This is a great story of how a horse is helping everyone heal after a tragedy. Horses are such wonderful teachers and healers. ~Declan
School shooting victim's memory lives on through horse (VIDEO)
Elissa Koehl, USA TODAY 2:39 p.m. EDT August 1, 2014
It's been seven months since Claire Davis was tragically shot and killed during a shooting at Arapahoe High School in Colorado. Since then, her family and friends have worked to cope with the loss of the 17-year-old.
One thing getting them through is Claire's horse, Graphite.
"She loved him with all her heart. She would make cards and pictures of him," says her mom Desiree Davis.
The family faced a big dilemma: What to do with Graphite now that Claire was gone? The answer turned out to be simpler than they imagined.
Erica Blair was the new kid in town when Claire befriended her on the first day of school.
"She made me feel included, which was really, really special," says Blair.
Over time, they discovered their mutual love of horses. Both friends competed in riding competitions and often wished their horses could be housed in the same barn.
After she lost her best friend, Blair was hit with another blow. Her horse was sick and needed surgery. At a loss, she reached out to Claire's mother who offered the perfect solution: Blair should ride Claire's horse.
While this friendship between girl and horse is new, it is growing beautifully. Between rides in the paddock and brushes in the barn, the pair have bonded over their love for their best friend Claire.
Watch the video above to see Blair and Graphite riding.
"I feel her most when I'm at the barn, because he meant so much to her," Blair goes on to say.
For Claire's mom, it offers a feeling of peace to see her daughter's best friend take over caring for Graphite.
"It felt so perfect. It finally felt right, what to with him," says Desiree.