Giving a nod to the wacko HO who wanted to come visit her recently-deceased horse's grave too often, I'm asking how *you* do your horse mourning.
I have a 19-year-old gelding, so I think about this. My plans range for Glorifying The Average Bay Gelding range from the serious to the bizarre.
For example, a vet buddy of mine offered me a "one-stop shopping package deal": He'd euthanize and bury the horse on his farm (complete with tree) for an even $1,200. Oh, and they have a circular drive way for an easy in-n-out.
Your plans or tried and true methods? Don't be shy. The Victorians really went to town with mourning their dead. None of us will exceed their eccentricities.
You mean do I plan to make an inkwell out of one of Snort's hooves? Not hardly, and he isn't pretty enough to tan and make a hide out of (some cowhides are just gorgeous) or stuff, lthough it would be quite a conversation starter to use him as a saddle rack at the barn.
DH and I have already discussed what to do and it isn't very romantic.
God, I can't even think about it. My guy is only 8. I have, however, always always buried my deceased kitties at home and put up grave markers. Even a little tombstone with name, birth date and death date for one. Just about killed me to leave three of them behind when I moved.
And some of my late Mom's ashes are buried at my current house, planted a pink dogwood over them.
What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!
My heart horse was struck by lightening almost 20 years ago. I had a plaque made and posted on the fence of the pasture where he died. Several years later the farm sold and was going to be developed so I cut the plaque off the fence and it now sits in my house. I also have one of his shoes hanging on the wall for decoration.
It took me many years to stop crying when I thought about him and I still get teary now. I still have his registration papers and cannot bring myself to get rid of them.
When I lost my heart horse 5 years ago I had one really nice horsehair bracelet made, as well as one for 'everyday' wear. I also bought a flat stone with his name and dates of birth and death on them. I have yet to put the stone on his grave, but plan to do it eventually.
He's buried out in one of my front pastures and although I never did sit at his grave for any vigils, I'll occasionally still speak to him on the way in or out of the property since he's buried near the driveway.
Yes, I know he's dead and that his spirit doesn't reside at the grave, but it gives me comfort knowing where his body is buried. I may eventually plant a tree there, as well as lay the grave stone. Haven't really figured it out just yet.
I sometimes still shed a tear over him, but mostly I'm grateful for having had him in my life for those 21 years.
Unlike the Victorians, I don't have any 'after death' pictures of him. I do have plenty of pictures from his life, though.
Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.
Well, it's been a long time since I've lost one personally and they were buried on my family farm. I would go out and sit at the grave and "visit" with them regularly, especially my childhood pony. With the two I have now, should anything happen to them, I hope to have them cremated. I'd also like to do the horsehair bracelet thing as previously mentioned. Once cremated, I will retain their ashes, and then when I die, I will also be cremated and their ashes buried or scattered with me. Crazy? *shrug* Maybe.
My cat had to be put to sleep a couple of months ago. He was born on our family farm so he was a part of a world that I don't have anymore since my parents died and our farm was sold. When I picked up his ashes, I drove home with them sitting on my lap because I felt like I just needed to touch something tangible and hold him. A few weeks after he died, my sister passed away. I was *this* close to taking my cat's ashes with me on the 18+ hour drive home. My friend told me that he was way "too cool and dignified for that," so I refrained.
So yeah...I'm possibly a bit nutty in that regard, but am pretty logical in most other ways. I think I should be allowed at least one eccentricity!
My Heart horse is the only one who is not buried at our farm. That doesn't really bother me because I don't want to remember where she died, I want to remember where she lived. I had her for such a short period of time, and I was so broken hearted that I had so few pictures of us because I am usually the picture taker. So, I guess while I was tearing through pictures and computer files, I probably was in Moonbat mode.
\"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.\" Anne of Green Gables
My horses have been rendered or buried if possible.
CT finally got a large animal crematorium built...town next door to me. And it's a true large animal facility, they do entire body cremations. Cost is $1200-$1500 IIRC. My last horse that passed happened before the facility was approved and running. (town fought it tooth and nail, with tons of town meetings and tons of purposeful misinformation)
Had it been up and running, Mr Blue would most certainly have had our mare cremated. Not sure what I'd have done with about 80 lbs of ashes though. Mr Blue was very attached to our mare (as was I). He's also the type that would have palpitations over more feasible methods of body disposal such as composting, rendering, etc.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
My grieving process is to cry for a day and be sad for weeks. I can't bury any really large animals on my property so they get hauled away. I cant really afford cremation so I just have a small framed picture on a bookcase in my library. My vet did send me a consolation card and a packet of wildflower seeds that I will plant in the spring.
My parents have 140 acres so burial isn't a problem. We don't have the farm equipment to dig a hole so when we had to put my pony down, a kind neighbor came over and dug the hole for us.
We buried him in the pasture and didn't put up any kind of marker. I have a woodburned sign I made for him and I was always going to put that up, but just haven't gotten around to getting it weatherproofed yet.
I will occasionally look at that section of the pasture and think fondly of him, but that's about it. Recently we bought two new ponies and my dad (NOT a horsey person) insisted that we could NOT build their paddock over Bandit's grave and we had to make sure their paddock was far enough over so he didn't have to throw hay for the big horses on Bandit's grave. (I first realized my dad's attachment to Bandit when we were discussing putting him down and my dad - who is an old farmboy who once raised beef cattle - told us he absolutely could NOT be the one to push Bandit in the hole with the tractor after he'd passed. Thankfully, another kind neighbor helped out with that).
It's been several years since we put Bandit down.. but last weekend when the ponies arrived and I watched the one that I chose specifically because he looks so much like my old Bandit, I did stand and gaze over at Bandit's grave for awhile and think of him.
I personally don't think my dad's "moonbat crazy" for wanting to keep Bandit's grave an "off limits" spot for building, etc. I actually think it's very touching. Now for me, personally, I'm not all that attached to graves... I hate cemeteries and think open casket funerals are a morbid custom. I'm religious and don't believe the person is there any longer after they pass on... so I find the thought of gazing at a dead loved one in a casket pointless. HOWEVER, I do respect the fact that most people need that "closure" so I would never begrudge them that. What does annoy me is when people try to FORCE me to go view the body at a funeral. They think I'm afraid or too sad... when in actuality I just don't see the point and don't want my last memory of that person to be lying dead in a coffin.
When we put Wasabi down, I gave myself 24 hours to act however I needed, then I told myself I was going to pick myself and deal. I think it was worse because I was 8 months pregnant at the time and hormones were AWFUL. I think DH thought that I was going to have to be admitted.
I was on the farm, but not present when they buried her. DH was, and we walked out back in the spring and he showed me where they put her. I wanted to take a picture with my mare and I standing (since my mare is 'Sabi's dam) on the spot to take with us when we have to leave, but it could be a bit dangerous since it's not fenced in and Willow is a lunatic. I wander back and visit from time to time. She doesn't have a marker.
I put her stall plate and baby halter in our front hallway, and I touch the plate everytime I leave the house. Took me 6 months though before I could open the drawer with her papers/plate/bit of tail hair the tech was kind enough to braid for me.
I'm struggling right now with giving away her baby blankets. They need to go, since we don't really have a use for them anymore, but I just can't bring myself to open the box.
My Fuzzy horse died suddenly and unexpectedly while out hunting. His body was necropsied and so he was not buried at home. I took a long walk around the farm's back fields where we'd spent so much time and laid a horse treat down anywhere special. The deer, I am sure, were very happy. I was too busy bawling my eyes out, hormonal-teenage-moonbat-style. I did get a bracelet made of his tail hair which my kid sister's dog promptly ate and excreted, Corgi-style. I have the rest of the tail which I keep intending to get made into another bracelet, but just haven't done it yet.
MVP, your vet buddy's deal sounds pretty darn reasonable, considering.
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
I had a friend who looked into getting the ashes made into a diamond. First, off, cremation must be $$ and then the diamond-making was $$$ (she was talking about the 10k version for a ring).
My mother - moonbatty as she is has decided this is what she wants us to do to her when she's gone. She's gone so far as to put it in her will. It gives me the willie and I told her, I'm going to give her away. She said that was fine as long as she was a diamond.
As for mourning my horses... I planted an aezala and buried some pictures and some treats with him when a horse that was given to me died. He's not at my house, but I will get a plaque or write his name in the concrete when I build the barn at my place. When my heart horse, or my first pony goes, I don't know... but the general consensus is, it's not going to be pretty.
I probably shouldn't admit this but I have had passing thoughts of having his hide preserved if he should happen to pass during the winter. I feel like that's sort of gross, but I love burying my face in his coat in the winter. Is that moonbatty? Or is it only crazy if I call in the FOB interpretive dance lady?
"smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"
For some of the horses I've put down, I've have my farrier come out and cut off the lower legs for donation to the local college equine science program. I also donate whatever xrays or ultrasound images I have for said legs as well as provide a history of the horse's health, age, breed, etc. The instructor at the college is a CJF who uses them in his farrier science class, OR they are used for the local farrier community to do dissection and continuing education. The students/farriers dissect the legs and having ones with a full history of the horse plus rads and u/s makes for some great learning, versus the cadaver legs they normally get. I feel this is a good way to honor my horse, and when I took the farrier science class I had the honor of dissecting donated legs. It felt like such a gift and I like the idea of giving back to the horse community. I am not present for the leg removal and the rendering man is there immediately after to remove the body. My farrier wraps the 'stumps' up as nicely as possible.