Preparing her horses for the annual hayride, Jessie felt the heartache. Baxter and Sasha, her clydesdales, stood restlessly waiting for the signal to go; their breath steaming in the frigid air and hooves pawing at the frozen ground.
Fetching the bells from the shed and thinking back to two weeks ago, Jessie felt her eyes sting from the oncoming tears.
Angry and upset over the loss of her favorite horse, Barker, Jessie jangled the bells hard and threw them to the ground.
"Why the hell did he have to be so reckless?!" she screamed into the fading grey sky, fists raised.
She thought of the fear in his eyes as he struggled against the blood loss and cold from getting caught in the barbed wire that had cut through the main artery in his leg.