Your girl is adorable. I'm sure you will make the right decision.
I myself am not in the "better sooner than later" camp, but I understand the mindset. Horses will usually tell you when they're done, and you'll know. When they struggle to get around, have little interest in eating, etc, it's time. The laying down thing is always a problem. I have had older horses that have had a hard time rising and I have decided with each that there gets to be a point where I won't go to heroics anymore. I worked with a gelding that we had to help up repeatedly over the course of a couple of years, using a tractor. He WANTED to get up, but couldn't. Every time he'd be so relieved to be up. I know there are folks who would have put him down and maybe that's right, but he wasn't the type to be stressed by the thing; he knew we'd be there to help eventually. He went out in the indoor arena at nights to give him a soft place to pay down, room to stretch his legs, and room to maneuver a tractor if need be, for whatever reason. :|
The last time it happened it was very obvious that he wasn't getting up and he didn't want to. He was tired and sore and done. That was the day.
For these horse I try to avoid placing them in places where they'll be lacking traction, or will be hard to extricate.
Best of luck to you. You have obviously given her a great life.
As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.
I am sorry for what you are going through and know you are not alone. I had a horse I had to say good bye to when he was 40 that my dad bought for me when he was a three year old off the track.... I didn't know what life was without him.
Recently I have a really BIG horse that I had to retire and I tried many different things..... I thought it was done when I saw him not getting up and falling down behind.. I had the chiro out and then the vet put him on Previcox. It's been four months and all is well.
Sometimes we can help them and sometimes we cannot... but when you said the twinkle in her eye was gone as if she saying she's done - no one knows her better than you.... Prayers and hugs your way.
"The horse should pay attention to two things only: the rider’s aids and his own self-preservation at the jump—not the environment. ~ GM
It's Saturday evening now, so I want to say my sympathies for your loss. It is never easy.
Forty years. Wow! I must say I'm a bit jealous. I had to euthanize my last horse when he was 18, and I felt like he'd been cheated but he was ready. I wrote a blog about the experience - the last entry is about knowing when it's time. If you have any doubts left maybe reading it will help you settle them. http://endgame-journeys-end.blogspot.ca/
Wow she was a beauty, didn't look her age at all. I think at 40, it is better to just let them go rather than fight declining health. She already has lived a long and healthy life, a peaceful and pain free end is always the way to go.
Im so sorry for your loss, but you have given her the best possible life and ending, she will appreciate you for that.
I believe, when one leaves the physical world, they revert to their former healthy, vibrant selves; where all aches, pains and ailments are cured. You helped her to get to that place. I'm sorry for your loss, but maybe you can take some solace in knowing her spirit continues on with you.
Hugs and love to you. I just made this decision for my 33 year old pony, it was so incredibly difficult as we had had her in our family for 28 years. I knew I did the right thing, but it did not make it any less difficult. Bless you for loving and caring for her so well. Again, heartfelt hugs to you.
It was the right decision and not a day too soon. She was ready to go, barely scraping her teeth over the last apple (only because I offered it to her). She was ready to be done.
I had felt like I was failing her by not being able to fix the problems. Then I read and reread the kind and wonderful words from actual horse people. Thank you all so much for being incredibly nice. Having people understand what the loss feels like and sharing their experiences helped me to see I could get through this. The saying “Don’t be sad because it’s over, be glad that it happened” perfectly describes how I feel. It didn’t hurt nearly as bad I feared and she will always live on in my heart.