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Update: He’s Gone. 😞 When They Tell You It’s Time...

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    I was able to give my heart horse the most beautiful sendoff and I really treasure it.

    I had moved but still owned my farmette. So i took her and her best buddy back home for a long weekend. I gave her all the treats, let her graze where ever and took all the pictures i could take. I recreated some of the pictures that I had taken with her years before. I had her buried under her favorite tree and i watched her go into the hole. I enjoy knowing which way she is facing. Every backhoe guy I have ever dealt with has been so kind and gentle and understanding of the process. It's hard to watch, but it doesn't stick with me as the part i remember of that day. I remember giving my friend a gift.

    I saved her tail, and tried to save her chestnut because she had the weirdest chestnuts. My dog ended up eating while we were waiting for the backhoe and I think it worked out so that I could get a laugh in on one of the hardest days of my life. I have all of her momentos - keepsake bracelet, her show halter, her embroidered baby pad lying in wait til i can find something/ someplace to put them.


      Original Poster

      We put him down this morning. It became clear that there was no justifiable reason to wait, and he was declining too quickly. We spoiled him absolutely rotten this week, and then loaded him with pain meds and turned him out today before the vets arrived. The drugs were good - he ran, bucked, and played before he settled down to graze.

      The vet was worried about how the euthanasia would go... she said that horses in pain and those with neurologic issues often have a rough time. Thank God, that was not the case for him. He went down gently and didn’t struggle at all. The vet looked at me and said “He was a gentleman to the very end.” It was exactly the ending I had hoped to give him. Happy, peaceful, and finally pain free. As hard as today is, the memory is something that brings me tremendous peace instead of haunting me like I’d feared it would.

      Leave it to this horse to make me laugh this morning when I thought I’d do nothing but cry. I have absolutely no idea how he didn’t fall doing this, but he recovered quite gracefully all things considered.


        Very sorry for the loss of your handome fella. What a lovely photo. Godspeed handsome.


          It sounds like left after having an amazing time! What a perfect way to say goodbye to such a special horse!


            But we could all be so lucky to have such an ending to this journey.

            Godspeed to your pony and virtual hugs to you. Its always hard to say goodbye to a friend.
            There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.


              What a lucky horse to have you for his person!

              I had never had an old horse and had no experience in knowing when it was time. Poet lived to be 30 and within a week went from being basically okay to now's the time. There was sadness, but in the days and weeks that followed I realized that I had been carrying this fear that he would have some sort of injury while playing in pasture or colic or something and that he would have a painful awful end of life, which was not what I wanted for him at all. The feeling I ended up with, which really surprised me, was relief that his passing was peaceful and without drama or pain. And tremendous love for a truly amazing horse.


                Hugs, OP. I'm so sorry for your loss. He was a handsome boy...


                  May he rest in peace. I'm so sorry for your loss. What a special horse with a special owner. I love that photo of him playing!


                    Thoughts and prayers for the family he leaves behind ~

                    RIP ~ Beloved Gentleman ~ knowing you will always be loved and remembered ~

                    ((hugs)) ~ laced with strength and comfort ~ I'm sorry for your heartbreaking loss ~
                    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                      How kind of all your grief-- to come to let us know how it was as soft of a landing as it could have been...and that you are doing ok and finding peace as you can. Because I know we were not worried for him...your years of care and putting him first always was evident from your first post here. How very blessed he was to call you his own. Godspeed to him, and thank you for loving him so well.
                      "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                      --Jimmy Buffett


                        (((hugs))) My sympathy.

                        And I want you to know that if you feel a kind of relief that you don't have to worry about him any more that's both normal and okay.


                          He sounds like he was all class. My condolences on your loss.


                            Hugs to you OP!! I'm so glad to hear everything went well and it was a peaceful end... he's a lucky boy, and now he's waiting for you
                            Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
                            Quiet Miracle 2010 16.1h OTTB Bay Gelding
                            "Once you go off track, you never go back!"


                              (((( many understanding hugs ))))
                              <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.



                                You showed him the grace and dignity our friends all deserve in the end. You showed him mercy. You spared him the pain and fear of an impending end and you took that pain on as your own.

                                Blessings on you until you meet him again, I wish you a gentle grief, fond memories and peace.

                                "Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons"


                                  You done good.
                                  "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                  ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                                    Trainer Julie Goodnight has the best discussion on losing a horse I have read. It is on her website in the free articles section. She lost a horse when it dropped in the arena and died. She included these five factors to consider. When a horse doesn't have all five we should consider putting them down.
                                    • Freedom from hunger and thirst.
                                    • Freedom from discomfort.
                                    • Freedom from pain, injury and disease.
                                    • Freedom from distress and fear.
                                    • Freedom to express natural behavior
                                    Our BO has had to make a decision about her older horses. If they will have a tough making it through the winter she does it in the late fall when the ground hasn't frozen solid so a hole can still be dug. She schedules it so everyone has time to say goodbye. They are pampered. We had a great appy gelding named Scooter Bug. He loved iced tea and donuts.

                                    Quite a while ago someone on this forum said they always spread hay on the bottom of the grave. It sounded like a good idea. BO had to put down a nice lesson/therapy mare. She had a broken shoulder undoubtedly from a kick. She was by a stack of square bales and was standing in loose hay. The vet sedated her first and BO was able to stroke her head and neck. It added a softness to the whole procedure; on hay rather than a patch of hard dirt. I mentioned it to the vet, new to our barn after our previous vet retired. It was a good idea, she said, and will keep it in mind going forward.
                                    "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019