Ananda McCleary, a lifelong resident of Three Rivers who for many years gave hundreds of young locals their first equine experience at the Halloween Carnival pony ride at Three Rivers Union School, died peacefully in her North Fork pasture on Thursday, July 17. She was 35, which is about 110 in human years.
Ananda spent her youth at a Hare Krishna ranch on Dinely Drive, was at one time owned and trained by Mary Becker, and just over a decade ago went to live at Kathleen McCleary’s ranch on North Fork. McCleary says she had “a unique spirit, a fine cross of Arabian and quarter horse. She was the horse I could give anyone for a trail ride, and I did. She was perfect: light rein, ears perked forward, quick-quick walk, always eager for what was ahead, never silly or balky. Skilled riders, novice or inexperienced friends all loved her.”
Ananda was a fixture for many years at the Fall Carnival, at “Our Place” library activities, and gave many rides to young neighbors and grandchildren. She aged gracefully, with two romances in her third decade of life and, until her final days, would canter into mealtimes with the youngest horses, always ready. She even passed away with style, lying peacefully under the canopy of oaks in her pasture.
She is survived by her son, Thor, who lives in Oregon.