Then, he stole her heart.
Gina and her mom had learned long ago to display poker faces when they looked at horses. They thanked Amber for the “look-see,” promised to consider him--along with other horses, and got ready to leave. Amber took the bridle off Wylie to let him go to pasture. Instead, he followed Gina back to the car.
When he did the side pass, they knew that he was the one for her. But when he followed her to the car, he stole her heart, and he owned it every second of the rest of his life.
For Gina, for whom “special” so often meant a bad thing -- special education, special needs-- now she was “special” in a wonderful way. With Wylie, she even won ribbons in every event they entered at Special Olympics--just six weeks after she bought him.
Every day she went to the barn, he looked for her. He laid his head on her shoulder. They worked together, they played together. Life was so good... and so special.
Unfortunately, tragedy touches even those who, it seems, have already paid their dues. Gina’s precious Wylie became ill. The vet said to keep him up. Gina walked him through the night. She wouldn’t let others take a shift: “But Mom, what if Wylie needs me?”
Finally, at the vet school, it became evident that his pain was too much to ask him to bear. Gina stood, kissing the star on his forehead, saying her final good-byes. She said that Wylie told her, “Gina, I’m sorry. I tried as hard as I could. You’ve got to let me go now to a place where I won’t hurt anymore.”
Gina will have other horses, but there will never be another Wylie.
Gina and Wylie Christmas 2006