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Need help with a brave horse's grave....: (

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  • Need help with a brave horse's grave....: (

    Our old friend, Rusty, was euthanized this morning as a result of severe colic. He had had a long life - 28 yrs, and, from the scars he bore, a hard one. While his last hours were painful, he was at peace, dignified and able to choose where he was to pass on, his horse family and humans around him. It was his choice to be laid to rest in his favorite pasture and I'd like to plant some thing on his grave which is horse-safe, edible and different from the rest of the pasture.

    Does anyone have suggestions - not a bush or tree - for suitable covering for this fine horse's final resting place?
    Form follows function, or does function follow form?



  • #2
    So sorry for your loss

    My choice - clover. Densely planted white clover, which will send out speading tendrils and stay green even when the grass has browned in fall and winter.

    Best to you, what a heartwarming thought.
    Homesick Angels Farm
    breeders of champion Irish Draught Sporthorses
    standing Manu Forti's Touch Down RID


    • #3
      No suggestions. ~ I wanted to say I'm sorry for your loss. How lucky Rusty was to be loved by a wonderful family - may he RIP.
      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


      • #4
        I'm so sorry...just so so sorry
        I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

        Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.


        • #5
          I'm so sorry. It seems many of the grand old horses are passing this year. It just sucks.
          Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


          • #6

            Boosma, so sorry that you had to say goodbye to your dear old friend today. He was a lucky gentleman to have you as his person. May he land in a field of clover once he crosses the bridge.


            • #7
              I plant crocuses and daffodils and tulips on my animals graves. In the spring, it is a nice reminder of where they were laid to rest.

              Pretty soon, it will be fall planting time for those bulbs.

              I am sorry for your loss.
              Godspeed Rusty to green rolling fields.
              save lives...spay/neuter/geld


              • #8
                So sorry for your loss. I have a 33 year old and I dread the day....

                I have planted daylilies on my horses graves. You can plant two or three different varieties and they will bloom in the summer at different times.


                • #9
                  My suggestion would be to wait a bit, because the dirt will sink with time. We had repiled the leftover dirt on top, was almost 3ft higher than the grass. Dirtpile continued to sink until below the grass level, so we had to add dirt to get back up to even.

                  When we leveled the ground the second time, spring after a fall burial, I worked up the new fill dirt with a tiller. I laid down some nice grass seed and fertilizer, covered with straw to hold in place until sprouted. The Clover suggestion is a good one too. My new seed contrasts very sharply with the older grass, very dark green with a different texture.

                  I did not plant flowers on the grave, since the old horse is buried in her paddock and we put other horses in there to graze. Most bulbs are not edible, daffodils and narcissis are even deer proof. Not sure about daylilies, just didn't want to chance making anyone sick by eating the bulb foliage. I have a nice tree planted along the fenceline, quite near the grave site.

                  You might want to put in a flat stone with some carving, name and date, on the grave. It is easily found, not sharp or dangerous to hurt another horse, can be mowed over.

                  Real sorry to hear your boy had to leave in such a hard way. He did enjoy a long life, with the end years in a good place.


                  • #10
                    My heartfelt sympathy to you and Rusty - I am also walking in the same shoes this afternoon after losing my stallion two hours ago. Bubba's problem stemmed from being cast overnight and we believe he hit his head, causing neurologic problems. At any rate, we are burying him next to several other horses we have lost in the past and they are in the shade of a big Cedar tree in one of our hayfields.

                    If you don't want to plant a tree, I like the idea of a flat marker such as the type Goodhors posted about.

                    So sorry for your loss - it always tugs at your heartstrings no matter how peaceful the passing is.
                    Susan N.

                    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.


                    • #11
                      And to you too

                      Bludejavu! I always shed tears when I read these posts. Peace and blessings to all.


                      • #12
                        Also sorry for your loss-what about some nice tall ornamental grass that blows nicely in the wind? Maybe even surrounded by some of the flowers others have mentioned.
                        "Those who know the least often know it the loudest."


                        • #13
                          Pity.. Always think apple trees are the best markers for horses. Even if you need two trees on the property to bare (bear?) fruit.

                          If you do not want a tree a second the suggestion above, Clover with a stone in the center if you like. One that looks unique
                          ~The Hardest Thing About Riding is the Ground~


                          • #14
                            So sorry .. I lost 2 this year both too young to go. 2 of my friends each lost their horses to tragic accidents (different times but eerily similar)

                            I wasn't able to bury mine.. I donated them to science, but the clover idea suggested above sounds sweet.
                            http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


                            • #15
                              I'm so sorry, boosma. There are never words- just know that there are people who really understand, even if we can't articulate it.

                              My suggestion- and of course it's worth what you're paying for it- both of my significant departed boys are buried in one large pasture. This is at a boarding facility, but I was given the opportunity to plant something if I wished. I badly wanted to plant something for my first boy, but like you it had to be a ground cover that was safe for grazing. After much thought, I decided to allow the grave to go back to grass. I was so concerned about building him a memorial in flora that I realized i'd be devastated if the plant failed. Grass would not fail, was not toxic, and held all the symbolism that I was looking for- it's perpetual, strong, nourishing for the beasties that share his space, something that he truly loved and always reminded me of him. Once I got over not knowing the exact perimeters of his burial location, it seemed perfect- and after putting another one into that pasture, it's all the more so for me. I look out on that field and know that my past and present beasties are there, sharing space- it's a legacy now, part of a cycle, not a grave.
                              My thoughts are with you.
                              bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
                              free bar.ka and tidy rabbit


                              • #16
                                Another idea: here is a nice marker. It is made of resin. If you couldn't use the actual marker when he is buried, perhaps the saying could be put on a flat plate and bolted onto something instead. Add in a few nice plants, and it would make a lovely memorial.

                                "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



                                • #17
                                  I'm very sorry for your loss.

                                  You say you want to plant something that will be visible, but is also edible/safe for livestock.

                                  May I suggest planting a patch of chicory?

                                  It's livestock/horse safe, it is no care, it flowers and grows tall, and it is not invasive.

                                  You can buy it over the internet or your feed store may sell it as it's used as forage.

                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Bludejavu, these shoes we share are heavy. Hugs to you in your grieving for your boy.

                                    And to all who have replied with suggestions and sympathy, I can't begin to express the comfort you have given me. All we can do for these magnificent beings in our lives is what's best for them. We all, humans, dog, horses and cats, feel a very large hole left by Rusty's passing, but we take comfort in knowing he is free from pain and in a place of his choosing.

                                    What leaves me humbled and awestruck is the dignity and nobility of this old horse's last hours. My son described him as an old warhorse, in the best sense of the word. Rusty was a survivor, tough, supremely confident and responsible.

                                    Thank you all. We will plant white clover and chickory(the most beautiful blue) and a small wooden cross.
                                    Form follows function, or does function follow form?




                                    • #19
                                      I am so sorry for your loss. I think the memorial you have planned sounds lovely.


                                      • #20
                                        Deepest sympathies. If not a tree, then perhaps once the ground is settled, sprinkle one of the wildflower gardens in a jar.