She came into my life during my first year of college. She was 6, super green, and a typical chestnut mare, so the first few years were a little rocky at times - I remember showing her in a double twisted wire one of her first times out - but eventually we developed a partnership. She won countless ribbons in the children's/adult and schooling jumpers and I can count on one hand the number of refusals she had in the 10 years that I showed her. She was OHJA Schooling Jumper champion in 1997 and reserve in 1999 before our foray into eventing, which she loved (except for the dressage part )
I had to retire her from showing at the age of 16 due to severe hock arthritis, but she still loved going on trail rides and popping over the occasional log or crossrail. She was diagnosed with Cushing's in 2008 and we managed her well on medication for years; we also determined that she had arthritis in her neck and her left knee. Over the past few years she'd lost a few teeth, but maintained her weight pretty well until about a year and a half ago, when it became a real struggle to get enough calories into her.
In the past few weeks her appetite declined drastically, in part due to a dental infection that we were trying to address. Despite our best efforts, she continued to decline, and Saturday morning she began to show outright colic signs. We got her comfortable again with Banamine, but 5 hours later she was down in the field and clearly uncomfortable, so we made the decision to let her go. Although I've seen (and performed) countless euthanasias, I wasn't sure I would be able to hold it together, but she went very peacefully and I am glad I was there for her at the end.
RIP sweet girl. Thank you for all you've given me. Years ago, I trusted you with my life, and yesterday you trusted me with yours. May you run free in green fields.