I got news late this afternoon that one of my riding friends, Renee Flanagan, passed away rather unexpectedly from a short and (as of yet) unknown illness. A wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, mentor, friend and horsewoman, Renee was vibrant, caring, genuine, kind, happy and blessed. We were close to the same age and the reality of it is, she was too young to die.
One of my best memories of Renee was riding in a poker run a couple of years ago. We were nearing the end of the ride and John and I were quite a ways out front of the rest of the riders. We were ready to run. I don’t remember if Renee was riding with us at that time or saw that we were going to move out. John and Ginger took off at warp speed and I was running Windy not far behind him. I heard hoof beats coming up behind me and it was Renee who was soon flying passed me on her horse Taz and it wasn’t long until she was on Ginger’s heels. I loved to ride with Renee because she loved to run as much as I do and we would.
A confident horsewoman, most of her horses were home raised and beautiful. She had every reason to be proud. I remember her most on her Windy, a beautiful grulla mare.
I borrowed these photos from her Facebook page because they really capture who she was. She smiled easy and laughed a lot. The world was her playground. I am shocked and saddened that she is gone and in truth, just can’t believe it. I will miss her very much.
Rest in peace, Renee. And when you feel the need for speed, there is a little red mare up there that will take you for a spin.
“I’m going to miss that smile, I’m going to miss you my friend.“