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Windchill’s memory…remembering…

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Hi friends,

This is way late in coming. We just finished a Windchill Legacy board meeting. It’s 7pm on the anniversary of Windchill’s passing. As many of you will recall he passed away on February 29, 2008 – he found a way to make that day his own, just as he took a word that defines cold, wind chill,  and made it a warm place in all of our hearts.  Tonight his quiet resolve, determination, and that playful sometimes mischievous and always loving spirit he had will be remembered by people across this land. I haven’t had the time I would’ve liked to post and remember his memory. I think he’d understand. I’ve been busy working with the publisher of his upcoming book. We had all hoped to have a book cover design ready to show you, unfortunately everything is still being tweaked. The manuscript is in the design and layout stage, the pictures have all been chosen, quotes from reviewers have been selected and the narrative for the front and back cover are finished – lots of moving pieces to this book process! In the end hopefully this book will honor his memory, tell his story, and move people to want to end abuse and neglect in all its forms. One person at a time we can end the cycle and we can all make a difference. I learned that from a little 9 month old colt who touched the world and gave us all a little bit of hope back. Rest in peace little man. And know that we still believe.

Love,

Jeff Tucker

Windchill’s dad

Windchill remembered…February 29th approaches…

Monday, February 27th, 2012

February 27, 2012: February 29th will mark 4 years since Windchill’s last day among us. I know people will be lighting candles in his memory all over the country and we’ll all remember the little guy’s resolve, his gentle spirit, his quiet (and sometimes not so quiet!) faith in all of us and the friends he made all over the country and in fact, the world. I’ve had the honor of being around a lot of animals of different types over the years – lots and lots of horses in the past couple. Some have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and I can’t wait to see them again. Each leaves an indelible mark on our soul – even the small ones, like the kittens I’d come to love and have lost. Crash I still miss your little ‘tude, so laid back, you always made me laugh. If I needed to find you I just looked for Halo and there you were.
Windchill really changed things. He changed me. I remember the day-to-day crap from prior to meeting him, and how different things are after being near his soul. Who would’ve guessed so much spirit could be placed inside a frail, 9 month old body. So much personality, so much faith, so much forgiveness. We can all learn from that can’t we. Love, laugh, whinny a friendly hello or reminder that you want your hay NOW, and don’t let your circumstances drag you down. And that there’s friends waiting to be met, you just have to open the door to your heart and let them in.
The world became a smaller place – and a brighter one. While Windchill was re-learning how to stand, we were re-learning to believe, and re-learning what it was like to be young again. Remember when you were little – all those ‘strangers’ on the playground were just friends waiting to be met, new names to add to your friendship listing. Strangers far and wide were drawn to a little 9 month old’s colt struggle and he was never alone again. Neither were any of us.
Windchill slipped quietly into the beyond February 29th, 2008, as surprised as we were. I remember the night today as clear as the night it happened. Stepping out into the clear, cold night for his last check of the night and that feeling that something wasn’t right. Walker slipped out of the garage, confirming the feeling. Walker was with Windchill all the time. Racing to the barn, opening the door and no whinny. There was always a whinny when we walked through that door. And knowing. Knowing before I opened that stall door. Burying my face in his neck, still warm. How peaceful he was. No struggles. Still under his blankets, head resting on the towels. Wondering whether to tell Kathi then or let her sleep. Walking slowly back to the house, waking her up to tell her Windchill was “gone.” Her bolting upright, asking where…the death threats, etc. had become part of our reality, so her first assumption was he had been taken…explaining he had passed away. Watching as the scene I had just lived was re-lived – her throwing the door open, calling to him. Checking him. Then holding him. She confirmed he hadn’t suffered. Needing to know the same thing…was he under stress in his final moments, did he suffer and finding some peace in how he drifted off never to wake up.
Neither of us slept that night. I spent my night researching everything I could find on neglect, starvation, abuse looking for a reason, something we’d missed, something we could’ve done to change the outcome. She spent her night knowing we hadn’t. At 4:30am I’d come to the same point. By 5am I wrote the announcement to the world that would never be printed. It was too filled with anguish. Kathi re-wrote it by 7am. An hour or so later the world would share the pain and join the hell that had been ours for the previous night. I would have to relive the same feelings as visitor after visitor arrived that morning to see the little guy, not having seen the blog post from that morning. The same disbelief. The same look of shock. Then the tears. By mid-day I was numb, exhausted, drained, lost.
4 years later and I can feel all of that like it was this morning. 4 years later and it was just last night wasn’t it? That’s why I hadnt’t read the blogs in detail until I started your book last year. I haven’t looked at the pictures in the photo directory on my computer from February though March, 2008 until I posted my archive online not long ago. Pictures never seen finally shown the light of day again.
I’ve finished the book finally, Windchill. It will tell the world your story and what’s happened since that time — the magic continues, your spirit lives on in the re-telling by volunteers who remember to people eager to learn. Kids, adults, senior citizens… Your torch and memory were carried on the shoulders of a little horse appropriately named Magic to literally thousands of people each year and will be again. There’s been good, there’s been bad since you were last here with your head on our knee in a stall on a bed of straw, pushing yourself in circles around your stall driving us crazy as we restored order to the chaos you created in there. Laughing at the brightness in your eyes. Today we laugh, and sometimes cry, in your memory. Even more love you now than even then, amazing huh? God bless a little 9 month old colt who taught us to believe again in humanity. Thank you Windchill, from the bottom of all our hearts. We miss you.
Dad
(Jeff Tucker, Raindance Farms, LLC)
 
PS – for those lighting candles in Windchill’s honor, please email me a picture and I’ll try to get them uploaded on a special page here and on his forum:
jeff @ raindancehorses.com

Warmed By Windchill – remembering a brave soul

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Tomorrow will mark 3 years since Windchill’s last day among us. I know people will be lighting candles in his memory all over the country and we’ll all remember the little guy’s resolve, his gentle spirit, his quiet (and sometimes not so quiet!) faith in all of us and the friends he made all over the country and in fact, the world. I’ve had the honor of being around a lot of animals of different types over the years – lots and lots of horses in the past couple. Some have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and I can’t wait to see them again. Each leaves an indelible mark on our soul – even the small ones, like the kittens I’d come to love and have lost. Crash I still miss your little ‘tude, so laid back, you always made me laugh. If I needed to find you I just looked for Halo and there you were.

Windchill really changed things. He changed me. I remember the day-to-day crap from prior to meeting him, and how different things are after being near his soul. Who would’ve guessed so much spirit could be placed inside a frail, 9 month old body. So much personality, so much faith, so much forgiveness. We can all learn from that can’t we. Love, laugh, whinny a friendly hello or reminder that you want your hay NOW, and don’t let your circumstances drag you down. And that there’s friends waiting to be met, you just have to open the door to your heart and let them in.

The world became a smaller place – and a brighter one. While Windchill was re-learning how to stand, we were re-learning to believe, and re-learning what it was like to be young again. Remember when you were little – all those ‘strangers’ on the playground were just friends waiting to be met, new names to add to your friendship listing. Strangers far and wide were drawn to a little 9 month old’s colt struggle and he was never alone again. Neither were any of us.

Windchill slipped quietly into the beyond February 29th, 2008, as surprised as we were. I remember the night today as clear as the night it happened. Stepping out into the clear, cold night for his last check of the night and that feeling that something wasn’t right. Walker slipped out of the garage, confirming the feeling. Walker was with Windchill all the time. Racing to the barn, opening the door and no whinny. There was always a whinny when we walked through that door. And knowing. Knowing before I opened that stall door. Burying my face in his neck, still warm. How peaceful he was. No struggles. Still under his blankets, head resting on the towels. Wondering whether to tell Kathi then or let her sleep. Walking slowly back to the house, waking her up to tell her Windchill was “gone.” Her bolting upright, asking where…the death threats, etc. had become part of our reality, so her first assumption was he had been taken…explaining he had passed away. Watching as the scene I had just lived was re-lived – her throwing the door open, calling to him. Checking him. Then holding him. She confirmed he hadn’t suffered. Needing to know the same thing…was he under stress in his final moments, did he suffer and finding some peace in how he drifted off never to wake up.

Neither of us slept that night. I spent my night researching everything I could find on neglect, starvation, abuse looking for a reason, something we’d missed, something we could’ve done to change the outcome. She spent her night knowing we hadn’t. At 4:30am I’d come to the same point. By 5am I wrote the announcement to the world that would never be printed. It was too filled with anguish. Kathi re-wrote it by 7am. An hour or so later the world would share the pain and join the hell that had been ours for the previous night. I would have to relive the same feelings as visitor after visitor arrived that morning to see the little guy, not having seen the blog post from that morning. The same disbelief. The same look of shock. Then the tears. By mid-day I was numb, exhausted, drained, lost.

3 years later and I can feel all of that like it was this morning. 3 years later and it was just last night wasn’t it? That’s why I haven’t read the blogs in detail. I haven’t looked at the pictures in the photo directory on our computer from February though March, 2008 until I posted our archive online not long ago. Pictures never seen finally shown the light of day again.

I’ve started the book finally, Windchill. It will tell the world your story and what’s happened since that time — the magic continues, your spirit lives on in the re-telling by volunteers who remember to people eager to learn. Kids, adults, senior citizens… Your torch and memory are carried on the shoulders of a little horse appropriately named Magic to literally thousands of people each year now. There’s been good, there’s been bad since you were last here with your head on our knee in a stall on a bed of straw,pushing yourself in circles around your stall driving us crazy as we restored order to the chaos you created in there. Laughing at the brightness in your eyes. Today we laugh, and sometimes cry, in your memory. Even more love you now than even then, amazing huh? God bless a little 9 month old colt who taught us to believe again in humanity. Thank you Windchill, from the bottom of all our hearts. We miss you.

Dad
(Jeff Tucker, Raindance Farms, LLC)

Windchill Photo Gallery (some never posted before)

Fallon’s victorious showing at MWHA show

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

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Jeff & Magic (the big version…) goofing around in the pasture

Monday, September 6th, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvH1uSCTUQk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpbw1t3tINY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB2CW9WWTQY

Riding lessons

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Okay guys, for those that know JoAnn Paul you know how hard she’s worked to become a good rider – working for hours on end with Axel out in the pasture and now spending hours riding him up and down the driveway or out in the pen. I keep telling her she should talk about her experience. Her dedication has been amazing – cold winter days spent out in the pasture, harsh wind blowing – and there’s JoAnn leading Axel around. Rain, snow, winds, sun – it hasn’t mattered. So my hat’s tipped to the cowgirl named JoAnn. I’m going to see if I have some pix to post along with this – email her and tell her you’d love to read about her experience learning and training at the same time!

Jeff

Axel is an avid iPhone fan - JoAnn and Axel checking Facebook

Raindance in the news…

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Kathi and newborn foal in a gaited horse magazine

02/19/08, 4:45am…Windchill up all night..

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

February 19th, 4:45am: Wind Chill has been on his feet now since last night. That’s right, he slept on his feet, refusing to lay back down. I think he’s been planning this one for awhile so these past couple of trial runs were like Rocky running up and down those stairs in training for his big fight. Overnight Case had pulled his halter off thinking he could get away with it and not thinking through that he really has no pockets and nowhere to hide it in his stall….but sometimes you can over plan these things. This is living, breathing hope in the power of prayer. Thank you for that folks.

Welcome Jazz the miniature horse!

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Raindance Farms & The WindChill Legacy, Ltd. are about to welcome their newest arrival – Jazz! Jazz is a miniature horse who has been under training at L&L Ranch (Ann & Jody) so that she can join Magic the mini on outreach visits. Jazz should be arriving shortly! You can see her on the cams. *(cams links are on the Raindance Farms homepage)

Midnight mayhem (post from the past)

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

For four weeks she’s worked vigilantly to understand it. She’s watched. She’s studied. For endless hours she’s attempted. She’s practiced. A week ago she figured out part of how to do it, the rest she figured out a couple of nights ago: Sunday has mastered the stall door latch and door opening.

The first part was fairly easy – lift the latch up and slide to the right. Soon each of the doors was found with the latches open but still closed because due to barn settling, you have to pull the stall doors open. Well…couple the latch opening with a head placed over the stall door and a step backwards and Sunday is now master of her domain. Looking out the next morning where only one baby should be free wandering the aisle of the barn and in the pen, all the young’uns and their ‘babysitter’ – an older horse rotated through to keep them assured all is well – are out wandering the aisle putting their collective intelligence towards the next big heist: how to unwrap the chains from the pen gate and get into the trailer where the good square bales are kept in reserve for sick or stalled horses.