A Love Story for Wholio

Saturday, May 25, 2019
Posted by Ginny Pagano



I believe the lucky ones, through some divine intervention, get to choose who they end up with and I was the lucky one when it came to Wholio. Wholio, Walking Warkant (Warkant x Lanthan) was born March 14, 1996. A horse who had made a name on the world stage. In 2006 he was a Canadian League World Cup Dressage Finalist, and short listed for the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen with the late Jon Costin. He made it to my back yard in 2013.

He was a legend, remarkable, famous, and he was mine. I knew once he stepped off the trailer, he was truly special and one of a kind; "The King" had arrived. He knew it, I knew it, and pretty much anyone who came in contact with him knew it. 

My life became “Wholio’s World”. Everyday since he arrived he was catered to. He got his roomy stall and cushy bedding, dual fans, fresh alfalfa hay, and multiple buckets of cool water. There was a lush large pasture with shady trees and your own personal run in shed. Let’s not forget the treats, "Whoots" would hold his front leg up as high as he could begging for more as he joyfully nuzzled into me. 

I learned quickly what his likes and dislikes were, and I did my best to make every day to his liking. In my mind, he was most gorgeous magnificent horse on the inside and out. He was demanding, but kind, and had the best manners of any horse I’ve ever known.

He was the type that you could tell right away if he liked you or not – he tolerated everyone well, but like you? trust you? – that was another thing altogether. So, the journey began to heal him, to ultimately, get him to trust me and form a true relationship. Slowly he let me in, and eventually earned his trust. That’s right. Earned it.

I didn’t want him for what he could do, I just wanted a buddy. A friend for life.

He brought out the little girl in me, the best in me. I wanted him to know how much I loved him and that he would never be used as a commodity and that he was safe with me. According to all who knew him he only had eyes for me. What a gift that is, what a precious love that is; unlike anything else.

We enjoyed our share of successes. He took me to places I never would have gone and met people I most likely wouldn’t have otherwise. For almost the first year I rode him, I only got a taste of his world class piaffe and passage with a bit of canter thrown in. Then after he learned he didn’t have to be a workaholic and a commodity anymore, he gave me all the other gears willingly.

As he taught me, I nurtured him. That was the exchange within our bond.

Those lessons you taught me were always welcomed and I can never thank you enough.

I loved him and he loved me back. In fact, most of my life revolved around Wholio – he was just that kind of horse. The biggest concern when I moved to Florida was about Wholio. With the farm we bought, and all the many hours of hard work put into it, most of it was for Wholio’s benefit; because remember it’s “Wholio’s World”! 

It was always my honor and pleasure to make sure he was happy and comfortable. It was a privilege to serve him; and he did live like a King! Just being in his presence made this little girl’s dreams come true.

When riding him – his stature and power were truly something to behold. He was fun and comical. There was never a time when I felt unsafe or scared on all that power, that wasn’t Wholio’s way.

Always a gentleman that took care of me.

As promised many years ago, when the time came, I would give him my final act of kindness. He softly took flight with his head cradled in my chest, my eye against his eye, my tears falling like soft rain.

I can’t even begin to describe the pain and grief I’m now feeling. I knew that the day would come, but my heart will never be the same. He lived an amazing 23 years, and I was dedicated to making those 6 years with me his best.

“Our lives are better left to chance ... I could have missed the pain .... But I'd have to miss the dance”

So I say to you, my sweet Whoots, ‘Momma loves you now and forever with all my heart and soul - I know you’ll be waiting for me, and we’ll dance once again, someday.’

Ginny Pagano, May 29, 2019