I had to say goodbye to one of my best buddies, my beloved horse.
He was my 21 year old Arabian gelding and it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.
He had melanoma that I believe was spreading. He also had arthritis that was getting worse along with bone chips from an old injury flaring up. The worse part was I knew I didn't have anymore money to keep spending every month in trying to keep him healthy and out of pain. I had already spent more money than I had coming in. In an effort to keep him, I was getting into money trouble fast. Something I have always preached about not doing.
I just loved him so and was not wanting to let him go.
I have had other horses and pets that I had to put down before, but by far he was the hardest. Was it because he was my last horse? Was it because he was more special to me? Was it because he was the sweetest horse I ever knew? Was it because I felt guilty that I couldn't afford to give him a better life?
I think it was all of the above.
We had been through so much together and having horses had been such a large part of who I was. When he died, I felt a part of me died right there with him. A big part of who I was, was gone.
I can't even begin to tell you about the level of guilt I am experiencing. Even though I had anguished over this decision for months, it still took so much more strength to do than most other things I have done in my life.
I knew his time was coming, I just wasn't prepared to make it come sooner than it did. So many people said it was the right thing to do and it was time - the vet, the farrier, other experienced horse people. Even though it may have been the right thing to do, it still felt so wrong.
I explored other options, even looking into giving him up to someone else who might be able to give him what he needed to extend his life another year or so. I just couldn't bare to give him to someone who might end up not taking care of him or let him linger, suffering way too long. I couldn't stand the thought of him suffering terribly and not having the power do do anything about it.
So when the time came, I sobbed like a baby. Harder than I had for any other. My husband held me and cried right along side of me. We still tear up from time to time. It's taken me these few days just to get up the strength to write about it.
He was beautiful, funny and the fastest horse I ever knew. In earlier years, he would run with a herd of horses who were running at full speed, pass them up, circle around them and pass them again. He would antagonize any horse just to get the horse to chase him. He just loved to run. He never lost an impromptu match race. Riding him at full speed was dizzying. I wished I had been in a position to professionally race him.
At times he could be a handful to ride, because he was so full of spirit and energy, but he never did anything out of spite. He didn't have a mean bone in his body. His sweetness earned him fans of people wherever he went, but also caused him to be always last in ranking when it came to being in a herd. Though he was very spirited under saddle, he was as gentle as could be on the ground. Babies have toddled under him by mistake and he never moved a muscle. His manners were impeccable and he made even the most timid feel at ease around him. Everyone loved him.
I could go on and on, but it's getting harder to do so.
Whenever I come across a picture, or memento of him, I can't stop the tears from welling up. Though I am happy to have had him and feel blessed to have known such a gentle spirit, I feel that I have lost my best friend and may never totally get over that.
I hope those who have known us do not judge me too harshly for letting him go now instead of later. You have no idea how hard this was for me, but I had to think of my family in addition to my horse's well being. Unless you have been where I'm at, you couldn't possibly understand.
Those of you who have been there, I'm sure you understand.
On earth he could fly without wings. Now he's earned them.
I miss you Jay.
"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses."