I am more than sorry to inform the forum that I lost my baby, my only horse today. After a short brief stay at the University of Illinois, I made the decision to put my girl down. Even now I am just balling. Here is the story. I apologize in advance as I know this will be a novel.
The story starts way back when I was 15. Now it was only 5 years ago, but youll understand why I say way back in just a little while.
From the ages of 14-15 I was sexually abused by my grandfather. Said grandfather owned my horse, Buddy, who was my first horse. Needless to say, I lost him over the whole ordeal.
In comes Lakota.
My father bought the cutest little black filly for me. Her name was Lakota's Little Zip. Registered paint filly, 7 months old. She was my therapy for the long road I had ahead of me. Anytime I needed to cry, hurt, grieve, I would go see Lakota. I would work with her and throughout the years trained both her and trained myself to deal with grief, stress, and hurt. Lakota was really the manifestation of how somehting so terrible, like the abuse I endured, can produce something so beautiful. She was that product. She was an amazing mare, smart and athletic, not to mention downright beautiful. She knew how to cheer me up and gave me something to channel all my frustration and hurt out on, and turn it into trust and understanding. Throughout my training her, she gave me something to distract my mind with, and something to be proud of.
That said, I came to a point with Lakota where I knew that I would need help training her. So 4 weeks ago I transported her down to college with me and put her into training at a barn. She was doing SUPER well and I was going to be able to ride her on friday (3/25)!! I was so happy.
Well I was cleaning stalls at the barn (to help pay off the training) and I had finished up around 545 or so. I then drove back to my dorm (bout 30 minutes drive) and ate dinner with my fiance. About 645 the trainer calls me. She said Lakota hurt herself something fierce. She had hurt herself 2 weeks earlier (minor cuts on her legs) that had taken her out of training to be on rest, but I didn't know how bad it was.
I got there to find my horse in shock, bleeding extensively. She had a huge gash cutting into her foot. The vet recommended we bring her to University of Illinois Vet Hospital so we decided to do that. The vet told me the prognosis was not good. We left around 8 pm.
I arrived at you of I. We got my horse out of the trailer (hobbling on 3 legs) and into the pre-surgery room. The vet there took a look at the foot and told me he hadn't seen something this bad before. At this point, I've already been balling for about 2 hours. It was about 1045 at this point.
The senior resident of the vet hospital came in to see if he could operate and save my baby. He told me it was sketchy, and that he didn't think it would help. I was devastated, this mare helped me though so much, I didn't want to give up on her. The vet said he'd put her under gen anesthesia and take a better look at the damage. He'd let me know how it looked. I said goodbye to Lakota at around midnight, knowing this may be my last chance to say goodbye.
I was right.
The vet came in and showed me just how extensive the damage to the hoof was. It cut all the tendons, soft tissue, ligaments and the joint. Her coffin bone had no supprt, there was no way she'd ever walk again. And you know what they say "no hoof, no horse"
I made the decision to put her down at 12:52 on 3/24/2011. I know I did the best I could for her. It just all happened so fast. At 545 she was fine, I had said goodbye for the day. At about 1 AM, I said goodbye forever. I am heartbroken.
So I ask that you please pray for me. I know God does things for a reason, and I know that horse was a God-send when I needed her. She did her job and she did it well. I just miss her so much already.
You poor baby. I don't mean that half heartedly either, I feel so bad for you. I'm glad you had your baby, and she had you....and know that I am indeed praying for you. God love you girl, cry all you need....it's very healing
I am crying too........You poor little thing. She gave you so much, but so did you. She was SO LOVED and she knew it! These words don't console; I will be praying too. Some people go their entire lives not knowing this kind of love and trust. She will be in your heart forever. Did you ever find out exactly what happened?
"To place your horse's need for you to let him leave his failing body above your need to keep him with you - that - is the greatest and purest love." ~Cynthia Garrett
"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys." - Chief Dan George
No, I am still unsure about what happened to her. I think maybe another mare? She had a hoofprint kick mark on her bum, so that's a possibility. I don't think the mare did the main injury, I think that was maybe a wire or something? Im not sure. All I know it that it was awful, you could (sorry if this is graphic) literally peel the foot open and look on the inside. It was only held on by the sole of her hoof on the bottom. The vet showed me pics from when she was in surgery. That's why I knew I had to let her go, I couldn't ask her to deal with that kind of pain anymore. Plus there was so much blood. Just pouring out. So I did the best I could and said goodbye.
** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **