--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "Buck" <dhamiltony2k5@...> wrote:


> Subject: Sorli fra Bulandi passes
> Dear Baddi,
> I do hope this letter finds you and your family well and thriving in 
> beautiful Iceland.  We have so many happy memories and connections of the 
> heart there! 
> I just wanted to let you know that our precious and beloved friend, Sorli 
> passed away in the dawn hours after being in failing health for the last 6 
> months.  He was 28 years old.  We are awash in feelings of appreciation and 
> gratitude to this magnificient horse who we were so blessed to have in our 
> lives thanks to YOU!   Sorli brought us nothing but bliss in the 14 years he 
> lived with us. 
> I will never forget the day Sorli arrived.  It was in the winter after a very 
> deep snowfall.  He came just after Doug had had his stroke.  Doug was still 
> so fragile and unsteady in body and mind that we were not sure he would ride 
> again...something he was very worried about not being possible for himself.  
> I remember going out and riding Sorli to check him out in that deep soft snow 
> ....what a fabulous, life altering experience!   Sorli's calm nature, his 
> power, fluidity, and his utter responsiveness assured me that he was going to 
> be a very good horse for Doug to recover on.  And so it was.  Some time 
> shortly after that unbeknownst to me, Doug snuck out the door, managed to 
> saddle Sorli for himself and tried him too for a few minutes, if 
> awkwardly.... but he came back in aglow with triumph and excitement.
> So Sorli's first job was to serve as a therapeutic riding horse for Doug.  
> Sorli took such good care of him then and has all along!   I will always have 
> these beautiful visions of Doug riding out on Sorli sometimes for a short 
> spin around the neighborhood and often for hours.   I never worried for his 
> safety.  I knew Sorli would be there for him no matter what.  And whenever 
> Doug has had a difficult day ....as his brain injury never completely 
> healed....Sorli was always 'best medicine' to reintegrate his mind, spirit 
> and body.  Though living here on our little place has been a humble life for 
> a great horse like Sorli,  none the less, Sorli and Doug were 'famous' around 
> town.  People would say...."there goes Doug Hamilton on his black 
> horse'"....and they were always a 'head turning' pair.   Doug would always 
> return restored, refreshed and in awe of the gifts of safety, pleasure and 
> power that Sorli shared so effortlessly and naturally. 
> A funny Sorli story and fond memory...one day I was unhappy and in a foul 
> mood.  Doug knew better than to try to talk me out of it!  So he left the 
> house for a bit and after a while when I walked back into the living room 
> there was Sorli...calmly standing there saddled and ready to go!!....He was 
> looking a bit guilty!  He had a look of 'I know I am not supposed to be in 
> here!  Doug did it!'   I laughed so hard and all angry gloom left my 
> heart/mind in a flash!  Sorli was my therapy horse, as well!
> And of course Sorli served so so many people in the Midwest as a sterling 
> example of what horses can be....and the glories of the Icelandic breed in 
> particular.  For years we would hear from people who remembered your 
> performance with Sorli in all those fairs we did together in those early 
> happy times!  What fun we had together!   And the enduring impression of 
> "Baddi and that black horse" drew so many to Icelandics!  Yes, indeed.  And 
> with your skill you would always bring out so much from Sorli and it was 
> evident that he enjoyed giving you all he had to give, too.  
> I know that in many ways Sorli was under utilized here in America.  That he 
> could have probably been shown more, used as a breeding horse even more, etc. 
>  but he was fully appreciated and deeply loved by us...a real member of the 
> family.   And of course, hundreds of people rode him...often times not even 
> knowing they were riding a stallion until after the ride!  .... and through 
> him they became infatuated with Icelandics.  Like you, he was a great 
> ambassador for Iceland and Icelandics all his life! 
> Sorli is a great soul.  A cherished friend.  And even in the suffering of his 
> last hours, he continued to be a gentleman to the last.  We are going to 
> cremate him.  And i am wondering if I could ask a small favor.  If we send a 
> small amount of his ashes to you in Iceland....would you be so kind as to 
> release them in some beautiful place for us?  I like to think of this equine 
> son of Iceland returning to his motherland.  Would that be okay?  If not.  We 
> certainly understand. 
> So.  Please give our love to all your dear family.  And to you, old 
> friend....again we have the deepest gratitude for making Sorli possible for 
> us!  We are going to miss him mightly.  And for us, he is one of the greatest 
> horses we have ever known, truly a first class horse in all ways.   
> Love and all blessings,
> Jennifer and Doug

Doug, you are one lucky man indeed to have known a mighty horse such as Sorli 
(my sincere condolences) and to have a partner that can write as beautifully as 
Jennifer (her letter brought tears to my eyes). Thank you for sharing. RIP 

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