In Memory of P

By Vanessa Garza

April 21st 1995 - November 4th 2012

I was 14 years old when my parents and I decided I was responsible enough to have my own horse. We had looked and looked, but none of the horses we had seen appealed to me. There was always something missing. And then I saw P.

He was fat, so FAT! But I thought he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. When I took P for a test ride, he was very stubborn and lazy. Despite all that, I wanted nothing more than to bring him home with me.

P and I became inseparable. He was my confidant, the keeper of my confidence, and my partner in adventure. We trail rode almost every day, just the two of us. He taught me more on those solo trail rides than I had ever learned in riding lessons.

Vanessa & P exploring the world

When it came time for me to start my career in teaching horses, he was my go to guy. He carried my students with infinite patience and grace just as he had carried me for years before. Almost all of the students that I have taught over the years started riding with P.

The most important role he played in my life, however, was stepping up to become my son's horse after he was born. My trust in P was unconditional, so naturally I couldn't have thought of a better horse to teach the most precious cargo in my life.

When P came to Painted M Ranch, he was the happiest he had ever been. He taught more new students how to ride, and was spoiled by them all in return.

P teaching Dom to ride

On November 4, 2012, P colicked very suddenly, and I was forced to let him go. The world as I knew it had ended. P and I had been together almost half my life. We had grown up together.

The loss was felt by more people than I could have imagined. Calls came in from people whose kids had ridden him, or had seen him at horse shows, or known him as a school horse. My students and I, and everyone who knew him celebrated his life together.

Now every time I teach a lesson, I think to myself "If only P were here."

But he is here in the barn with me every day, living on through the students he taught.

We miss you P!