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Hug your horse. I Lost a Great Mare the other day.....

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  • Hug your horse. I Lost a Great Mare the other day.....

    I purchased Blueberry 18 years ago for my daughter’s birthday. They were both 13 years old then. As my daughter grew up she grew away from horses and Blueberry became mine. She was perfect for my husband or guests to ride. She taught several children how to ride but she was fun for me to ride too. Other than a short period last year while I had to figure out and adjust her diet and feeding schedule to accommodate her failing teeth she’s been healthy and sound. I figured out that she could only eat well soaked beet pulp with senior feed. We settled on Triple Crown Senior and she did very well on it maintaining her weight and energy levels. The vet found a heart murmur about that same time and advised me not to canter her under saddle. That was fine with me since we could still enjoy leisurely 5 or 6 mile trail rides and did so until our last ride just a few weeks ago.
    I live in Georgia and we’ve been having the most beautiful mild spring weather until this past few weeks, the temps have soared into the 90’s. It seems like these kind of weather changes are not always easy on the old ones. For the last few weeks as the temperatures increased her appetite decreased until she wasn’t eating much at all. I thought I’d give her until Monday before I called the vet. I got home from work Friday evening (6/14/13) around 6:30 or so and went in to the house to put my purse and laptop away. I kept hearing the donkey braying over and over so, figuring he wanted out of his dry lot for a little while, I headed out to the barn. What I found stopped my heart. Blueberry, now 30 years old, was down and in distress right next to the fenced dry lot for the donkey. She was covered nose to tail in sweat and dirt which made her grey coat all muddy. She kept swinging her head back to look at her belly and I could see that the light had already left her beautiful eyes. I knew what that meant. I called the vet and then called my daughter in law, who lives next door, and she came running. I called another friend who lives up the street too and she came over. While we waited for the vet we tried to get her up. It took awhile but she finally heaved herself to her feet, losing her halter in the process, and staggered INTO the barn right into her old stall and laid down again. Worst place she could have gone….grrr.

    As anyone should, when taking responsibility for their animals, I already had a plan that if she went down there would be no heroic efforts to save her and we would minimize her suffering. When the vet got there he agreed that any efforts to save her would indeed most likely be “heroic” in nature and very likely unsuccessful. With my blessing he helped her over the bridge while I held her head. After the vet and the neighbors left I took my other horses to her side to say goodbye. They all acted a little different….the most heart wrenching was my 11 year old gelding, Tavis. Blueberry was his mother. He sniffed her all over but kept coming back to her face. He kept breathing into her nose and nuzzling her face and neck. He stayed with her for at least 10 minutes or more, I was in tears again by the time he was done. My other two, 27 year old gelding Bucky, and her companion donkey, Hank, sniffed her a few times and quickly moved on. The donkey has been extra noisy calling for her though.
    I am fortunate enough to own my own property and to have neighbor with a backhoe. Saturday morning the neighbor with the back hoe came over to bury her. Luckily we had planned for just this kind of thing happening when we built our barn. The walls are made of boards slid into channel iron rails and we merely had to lift the boards out of the side wall of the barn to make room for the equipment. We decided to leave that wall off the barn to make a run in for the two geldings for now as I have no plans to get another horse any time soon. When I let the horses out that morning after clearing away Blueberry’s body they went into their new run-in and spent a lot of time sniffing around the area where she laid all night, it was very sad. Tavis has been calling for her off and on, as has Hank, the donkey.
    She is at peace now but my heart is broken

    I thought I'd share some pictures of her with y'all:
    The last time I rode her 4/28/2013 at 30 years old: http://i833.photobucket.com/albums/z...ps8ee19873.jpg
    At 26 yo: http://i833.photobucket.com/albums/z...5/100_3893.jpg
    At 25 yo: http://i833.photobucket.com/albums/z...5/IMG_0269.jpg
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

  • #2
    I am so sorry you lost such a good one. Peace to you.


    • #3
      I'm so sorry for your loss. She was beautiful.


      • #4
        HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
        www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog


        • #5
          I am very sorry. She was a lovely girl.


          • #6
            "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
            Courtesy my cousin Tim


            • #7
              I'm sorry for your loss. She sounded like a wonderful mare.
              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


              • #8
                Such a sweet face! I'm so very sorry for your loss. It sounds like she had a wonderful 18 years with you. {{{Hugs}}}
                Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!


                • #9
                  What a fantastic, love-filled life you gave sweet Blueberry. Hugs to you.


                  • #10
                    I am so sorry. It is hard to say which of you was the more blessed, to have each other. She is running like the wind now, in spirit form.
                    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


                    • #11
                      So sorry for your loss. Losing them is never easy. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
                      Quality Hunter Ponies


                      • #12
                        So sorry. She looks like a sweet heart. You were both lucky to have each other!


                        • #13
                          I am sorry for your loss. She was lovely and very lucky to have you!


                          • #14
                            Your Blueberry was beautiful. I'm so sorry for your loss. Big hugs to you and Blueberry's friends.


                            • #15
                              I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my 30 year old last year after 20 years together. There are no words that can alleviate your pain other than knowing that few horses are allowed the security, consistency and love that yours had, being with you for so long. I hope that provides some comfort.
                              Ulysses- the most perfect all-terrain vehicle ever. Hencho en Mexico

                              Mr. Walter Bumblepants - Foster Dog Extraordinaire


                              • #16

                                Its awful when we lose a special horse, but it sounds like you had a wonderful time together. Treasure those times. Hugs from Canada.


                                • #17
                                  it sounds like you gave her the best home any horse could ever want- and the gift of a soft goodbye
                                  ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
                                  ~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
                                  ~Vet Tech Student
                                  Mom to : 2 Horses, 4 Dogs, 2 Cats


                                  • #18
                                    Sorry to hear about your girl. I have had the pleasure of having two long term horses. Previous horse was 10 when I purchased him. He lived until 24. My current mare, I have owned since she was a yearling. She is 19 this month. We're sending hugs your way.


                                    • #19
                                      ((Hugs)) RIP little one.
                                      The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.
                                      H. Cate


                                      • #20
                                        Many more hugs to you on your loss of Blueberry.....