Time to answer some questions...
So, what happened to everyone?
Llano and Cheryl
Strangely, Llano's sour demeanor completely changed after Blair's disappearance and he became a very lovable guy. Years later when he was having problems walking due to many lameness issues, Cheryl made the difficult decision to put him down. She waited a few years and then ended up buying Kaswyn's half brother by the same stallion. She loves her horse, who is an absolutely darling boy, and trail rides him in the Open Space Preserve. After a few moves to different barns she is back in the last barn that Blair trained out of.
Teeya and Me
It turned out that Teeya was pregnant when Blair sold her, so she had a beautiful foal that following summer. He's by the same stallion as Kaswyn, and from everything I've heard he's a fabulous horse who has been very successful in the Arabian show ring. Teeya was eventually sold back to her original owner and last time I heard she was at the barn where Blair moved when she quit at the lesson barn. It's funny how things work out like that.
Bo went to live with Blair's sister and her horses. I have heard nothing about him, but by now he would be pushing 30 years old so I have to assume he's moved on from this world. He was a dear, sweet horse and I still miss him.
I ended up selling Tyler. He just wasn't cut out to be a show horse, and resented me for trying to make him one. I sold him to a Christian riding camp in Ohio. They loved him there and he was very happy. A few years ago he met with tragedy when he was being used for an overnight trail ride. His rider tied him to a tree that unknowingly had poisonous bark, which Tyler ate. They called the vet as soon as they saw he was sick, and got him on the trailer bound for the ranch. He was dead before the vet arrived.
Kaswyn and Me
I waited a year and bought Kaswyn, who has exceeded my wildest dreams. He has won three Nationals Championships, and I wonder what Blair would think of that if she were alive today. I wonder if she would have supported the dressage thing, or if she would have talked me out of it or teased me. I wonder if she's proud of me. I hope she is.
What's the title mean, anyway?
The black roses represent the pain and loss of Blair's disappearance and presumed death at such a young age. It bothered me for a long time not ever knowing exactly what happened. For years I would see her at horse shows in someone's walk, or the back of their head, or a figure in the crowd that never turned out to be her. I still find it incredibly sad that she never had the chance to see her daughter grow up.
The red roses signify the realization of my dream of winning a National Championship which began in Blair's family room when I picked up my first copy of Arabian Horse World and saw the beautiful trophies and rose garlands. And the horses...all the pretty horses...