Approximate Date of Birth: 1/1/1982
In 2003, I met three horses that would change my life in ways that I could not imagine. Casper was a wonderful old quarter horse, Buster a retired endurance horse, and Missy was a spunky mini. From them I learned a great deal about horses and of course the difficulties unwanted horses face. Sadly, we lost Casper eight short months into my journey. While I credit him with inspiring Horses of Tir Na Nog, in truth it was an inspiration derived from the "Three Musketeers" and Candy who joined us shortly after Casper’s passing.
The years that have rolled by since the Summer of 2003 have been amazing. There were moments of such fear and despair, of not knowing what we were going to do or how we were going to get through. In our darkest hours, I had a "short list" of how we would reduce the number of horses if the miracles we searched for weren’t found. As one of the more-senior members of our herd Buster’s name always made it to that short list. But one look at Buster told you he was a long way from giving up the fight. Buster was believed to be 21 years old in the summer of 2003. Arthritis slowed Buster down in recent years, but he was still our "big stud" who loved to arch his neck and prance around his girls. His stride was choppy, but when you turned him out, he would trot off, looking for the perfect spot to roll.
In March of 2008, all of the worries and despair faded away. We finally found a home for Buster and his herd. He and Candy were togther again after two years apart! He had a corral where he could move and roll and lie in the sun. Volunteers brushed him and fed him carrots. One day a few months back I was walking by his corral. Buster was lying in the sun, as he loved to do. His nostrils were flaring, his eyes moving rapidly beneath the lids and his feet were twitching. I stopped and watched our Buster dream. It was wonderful to know that he was so comfortable at the ranch that he could spend his days sleeping and dreaming. If ever he was to find Tir Na Nog on earth, he found it in our new home. There are not words to describe the deep gratitude I feel for everyone who made this life possible for Buster. He had the love and care that most unwanted horses his age can only dream of and at a truly magical place.
I learned early on that no one had ever taught Buster much when it came to ground manners. He loved running off on people and could be pretty pushy. But, with time these traits became part of his charm. If you took the time to get to know Buster, he loved being brushed and stroked. His favorite treat, aside from carrots, was being allowed to rub his head against you as hard as he could. Boy could he rub!
While Buster was never a cuddly fellow, he loved his girls. He constantly checked on Missy, Cocoa, and Candy, making sure everyone had the "Buster Time" they needed. What Buster lacked in height, he apparently made up for in equine charisma.
On March 26, 2009, Buster journeyed to the real Tir Na Nog. He fell peacefully asleep sometime during the night, surrounded by his girls. While I wish I could have been there to bid him good journey, Buster was always a bit too independent to stick around for a tearful farewell.
Thank you for the care and compassion you showed Buster during his time with us. While many have acknowledged that Buster was lucky to have us, we are all lucky to have had him in our lives. For a throw-away horse that nobody wanted, he leaves behind a remarkable legacy at Horses of Tir Na Nog. Thank you for making his horse dreams a reality for so many unwanted horses. I have no doubt that he knows we will be taking care of his girls, so we had best get to it.