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Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Mike Barber in the tragic loss of his
Champion Morgan, Austin Major Domo.

Mike last rode Domo thru 25 miles of rain and slush
at VERDA's Annual "January Thaw" to take home
a Grand Champion Ribbon with a score of 99 1/4.
At the Annual Awards Banquet on February13th,
Mike took home a basket of Riding and Driving Awards.

On February 17th, Domo was kicked in the head by
Mike's other horse and died instantly. Mike's final
tribute is copied below.

Rest In Peace, Domo. It is an honor to have known you.

John and Meshack

A Farewell to my best Friend Austin Major Domo, 1990 - 1999

Today I buried my very soul. On this day February 17, 1999 our friend Domo
met with a tragic accident.  He was a true and honest friend. No matter what
the day had brought I could always depend on a welcome when I walked to the
barn. He would come bouncing into the stall at a good trot with that “Hey
how ya doin, aint life grand” attitude.

We had our own language. It was communicated through the eyes a soft touch
and soft voice. We did communicate. In the many hours we spent on the trail
there was constant communication. Horses have many fears and Domo was no
different. However he would listen to me. Often between my legs I could feel
his pulse quicken and muscles stiffen when confronted with some perceived
horse monster in the bush. A soft touch on the neck and a whisper “Its OK,
Its OK” and one could feel the pulse slow and the muscles relax and we would
move on. In that moment we would both learn something new of each other.
About trust.  About respect.

He never once grumbled or complained about what was asked of him. Of the
hundreds of times I walked to that barn with those funny pants on he never
walked away.  It was not always a warm sunny day, it might often as not be
late evening after dark or a cold snowy afternoon.  I always tried to make
sure that we both had a good time. I felt it was important to allow him to
be a horse. If he wanted to stop and sniff some “road apples” to see it is
was someone he knew, I let him.  In the fall if he smelled apples on a tree
he would stop. He knew that I would pick one and share it with him.

I know as only a horse-person knows that he truly enjoyed that time we spent
together. I know I did. At this moment I cannot imagine the coming days,
season, years without him.

Many years ago a cousin of mine John Barber lost his mother. Following her
death he wrote a poem which I have kept over the years. I dug it out today
to read and it seems very fitting.

I lived my Life as though
It would never go
And always thought it so

Until a loved one died
And the anguish of self cried
With loneliness at my side

And thought it all unfair
This giving of our care
To vanish in the air

That nothing can we keep
And it is useless to weep
For things that do not keep

Nothing can we own
But our own flesh and bone
In its journey all alone

Life is but a little sleep
Wherein we laugh and sometimes weep
And nothing of it can we keep

So Live your Life as though
It will always go
and always think it so

How often we make that walk to the barn little knowing what may be waiting
for us. Life is a very precious gift we should make the most of every moment
and everything that we are blessed with, be it, Family, Friends or God’s
greatest gift to human kind your horse. So Live your Life as though it will
always go and always think it so.

We truly loved you Domo and we will miss you terribly.

Mike B.

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