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What made you feel better after loss of heart horse?

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  • What made you feel better after loss of heart horse?

    So, King has been gone almost two months ... and I am still so sad. Nights are the worst, of course. He was the touchstone for the end of my day. I always said he kept me sane, and he is not here to do that now.

    When I go out to the barn at night to turn out the other boys, I just cannot get past that empty stall without choking up.

    Sometimes I feel foolish, this hurts so bad --- and I know there are bigger problems in the world.

    What made you feel better after losing that once in a lifetime friend?

  • #2
    1) Time
    2) Helping someone else find their heart horse and seeing their joy.
    3) Writing a story about her, and why she meant so much to me, including what she taught me.

    Sorry for your loss and continued heart ache, but I think you are also fortunate for having found that bond in the first place. Hopefully one day soon the good memories are able to make you smile more than the sad ones upset you.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

    Comment


    • #3
      Time. A lot of time. I'd say it took 6mos to be able to think about her without it crushing me. I just passed the one year anniversary, and I was crying again.

      Writing and sharing with others who understand.

      Being around horses--grooming, riding, stall cleaning, anything that got to the barn.

      A wonderful spouse (who also was heartbroken over losing her) and sweet children and fantastic friends.

      And time.
      SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
      CP Trilogy 2002-2015
      My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

      Comment


      • #4
        Accepting that I could never survive my losses by focusing on my loss. I need to find another soul to grow to love. I will never survive my losses without the hope of another love... The world is never hurt by loving more animals after you have lost your heart horse....

        Comment


        • #5
          Honor him by devoting yourself to a new one. Don't rush it, but open yourself to the right one. King will send him.

          Comment


          • #6
            I haven't lost a heart horse yet but lost a heart dog. For me there was some comfort in counting the days. It has been three weeks, four weeks etc. I think the main thing that got me through it though was www.petloss.com It is a group of extremely supportive, like minded people. Of course it is mainly dogs and cats but any animal talk is welcome. It took me several weeks to actually participate in the candle ceremony but I watched it every Monday night. Very powerful. Godspeed.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home

            Comment


            • #7
              My girl had been rehabbing from a coffin joint issue (stem cell therapy) and I'd scheduled her first lesson when she colicked in late August. She got to the clinic the same evening and had surgery the following day and I suffered with her pain.

              The only things that make me feel better are knowing that she's not in pain or even discomfort now, wet, or hot or cold or confused or worried (she was quite sensitive and sadly, so I am) and knowing that she passed surrounded by vets who knew her well and liked her. She was their first colic surgery together, it went well until post-op, and I know she will not be forgotten.

              And avoidance ... I try not to dwell ... I am volunteering at a rescue center and riding lots of different horses. I have supportive horse people around me and a best-pal via email who was "with us" from the beginning.

              I still lose my breath from time to time ... it's worst when I'm driving home from work alone with no plans to see her or driving to work on a promisingly crummy day and remind myself that work pays the board bills.

              My heart goes out to you.
              *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

              Comment


              • #8
                My motto was to "kick on". I have been keeping as busy as possible, and have made some clear goals for my other horse and me. It has been a little over 2 months for me too, and there are things that set me off still. I am dreading taking out the winter blankets, for example... Sorry, I totally know how you are feeling.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by stolen virtue View Post
                  Accepting that I could never survive my losses by focusing on my loss. I need to find another soul to grow to love. I will never survive my losses without the hope of another love... The world is never hurt by loving more animals after you have lost your heart horse....
                  ^
                  THIS

                  2 months is a heartbeat & an eternity.
                  For me, after losing 2 the same day (see my sig) it was finding another ASAP to fill my empty barn.
                  And there he was, on COTH Giveaways.


                  I know you have others, so this may not be the solution for you.
                  Just know the horse-shaped hole in your heart will fill in time.
                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Everyone has given you great ideas to try but I have one rather bizarre one. Sometimes facing the crushing grief head on gets it "over with". By this I mean, give yourself a concentrated scheduled event to just reimmerse yourself in the loss. It can be really intense, overwhelming even and will exhaust you perhaps. But it will get it out.

                    Here's an idea. Get a cot and good sleeping bag. Pick a night when you can ignore the rest of the world and you have nothing pressing the following morning. Instruct those close to you to leave you the hell alone for this. No intrusions. This is almost like when they send people out into the dessert to survive a night alone. Set up camp and sleep a night in his stall. bring pictures, movies of him, play loud sad music, bawl your eyes out. Or take a vow of silence and just listen to his after dark world, his early morning world. Let it happen completely.

                    The euthanizing was intense, I'm sure. Let your soul go there again if it has to. Get spent. Stay in the moment. Don't bail and go to the house at midnight. We are a species meant to survive. Sometimes in order to strengthen our survivalist mechanisms, we have to test it. So take your butt out to the barn and spend the time it takes to get you past the ugly cry, the dripping snot wiped on your sleep, the I can't catch my breath cry. Go all the way to the end of it and then stay there! Your mind will reach a point in that night where it will snap back to rational thinking. It is going to stop the stress on itself and bring up the good memories. It will settle into an exhausted state of deep peace and just plain old, rock bottom, can only look up serenity. And you will lay there in the dark listening to the sounds of the wild at night, just outside his stall. You will imagine that he is right there, just out of reach there in the dark of the stall. If you reached out, it's as if his breath from his muzzle would waft gently across the skin of your hand. and after all the sobbing and anger and exhaustio, your body will just stop and catch it's breath.

                    and you will smile.....because he's there.



                    And in the morning, the chill will wake you. It will be totally out of routine for you. You will wake as if you are him in the cool twilight of your barn, waiting for his person to come from somewhere to his world.

                    Let the morning wash over you. Stretch hard in the sleeping bag and just lay and listen. look at the ceiling of his stall. see the view of where he may have layed out in the stall. Don't say a word. Lay there until you just can't stand the itch anymore. Got to get up and feed the horses, your mind will say. Then flop out of that cot like a 4H kid on County Fair week. Feed the horses, lay your face on theirs, skritch their withers.

                    Then do whatever mindless thing you want to do that day. Scrub the toilet. grocery shop. watch a dumb movie. Just let your mind and body physically recover.

                    Ask me how I know.....



                    He's there..... he'll always be there. you can do this, this putting one foot in front of the other crap of life. He's there and so are we, your COTH pals...
                    ...don't sh** where you eat...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Time and another to shower you love and attention on. Fill that void and it will honestly help.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Almost 40 years ago, Rowdy, on his way to slaughter for flipping over regularly and the last time almost killing it's rider, happen to end up in my hands.
                        I have to say he never reared once with me the 2+ years I had him, was my right hand starting and ponying colts in race training, was my main cowhorse, jumping from place to place in the canyons like a goat, ending with all four legs in one impossible spot and just the best horse I ever had the pleasure to work with and I mean work together as partners.

                        He was so over the top nice, when we fed the main gelding herd first and then the ones in the nearby pens, he would, before taking a bite, carry one flake over to the pens and put it over the fence into the yearling stallion's pen we had just bought to eventually replace our old stallion, so he would not get upset waiting for food.
                        That is the kind of horse he was.

                        One day, he was very sick and was diagnosed with leptospirosis, it affected his heart and was gone in three days.

                        The point here is that, all those years ago, I still feel myself and my little energizer bunny Rowdy running thru the canyons after wayward cattle hiding in there, leading ornery colts that by him became lambs.
                        I have always been pragmatic, I know how life works and doesn't, but it is so sad when we lose them.
                        Those feelings, well, they never go away.

                        What can you do?
                        I call that mental hygiene.
                        You learn to remember the best without letting those great feelings of all that was good be flooded by the sadness that accompanies the loss.
                        That sadness will always be there.
                        We need to learn to make it irrelevant to the memories of all that was good.
                        Can't ignore what is true, our sadness, but can learn to control how much we let it bother us.
                        Learn to acknowledge it and ignore it.
                        Ignoring gets better with time, even if it always will be there.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by winfieldfarm View Post
                          Everyone has given you great ideas to try but I have one rather bizarre one. Sometimes facing the crushing grief head on gets it "over with". By this I mean, give yourself a concentrated scheduled event to just reimmerse yourself in the loss. It can be really intense, overwhelming even and will exhaust you perhaps. But it will get it out.

                          Here's an idea. Get a cot and good sleeping bag. Pick a night when you can ignore the rest of the world and you have nothing pressing the following morning. Instruct those close to you to leave you the hell alone for this. No intrusions. This is almost like when they send people out into the dessert to survive a night alone. Set up camp and sleep a night in his stall. bring pictures, movies of him, play loud sad music, bawl your eyes out. Or take a vow of silence and just listen to his after dark world, his early morning world. Let it happen completely.

                          The euthanizing was intense, I'm sure. Let your soul go there again if it has to. Get spent. Stay in the moment. Don't bail and go to the house at midnight. We are a species meant to survive. Sometimes in order to strengthen our survivalist mechanisms, we have to test it. So take your butt out to the barn and spend the time it takes to get you past the ugly cry, the dripping snot wiped on your sleep, the I can't catch my breath cry. Go all the way to the end of it and then stay there! Your mind will reach a point in that night where it will snap back to rational thinking. It is going to stop the stress on itself and bring up the good memories. It will settle into an exhausted state of deep peace and just plain old, rock bottom, can only look up serenity. And you will lay there in the dark listening to the sounds of the wild at night, just outside his stall. You will imagine that he is right there, just out of reach there in the dark of the stall. If you reached out, it's as if his breath from his muzzle would waft gently across the skin of your hand. and after all the sobbing and anger and exhaustio, your body will just stop and catch it's breath.

                          and you will smile.....because he's there.



                          And in the morning, the chill will wake you. It will be totally out of routine for you. You will wake as if you are him in the cool twilight of your barn, waiting for his person to come from somewhere to his world.

                          Let the morning wash over you. Stretch hard in the sleeping bag and just lay and listen. look at the ceiling of his stall. see the view of where he may have layed out in the stall. Don't say a word. Lay there until you just can't stand the itch anymore. Got to get up and feed the horses, your mind will say. Then flop out of that cot like a 4H kid on County Fair week. Feed the horses, lay your face on theirs, skritch their withers.

                          Then do whatever mindless thing you want to do that day. Scrub the toilet. grocery shop. watch a dumb movie. Just let your mind and body physically recover.

                          Ask me how I know.....



                          He's there..... he'll always be there. you can do this, this putting one foot in front of the other crap of life. He's there and so are we, your COTH pals...
                          THIS ^^^

                          It's what I've done in the past when I've lost "heart" dogs. I haven't lost a horse yet, but I'm sure I'll do the same.

                          Do I still tear up from time to time? You bet. And that's okay. And it does take time.

                          PS to Winfield Farm: I was bawling when I read this. I guess since it hits so close to home and what I do to grieve.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A Wonderful post on 'living' with a heart horse loss ~ Thank YOU ~ Bluey '

                            ** This is a wonderful post on 'living' with a heart horse loss ~

                            Thank YOU !!! Bluey ~

                            Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                            Almost 40 years ago, Rowdy, on his way to slaughter for flipping over regularly and the last time almost killing it's rider, happen to end up in my hands.
                            I have to say he never reared once with me the 2+ years I had him, was my right hand starting and ponying colts in race training, was my main cowhorse, jumping from place to place in the canyons like a goat, ending with all four legs in one impossible spot and just the best horse I ever had the pleasure to work with and I mean work together as partners.

                            He was so over the top nice, when we fed the main gelding herd first and then the ones in the nearby pens, he would, before taking a bite, carry one flake over to the pens and put it over the fence into the yearling stallion's pen we had just bought to eventually replace our old stallion, so he would not get upset waiting for food.
                            That is the kind of horse he was.

                            One day, he was very sick and was diagnosed with leptospirosis, it affected his heart and was gone in three days.

                            The point here is that, all those years ago, I still feel myself and my little energizer bunny Rowdy running thru the canyons after wayward cattle hiding in there, leading ornery colts that by him became lambs.
                            I have always been pragmatic, I know how life works and doesn't, but it is so sad when we lose them.
                            Those feelings, well, they never go away.

                            What can you do?
                            I call that mental hygiene.
                            You learn to remember the best without letting those great feelings of all that was good be flooded by the sadness that accompanies the loss.
                            That sadness will always be there.
                            We need to learn to make it irrelevant to the memories of all that was good.
                            Can't ignore what is true, our sadness, but can learn to control how much we let it bother us.
                            Learn to acknowledge it and ignore it.
                            Ignoring gets better with time, even if it always will be there.
                            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree, Bluey did a great job expressing the ongoing sense of loss. It never truly goes away, but with time it becomes easier to look back on the good times and smile.

                              As previous posters have said, time helps, but it takes a lot of it.

                              When my little retired Arab gelding, Gem, passed on, I needed a babysitter for my youngest mare pretty quickly, so I was in a position to bring home another horse. A client of my trainer's was going through a nasty divorce, moved off the farm that she had shared with her ex and into an apartment. One day, not long after Gem died, that client came home to find her 27 year old mare tied up in her downtown backyard , courtesy of her ex. So Pody came to live with me. And that helped a lot, too. Especially because I didn't feel like I was trying to replace Gem, I just felt needed.
                              "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                              -Edward Hoagland

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                This It Be Right

                                Time to share this again...

                                http://www.specialhorses.org/thisItBeRight.html
                                the NOT!! Spoiled!! Arabian Protectavest poster pony lives on in my heart

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Time. Lots and Lots of time. I knew I was able to even think about owning again when I could look at his pictures and not cry like an idiot about missing him...instead I cry about how good he looked and how much my students love him.

                                  Of course, having Tia dropped in my lap has def helped me...Boomer would have wanted me to move on, I just had to convince myself that moving on wouldnt betray him...know what I mean??
                                  Boomer's Hopes & Dreams
                                  On Facebook
                                  Tia - The Rescue
                                  RIP Boomer - May 21, 1989 - November 3, 2010

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    It's been a month for me, and I have no advice, because I simply don't know. I feel guilty and stupid for still being so heartbroken. I've lost other animals, animals I loved, but nothing like my Pirate. He was my soul mate in horse form; I said that often. The pain is second only to the loss of my husband ten years ago. I have other horses - in fact, he was mostly retired, living in my backyard pasture, being my friend and partner and not a competitive horse. He was only 15 and I found him down and gone in pasture a month ago. He was way too young - but he was also a mustang, feral stallion until he was 7, and had many disabilities. Most everyone reminds me that in those 15 years he lived many lifetimes.

                                    I'm not OK. I'm guessing if you are posting, you aren't either. I am riding my green horses again, but there is no joy, only obligation. I hug them, and I pay attention to the rescue horses every day (Pirate was my inspiration for the rescue too, that's the hard part), but it's hard. I find solace in the blind mare (Pi was nearly blind) that had given Pirate so much love and comfort the last few months, Emma - they were inseparable, and she seeks me out more too. We're both a little lost. I try not to compare my other horses to Pi - it helps that my mare is NOTHING like him and I have never compared them. My 3 year old Morgan is harder; he's the first horse that I've seen enough "Pirate" qualities in to actually keep, and every day as he grows up I see more and more "Pi" qualities in him.

                                    I have to hope that my joy will come back. Right now, I just go through one day at a time. I try not to talk about him too much, because it makes me cry. I rub his nose in the picture framed beside my bed every single night to say goodnight, just like I used to do for real. And I cry. I let myself feel. Last weekend was a beautiful day, gorgeous temperature, little wind, quiet. All I wanted was to go out and ride him around the farm on one of our solo trail rides. So I let myself feel the pain and forced myself to tack up Emma and take her out a bit. It's not the same, I don't have anyone right now that is as connected as we were, so riding isn't relaxing like it was with him. But I have faith that someday, it will be, probably not with my mare, but with the Morgan. I'm glad he's young and green, because maybe by the time he's ready to give me that connection completely, that trust, that knowing what the other was thinking, I'll be ready to accept it again.

                                    I don't know, I just wanted to say I'm in the same boat, and I feel your pain. Try to have faith that it will get better someday, and I try to focus on honoring him, not missing him. I'm also working on forgiving myself for not being there - I always told him I would be. 2 hours prior to finding him he was fine, then he was just gone, it looked like he laid down and just died. My husband did the same - went to sleep and never woke up. The not knowing why and not being there for them hurts almost as much as missing them. People tell me that he/they were gentleman, made it easy for me, but I'm not afraid of the hard things. I hate that he was alone, and I'm not sure how I can forgive myself for that and move on. Easier said than done.
                                    If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                                    ~ Maya Angelou

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      KR, he's only been gone 2 months. You're allowed to grieve longer than that, even if he was 'just a horse' to the rest of the world.

                                      For the first year after Conny's death, I couldn't even say his name without bursting into tears. The pain was solid and unremitting, and I had no idea who I was without him. We had 21 years together, and 21 more wouldn't have been enough.

                                      It's okay to mourn, but it's not okay to let grief take over your life. We are not meant to live in sorrow, and time eventually gives us enough distance to be able to be happy that we had them, not dwell on the fact that we lost them. You're not there yet. His death is still too raw and fresh.

                                      The replaying of his death in your mind will eventually dwindle and fade. You'll never forget that it happened, but it won't jump out at you and make you cry every time you think of him. The good memories will replace that one last bad one and it will fade into the background, the way it's meant to do.

                                      Keep living, loving, and doing the things that give you pleasure. You may just be going through the motions at the moment, but eventually you'll discover you really are happy. And that's more than okay, it's right.

                                      You'll never not miss him, but the dark well of grief in which you find yourself right now will get better. I promise.
                                      Last edited by arabhorse2; Oct. 4, 2012, 11:15 AM.
                                      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.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Realizing it was his time to go and taking solace that there was really nothing I could have or should have done differently. That the pain of losing animals is part of having them in your life. That I was lucky to share so much with such a great horse because many people don't ever have that opportunity.

                                        It's called letting go.
                                        __________________________
                                        "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                        the best day in ten years,
                                        you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

                                        Comment

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