I know this is long but it is my way of starting to grieve.
Where to begin. I was just like every other little girl wanting a horse of her own. I worked at a stable and finally convinced my parents to let me adopt a friends horse. I got Scout when I was 10. He was a big goofy App/draft cross and soon became my best friend. I carried me through shows, trail, and many lessons. He was with me through my first love and heart break. When I graduated high school I was left with a tough decision. No one in my family liked horses, I really believe my parents thought it was a phase. I decided to donate my beloved friend to a YMCA camp where I hoped he would be able to help other overweight, low self est em kids. I went off to college and lost contact with the camp. I graduated and went back to work at the stables I grew up at. Come to find out my boss had bought my horse from the one camp and leased him to another. I told her that when he retired I wanted him back. Thursday night I got a disturbing phone call from her telling me that my oldest and best friend was sick. I of course was on the phone all day Friday with the camp and the local vet. I called my vet and drove 2 hours with him just to check my friend and get a second opinion. Unfortunately Scout ruptured his right eye and scratched his left so bad they are afraid it will rupture also. I knew I had a choice to make, my boss told me the decision was mine. I debated it all weekend, do i keep him alive or do i let him go after not being with him for 10 years. I knew i had to see him again before i decided so off i went today to see him. All my non horse friends say he is just a horse, he has lived for 32 years what more could you want? I knew he would let me know if it was time. I went into his stall and he nickered at me and i cried on him for an hour I knew the choice was made. As I said good bye to my old friend he nuzzled my face as his last breathe came, I know it was his way of saying good-bye.
I totally know just where you are at,I lost my old mate just recently due to the equine influenza epidemic in australia and was totally devasted as he was 32 yrs old and still in perfect health,still competing at teampenning and pony club with a 6 yr old rider, no arthritis, and fit and healthy.At 30 yrs of age he was still placing in open galloway classes at shows and only weeks before his death won a under 12yrs age group barrel race at 20.02 seconds. His old heart wasn,t strong enough to withstand the infection caused by the influenza virus and despite all our care and medication passed away quietly at home at the gate to the house yard and is sadly missed by all his many riders throughout his lifetime. He was the best example of an australian stock horse you could ever wish for.
My horse, Candy, died last month. She was 33 and had been with me for 21 years.
She had chronic arthritis and had been unable to get up a number of times after lying down.
We got her to her feet successfully on about five occasions since April this year but on July 10th after four people trying for nearly two hours to help her up I knew she was not going to do it this time so I called the vet.
It was a distressing situation but the foal like sounds my little horse made as she was dying were oddly comforting to me. It was almost like she was calling to her mum. This is probably the nearest to spiritual a non-religious person can get, I suppose, and it has helped me deal with the loss of my most constant and loyal friend.
In the end the saddest thing was that Candy's hind legs failed her but her heart,lungs and mind were as sound as ever.
People will say it's only a horse it lived a long time but I will say those people are missing something very valuable and precious.