I have to say you are stronger then I.
It would have been a much harder decision for me, and sadly I think I would have to see them start to suffer before seriously considering it.
Because just like you and bubba said, how do you put a horse down that still seems so happy and full of life, that has to be very hard.
The decision was as far from easy as you can get for me sierrams1123, I cried, and cried, and cried, and fell onto my knees in front of his stable and wept so hard that I could not stand I had to be dragged into the car by my partner. I cried all night, I did not eat for 2 days, the night before it was done, I had nightmares about his passing going wrong and him suffering through it. I tried to go to work, and I cried even more, I cried in front of the students, in front of my colleagues.
I called my vet and begged him to sedate Hugo heavily first, even though he always sedates first, but I had to be sure.
It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I feel like my heart is shattered into a million pieces, like no horse will ever fill the hole that Hugo left. I feel a whole lot of guilt, that I promised him that I would fix him, I promised him that we would go to the beach next summer and gallop through the water. I feel like I let him down, breaking those promises, even though he didn't understand what I was saying anyway.
I have never, never in my life, been as devastated as I have been these last few days. I have always been able to maintain a degree of control over my emotion, when I have lost family members, and friends, I have grieved, but have been able to limit myself to grieving in my own time. This time, I feel like I have sentenced my best friend to death, the guilt of it absolutely crippled me. Seeing his happy face for the last time on Monday, had me questioning for the whole day whether I was doing the right thing.
Not until my vet confirmed that there was no other hope, and he would be forever in pain, did my guilt ease enough for me to not feel like a murderer.
It is always hard, particularly when that horse is a one in a million horse, you feel horrendous. But it still comes back to putting your own emotions, in front of the horse's needs. The horse does not know what is happening, it has no idea that it won't be around tomorrow, it is not stressed. It only knows pain, and the stress of confinement or separation.