Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What I won't do for a dollar

So sometimes being in the horse/horse drawn vehicle service I get called upon to do some odd jobs.

Like funerals.

I get a call late Friday night from a woman who is bawling before she even replied to my hello. She took a moment to stop crying to explain why she was calling.

Her father just died. They truthfully did not expect him to survive longer than his late wife but he did.
He was the last sheeny man in Windsor.

What is a Sheeny man? Well a Sheeny is a person (mostly men) Who drove a horse drawn wagon and picked up scrap to take to the scrap yard. They had a horn and would holler out wile honking "Scrap! Scrap!". Anyone remember the sheeny men?
This man happened to have a white percheron mare named Belle.
His children (8 of them) remember this horse. He loved horses and often talked of his mare.

They wanted me to lead the herst through the cemetery with Indigo. They wanted feathers braided into her mane and tail. There was to be just one white feather.
I suggested them bringing me a pair of his boots and putting them backwards in the stirrups for a riderless horse ceremony.

Of course there was a catch. Just as I had given them a receipt (or tried to, they rejected it saying their father never used them) and they scooped up with tearful eyes the 35 old horse shoes we had lying around the farm (easywalkers are our horses shoe future, not steel) she asked me to wear a native american headdress. Of course they wanted the shoes to give to his kids and grandkids along with a picture of him and his mare, Belle picking up scrap.

Here goes the saying what I won't do for a dollar.
Picture credit to Nick Brancaccio, The Windsor Star

I guess I didn't look like as big a goon as I though I did.

Indigo wasn't looking too bad either after reluctantly spending the night in a stall to avoid mid morning mud rollings.

We walked ahead of the herst through the cemetary to the mans final resting spot.

Someone called the city newspaper and before I knew it I was going to be in the news for the 463827483729th time. Good thing or bad? Haha.

I think I am probably the most photographed horse person for hours honestly. I have a whole stack of articles of me and a horse. I even got front page Windsor star too. Of course this picture made the 2nd page but I did get half the page for this picture.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

lol! lol! lol! Oh my! I shouldn't laugh with the Hearse right behind you. I though you were going to say that you were going to use one of your carriages/carts as a Horse-Drawn Hearse and carry the coffin in the back.

Why the head-dress? Did Sheeney men wear them?? Was this guy a Native American? l
The head dress doesn't quite go with your plaid jacket either.

I bet it's crazy living in such a small town. Everyone is very familiar with you....and what you won't do for a dollar. lol!

This totally made my night. I was like WTH??! lol!

What a great horse Indigo is to put up with all the crazy requests. At least they didn't want HER to wear the head dress. lol!


Jo said...

thats so sad. I couldn't do it. No way would I do it. I wouldn't feel right being a part of the end of someone I never knew.

You do look great syd. I have sometimes paused and thought, "what would syd do right now?" and then trotted on.

Your role model material baby!

Pony Girl said...

You look good in feathers! ;) It was special for his family to have that as part of his funeral so I'm glad you did it. Indigo looks great, too!!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

That is a very cool thing for you to do, walking in the funeral procession. I'm sure it would have made the Sheeny Man proud. You both looked good too.
It's great advertising to be in the papers. :)

lisa said...

I think that is pretty darn special! You are pretty amazing, I think!

Sydney said...

Lol I should have explained the man grew up in the cowboys and indians era. Instead of playing music at his wake they were playing John Wayne movies.

Sydney said...

And Indigo would have been totally ok wearing goofy stuff. I regularly desensitize/torture her with random scary things, like my big winter gloves on her ears, crazy inflatable sleds, gigantic tarps etc.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Wow! For someone who is grief-stricken, your customer sure know what she wanted. She could probably organize funerals for a living. I think if someone in my family passed away, I wouldn't have a clue as to what to do. A nice tribute.

berryvine said...

I think it was a very nice sentiment. We have a solid black horse named "Snoball" he has done several riderless horse ceremonies and a couple 21 gun salutes. We have never gone ahead of the funeral procession though. You looked great!

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