It is both a surreal and deflated feeling I have as a mother and as a photographer right now. What are you to feel when the one of your child's treasures, a horse who shares his name, suddenly dies a painful death?
Tucker was the cooky little horse among the giant draft horses at Danada Equestrian Center. He was the little guy who didn't sweat and instead of heading to the pasture with the other horses was often found fanning himself in his stall. He was the lone chestnut among the dark bays and dapple grays. There are so many reasons for which Tucker stood out at the farm. He was our prize. He was the horse we went to find each time we ventured there. And yet, when we arrived there yesterday he was gone. In his place was an empty stall, an empty bridle, an empty food tub.
Tucker was gone. As a photographer I immediately began cataloging my brain, trying to organize and remember what photographs I had taken of him. I remember him in the pasture, I remember him in his stall, I remember him with his fan, but unfortunately I could only remember one photograph I had taken of him. One. How was that possible? He was such an important part of our time there, but I didn't have any more than one photograph of him to remember him by. No photograph of Tucker the horse with my son Tucker. No photograph of the peculiar horse with the fan. No photograph of the little guy in the pasture with the giant draft horses. I had planned to have these photographs, but I never took them. My mind is reeling, wishing I had taken more, but I didn't. In his absence Tucker has left a big sad hole in our hearts but also a big reminder that we need to take photographs of the things we cherish. Thank you Tucker.
As luck would have it, I did take my camera out to Danada Equestrian Center when we visited there yesterday. The walls of the stall were lined with decorations, memorabilia, and condolences from Tuckers fan and loved ones. I fell short of capturing the photos of Tucker I had wanted to, but I could still capture the love that is present in that lonely stall today. I plan to take my own kids by to say their goodbyes and write a message to our lost friend. I plan to take pictures. I plan to take pictures of my kids, my dog, my husband, myself. I plan to take pictures of the things I cherish and the wonderful memories that we makes. There is a reason a became a photographer and sometimes it takes sadness and loss to remind us these things. I challenge you to take more photos too. And lastly, of course, please contact me to help you capture photos of you and your loved ones!
In tribute to Tucker and all those who cared for him, the photos of Tucker and his good-bye messages at Danada may all be downloaded for free from www.carriecheng.com/danada.
Hugs to everyone today.
A Tribute of Photos to Tucker, the horse
(these photos may all be downloaded for free from www.carriecheng.com/danada)
My one photo of Tucker the horse.
the empty bridle that hangs in his stall
Tucker's halter and fly mask he left behind
lovely artistry by one of Tucker's fans
another lovely picture and message for Tucker
the walls of Tucker's tribute stall
heartfelt and true
Tucker's goodbye story from the staff at Danada Equestrian Center
a suddenly somber view at Danada with the news of Tucker's passing
A friend left behind. We miss you Tucker!