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In loving memory
Conversano Blanca I
May 15, 1984 - October 14, 2008
Sire: Conversano II Erica (Tempel Farms) Dam: 251 Blanca (Tempel Farms)

Our hearts are breaking; all our love couldn't save him despite the best effoBlanca Woodsrts of Equine Medical and our desperate prayers and wishes.

I called Leslie, at school in New York, and held the phone up to Blanca's ear while between sobs, she told him goodbye and how much she loved him.

It was just after midnight at Equine Medical when Stef, Dr. Bunn, Blanca and I walked out of the clinic into a rare balmy night under a full moon to the field next to the clinic.

The tree frogs and crickets were singing, and we could see the silhouettes of deer grazing peacefully in the tall grass. The light of the full moon cast a silver glow on the field, radiating off of Blanca's white coat and magnifying his majestic presence. Stef and I hugged and pet him as Dr Bunn gave him the injections, telling him what a great horse he was and how much we loved him.  He passed peacefully and quickly.

The three of us sat with Blanca for almost an hour afterwards. We talked about his life and funny things he did, Stef and I hugging and kissing him, stroking his face and neck and crying as we held him.

Blanca the Wonder Lipizzan was everlastingly kind, a sweet soul, Drama Queen, and lively character who loved the spotlight and was always the gentleman, careful with us even while he was dancing and leaping about. He filled our hearts with joy, and we were privileged and blessed to be partners with him for eight years.

Blanca, we love you forever. We treasure our memories of you, smiling through tears as we remember the wonderful times we had together. Thank you for being such a patient and loving teacher. We miss kissing your nose and hugging your neck. We miss your dive for the bridle to get sugar with your bit, your "eat first, find out whether it's edible later" approach, your big black Lipizzan eyes which communicated so clearly your feelings, and a thousand other things that made you so special to us. There is no replacement for the love you emanated and your unfaltering sweetness. There is a quiet dark place in our hearts that will take a long time to heal. - - - love, leslie & jorie

"A thousand times I have thought that I am in love with you - oh, what madness! When God created man he used mud, but when it came to making you, the legend says that he used pure air. The air blows, dispels, moves away, but you are forever coming closer to me.  When I stroke you, you follow me.  When I kiss you, you gaze into my eyes.  When I try to correct you, you understand.  How is it possible that God made you so marvelous! As in the Apocalypses, you were and are the 'white horse', the first vanquisher." - Alvaro Domecq Diez

Music: "He Lays in the Reins" - lyrics and info at bottom of page. Refresh page to listen again; sorry - no "on" or "off" button; just turn down volume if desired.

Click here to see article "How Our Lipizzan Chose Us" (pdf)          Click here to visit Guest book

Santa Blanca and Leslie
Santa Blanca and Leslie - Bliss Stables Halloween Party 2002: He was less than thrilled with the pathetic beard & moustache taped to his halter and the pom pom that bounced on his face, but he patiently carried the sack of toys on his back & did everything except say "ho, ho, ho."
Blanca cantering
Jorie & Blanca - Oct. '06
Photo by Stephanie van de Ven

Blanca and Leslie
Leslie saying goodbye to Blanca before
heading back to Thacher - Sept 04

Blanca and Jorie
Oct.12, 2008: The day before Blanca colicked. I had no idea that this would be the last time I'd turn Blanca out in his paddock, and tell him that I loved him and would see him tomorrow.
24 hours later we were headed to Equine Medical.

blanca and trav
The boys were not cooperating as Stef & I tried to take a holiday picture. Trav has latched on to Blanca's nostril, and Blanca really just wanted the antlers OFF!
Looking for sugar... Leslie & Blanca, WMEC, 2002


Blanca capriole
Sometimes a guy's just gotta capriole.

blanca yawn
Jack's first lesson on Blanca with Sue Hughes

jack and blanca
Blanca in his "Taj Mastall" at Bliss Stables
laura and blanca
Laura and Blanca - October 12, 2008: The day before he colicked. We'd planned to take pictures with Blanca that day & almost didn't do it because of other commitments. I was flinging sugar cubes into the air to get Blanca to put his ears up. It worked, but the concern over the apparent wasting of sugar showed on his face...

A Drama Queen moment... he wasn't in good shape yet and strong enough to do it correctly, so he's not curving in the right places, but he loved to do this... it's a Lipizzaner thing!
(with Leslie - 2003)
willow ridge
Bring Blanca "home" - Blanca's former owner, Candy Weimer, says goodbye to Blanca as we welcome him to our family.
- July 2000

blanca herbert
Clinic with Spanish Riding School Bereiter Herbert Seiberl, January 2007 - Blanca is pretty sure there is sugar in those pockets...

blanca and sycamore
Happy Reunion! Blanca seeing his former Bliss paddock buddy, Sycamore, at the Timberlane Show, Lowell - August, 2004

les blanca nap
Leslie napping in the sun on Zebra Blanca
blanca and jorie
October 2006
photo by Stephanie van de Ven

jorie and blanca
Jorie & Blanca headed back to the barn after a lesson with Spanish Riding School Bereiter Rudi Rostek - July 06.

Blanca and Jorie
We were cantering along and all of the sudden he saw somehing reaaaallly interesting that needed his IMMEDIATE attention...!
photo by Stephanie van de Ven

Blanca enjoying a roll after the photo session on October 12. He'd gotten a bath for the photo session and had been so clean...

Before me peaceful,
Behind me peaceful,
Under me peaceful,
Over me peaceful,
All around me peaceful--
Peaceful voice when he neighs.
I am Everlasting and Peaceful.
I stand for my horse.

- from "The War God's Horse Song"

Rest in Peace, Blanca.

...then he got up and immediately trotted briskly over to us to show us his handiwork. This was the day before he colicked. It was a good day for him - as Stef said, his life was filled with many good days... he just had one bad day.

With appreciation and gratitude - Stephanie and Michiel van de Ven of Bliss Stables gave Blanca so much loving care and attention during the six years we were at Bliss. Bran mashes in cold weather, nightly carrots and apples, blankets and fly sheets on and off when the weather changed during the day, setting up cribbing stations in his stall... he was so happy at Bliss. A thousand thanks to Stef and Michiel for sharing their Bliss with us. And to Stef, for trailering Blanca to Equine Medical and helping to ease him out of this world surrounded by love - no words are enough.

Thanks, Equine Medical ~
... to Dr. Todd Shaarda for treating Blanca at Bliss the day he colicked.
... to Dr. Jeff Bunn for watching over Blanca's health for the past eight years. Many thanks especially for the wonderful care he gave Blanca during the last 5 hours of Blanca's life, and for being there at the end.

leslie and blanca wmectrot
Leslie & Blanca - one of their first shows,
West Michigan Equestrian Center, 2002.

"He Lays in the Reins"
One more drink tonight as your gray stallion rests
Where he lays in the reins
For all of the speed and the strength he gave.

One more kiss tonight from some tall stable girl.
She’s like grace from the earth
When you’re all tuckered out and tame.

One more tired thing the gray moon on the rise
When your want from the day
Makes you to curse in your sleep at night.

One more gift to bring we may well find you laid
Like your steed in his reins
Tangled too tight and too long to fight.

- performed by Iron & Wine and Calexico

trot mikolka clinic
Jorie & Blanca during a clinic with
Spanish Riding School Chief Rider Karl Mikolka, 2005



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