Mafazi - The Gift - by Lindsey Henry of BioStar US

The Seasons of Mafazi

“Everything turns in circles and spirals with the cosmic heart until infinity. Everything has a vibration that spirals inward or outward… This vibration keeps going… Like a lotus, it opens or closes, dies and is born again. Such is also the story of the sun and moon, of me and you. Nothing truly dies. All energy simply transforms.”
      ― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

The cosmic vibrations brought Mafazi and I back together again in the late summer of 2008. I say we were reunited because according to a trusted animal communicator, we were connected in a past life, and when I sat on Mafazi for the first time I have no doubt in my mind that those words were true. At that moment the universe “clicked” and we took off across the Virginia countryside and never looked back. I remember thinking in my mind as we galloped through fields and into the woods, across creeks, and back again that “it will never get better than this moment. This is what heaven is like.” This thought still holds true in my heart. Will I ever trust another horse like I trusted you, Mafazi?

She was everything I wasn’t looking for. A retired polo pony of 22 who didn’t really understand why it was necessary to jump over logs or why she couldn’t gallop off at a million miles per hour whenever she wished. Mafazi could fly. No really, there was actual lift off when she kicked it into what I lovingly call “6th gear”. Even into her late 20’s she took my breath away at her speed. I also thought she may have been pregnant when I first met her. Nope, it must have been her giant rib cage holding her enormous lungs so that she could run… fast. She was suspect of treats and hugs were best doled out minimally, if at all. She was a warrior queen, no muss, no fuss. (Don’t worry, I did change that somewhat.)

Mafazi was my first. I’m so privileged that such a perfect creature was my first, very own, “I’m in charge here”, look out world, here we come, horse. It makes me chuckle to think how often I pulled out the “kid gloves” with her when I first took care of her. “Oh no, there is a tiny crack in her hoof!” “What is that bump?!” Will I ever know every inch of another horse like I know every inch of you? Your tall withers that no matter what had mud on its left side, every single day. The tiny lump on your left side just to the top of your hip, the old cut on your left front heel and the star on your forehead that I’m convinced began to push out into a unicorn horn. It’s true, I have the photographic proof.Mafazi - black and whiteShe was a horse of many nicknames. Momo, Mobear, Mohawk, Momofoshomo, Mobeans, Mokween… best friend, singing buddy, teacher, therapist, and Buddha. Our favorite songs were “My Girl” by the Temptations, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by the Byrds, the French National Anthem and “You are my Sunshine”.  You knew every inch of my soul and every beat of my heart. Will there be another that knew me as well as you did? “ Relax. Just relax.” “Just breathe, just listen.” “Trust me.” “This is life. It’s ok. Just be with me and it will be ok.” “Nothing stands still. Change is inevitable.” “To everything there is a season, turn, turn.”

Mafazi was my guide, a beacon. She was my first muse that lead me to develop my photography skills and later start my own business. She introduced me to two of my dearest friends. Mafazi got me out of the ring and into the wild and pushed me as a rider and as her caretaker. If it weren’t for Mafazi, I would probably be living on the other side of the country, but alas, I could not leave her behind so we stayed on the east coast. She was also a big reason why I took my current position at BioStar.

Where would I be without my Mafazi, my girl? You taught me about what it really means to love, what it really means to be a mom. Mafazi, you taught me about hard work. To everything there is a season, turn, turn. When I was unable to ride her, we learned how to communicate and still have adventures through ground work. Mafazi was my trail running buddy… and when she could no longer do that, we talked a lot about food. If you ever want to really learn about horse nutrition, take care of a 30 year old horse without teeth. It is a labor of love. Mafazi lost all of her grinders in February 2017 due to several incidences of choke. I thought I had almost lost her at that point because she didn’t really eat for about a week after that. It was tough. She had lost her main function of being a horse – eating forage. She wasn’t a huge fan of soaked hay so I prepared for her a daily stream of endless buckets of soaked grass cubes and beet pulp.The kid gloves came back on. How can I ever repay you for all that you have taught me? How will it ever be enough? Mafazi was living at a self care farm but not to “toot my own horn” was receiving the grand prix experience. Warm mash, rice bran, hemp oil, and circulation support and massage to keep her aches and pains at bay. As she recovered from the difficult winter, Mafazi developed a coat that any horse would dream of. I loved to stuff my face in it and inhale her scent and wrap my fingers in her soft mane. However, after the summer grass began to die off, she began to give me her achy face, the “I hurt, fix it” face. Lip curled, biting at her sides, face. Then it was the “I’m tired of this $*%^ face.” Mafazi was always good about telling it how it was. She was a firm believer that life is too short to beat around the bush. How can I ever repay you for all that you have given me?

I wasn’t ever going to be ready. Mafazi you were my life, my guardian angel. You saved me, and I know I saved you too. The day we had to part ways the vet told me to let her know when I was ready. ‘HA!” What?! Who is ready?” You reached down for grass for comfort. It was instinct. But then you pulled your head up abruptly knowing it was of no use. You nudged me with your nose, your perfect nose, saying, “It’s time you ninny, let’s do this. ”

You lay there like a warrior goddess. Your mane flowing in the wind with your legs stretched out like you were running across the field. You were so beautiful. Don’t worry my friend, we’ll meet again, when the universe vibrates. I know we’ll be together again.

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
– Turn! Turn! Turn! By The Byrds

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Lindsey and MafaziLindsey Henry is a member of BioStar’s crew, one of our spectacular customer service experts, a photographer, and lover of horses.

Photos ©Lindsey Henry

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20 Responses

  1. Lizzy Meyer says:

    WOW Lindsey, I love this story. Thank you for loving Mafazi the way you did and for listening to her. Thank you for being open to what she had to teach. I completely hear you on everything you wrote. I cried, too. It’s a true act of love and courage when taking care of these elderly equines. They cause us to fall more in love with them every day they are with us. The end is especially hard. I love what your vet said. SO TRUE. I can totally relate to the endless soaking buckets and feeding a toothless 30 year old horse. Master Teacher she was…. And I know the looks she gave you-the “I hurt” and the “it’s time” and those in between. You did such a great job reading her, taking care of her, and listening to her. What a great story of love and a tribute to a beautiful mare. No doubt she is in 6th speed in the clouds. Fly high Warrior Goddess.

    • Lindsey Henry says:

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. It means so much coming from you. I wish you could have met my Warrior Goddess but I’m glad that these words helped you see her incredible soul. It is just a glimpse of her but I’m glad she shines through the words. – Lindsey

  2. Rachel Lloyd Miller says:

    Momo and Linds❤️Such a beautiful tribute to such a larger than life girl.

  3. Lynell Abbott says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. It touched me deeply as a think of my own special boy.

    • Lindsey Henry says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my girl. I’m so honored that our story has touched others. – Lindsey

  4. JP says:

    Heartbroken for you still…..such beautiful words that I know were difficult to write….she was beautiful….as you are……I love you.

    • Lindsey Henry says:

      Thank you for your kind words and for taking all the amazing photos of Mafazi and I together. Love you! – Lindsey

  5. Cs says:

    Heartbreaking and affirming. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Lindsey Henry says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story. It means a lot to me and I’m honored that her story touched you. – Lindsey

  6. Jesso says:

    Such a beautiful story written beautifully by a beautiful person. Love this and love you my friend.

    • Lindsey Henry says:

      Thank you so much Jess! I wish you had been able to meet her. Thank you for lending an ear and listening to all my stories over the years. Love you! – Lindsey

  7. elan obrien says:

    Exquisite and profoundly moving. Thank you for sharing the deepest parts of your heart and soul ! Tears.

    • Lindsey Henry says:

      Thank you so much for reading. It means so much that she continues to bring people together even after she has left this earth. – Lindsey

  8. RW says:

    I’ve read this twice and cried with a smile both times. I understand the feeling of caring for an animal that especially needs our help, and getting as much, and more than we give. Let us know when you two are together again.

    • Lindsey Henry says:

      Thank you so much for reading. I will definitely keep everyone posted as to when we meet again. 🙂
      – Lindsey

  9. Me says:

    Such a beautiful story of love, courage, and commitment. This story broke my heart while at the same time made me thankful again for all the wonderful horses, dogs, and cats I have had in my lifetime, and still have. Thank you Lindsey for sharing your beautiful Mafazi with us.

    • Lindsey Henry says:

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. Our four legged friends are so precious. It is so wonderful that they can bring us so much joy and teach us all those important life lessons. I’m so grateful to have the time that I did with Mafazi and her legacy will live on until we meet again. Thank you again! – Lindsey

  10. Liz Squire says:

    Lovely, just beautiful xx

    • Lindsey Henry says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. She meant the world to me and I feel so honored that she continues to resonate with others even after she has left this life. – Lindsey