Heart’s Desire (Dez)
Dez was born on April 30th, 1999. She became a part of my family on September 1st, 2002 when she was just two years old. I knew I had to bring her home the moment I saw her. She was a big, muscular, beautiful palomino with a white star on her forehead, big brown eyes, and long blond lashes. Dez had the kindest eyes I’d ever seen. I looked to buy many horses, but she had a look in her eyes that made me love her instantly. I didn’t know at the time that our journey together would be bittersweet.
Dez had a heart of gold and she quickly took over as boss mare on the farm. She was kind and gentle, but took her job very seriously. All the other horses knew what the requirements were while living with her. One of the rules…don’t poop were you eat! Anytime one of the other horses would poop where they weren’t supposed to, she herded them to a designated corner. This was an uncharacteristic behavior for a horse, but she wasn’t just any horse. She liked to roll in the mud after it rained, and to lay in the sun on warm sunny days. Playing hide-and-seek with my boys was one of her favorite games. They would run around to the back of the barn and hide, and she wouldn’t give up until she found them. In the winter you could never take off your hat or gloves, because she’d swipe them and disappear. In the summertime she played in the water trough and in the hose, and loved to eat watermelon! I always knew if I wasn’t spending enough time with her. She’d grab the broom, pitchfork, or whatever she could find and run with it. She made me take time to stop and love her. I loved her so…
Dez was diagnosed in 2004 with an illness called PSSM (Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy), and was hospitalized for weeks. During that time, Dez fought her way back to health. The vets explained to me that PSSM is characterized by the abnormal accumulation of sugar (glycogen) stored in the muscles. It causes severe and painful episodes they call “tying up”. It’s like having muscle spasms all over the body. They explained that there was no cure and that she would struggle with the illness the rest of her life. They said she may not live long. I did all I could to keep her well. I had her on a special diet, decreased her stall time, and kept her active. Her struggles continued, but so did her courage.
It was Dez who rekindled a longtime dream and became an inspiration for The Mustard Seed Farm. The historical meaning of the mustard seed is this: With faith all things are possible. She did Equine Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Growth and Learning sessions with me. We specialized with families and children having difficulties in their lives. Dez loved everyone. But it was the children with illnesses who gravitated to her. They seemed to have a strong, unspoken bond. She was intuitive and seemed to know just what to do. She helped children heal, to believe in themselves again, and to have hope. Dez was a gift from God. Each day I spent with her was a blessing.
During Dez’s life she taught me so much. I loved to trail ride, but she taught me that loving her and our journey together was more important and better than the “ride”. She taught me to hold on even during the pain, and she taught me how to let go. Dez became seriously ill again in the fall of 2011. I couldn’t watch her suffer any longer. She died on September 3rd. I carry her in my heart every day, and will always cherish the time we spent together. Dez is “The Mustard Seed” and will be remembered forever for her role and inspiration.
Owner & Founder of
The Mustard Seed Farm