In a desperate move to get me back in the saddle, my mom bought the 10 hand shetland after riding him up and down a barn aisle (it was storming). The trailer pulled up and I went running out to see who came to visit us (we don't own a trailer). And there he was-my mom immediately said he was mine whether I liked it or not. I did. He was 300 pounds overweight, joined at the hocks, flat back, and adorable-this is what you get for turning a pony out onto 50 acres of grass. The first thing I said was "keep him away from me"-I was bare foot-mother had taught me well. The second thing I said was "when is this one going to die" (i actually don't remember saying this, but its what I am told).
We bonded quickly. He built my confidence. I could do anything and he wouldnt care-until I got older. He was fantastic with younger kids, but enjoyed screwing with the older ones as well as adults....if I had a time for the amount of falls I had off of him. He was my best friend. A horse I could go out and play with and not have to worry about. Yes he bit, and kicked when he needed sheath cleaning, and kidnapped me on trail, and had severe separation anxiety from our mustang, and kicked other horses in the ring, and stepped on me countless times, but at the same time he was affectionate, endearing, always hungry (we did get rid of that extra poundage), and just plain funny.
It was thanksgiving break during my freshman year of college. I insisted we go for a ride-not a mom on winston/me on denny ride, but mom on denny/me on truffles ride. It had been years since we did that. Yes I still mest with him in the yard, and drove him occassionally, but I was too big to do anything substantial. She agreed on a short trail ride. It was a blast. I had forgotten how boucny he was. I had forgotten what it was like to canterbuckcanterbuckcanterbuck. I am so glad we had that last ride.
Towards the end of my winter break we noticed he was slightly off, our farrier confirmed founder. We made a tiny paddock where he could see the boys no matter where they were, took away his grain, and waited. I went back to school and continued to get updates. Cushings symptoms were starting to show, it was harder for him to move, but the xrays showed little rotation. 6 weeks after I went back to school I came home for a weekend visit. Denny was getting a tooth pulled (another story, another time) so the vet was there to administer anastetic (bad sp). Truffles was in his stall (Friday night when I came home, I went straight to him. He was very puffy and very sore). The vet checked on him. He refused to pick up his foot for her, but he finally did when mom tried-and then he went down.
I knew. Before anyone said anything I just knew. The vet said she would come back after her other farm calls. Mom left us alone. I sat with his head in my lap. He finally managed to get up. For the next three hours I stayed with him. I groomed him, I mushed him, I spoke to him, I cried to him. I could see the pain he was feeling and just wanted it to go away. For the next three hours I fed him. Carrots, apples, grain, treats, mash, peppermints, everything that he was not allowed to have for the past two months were now for his taking. For the next three hours I did what I could to make up for lost time. Three hours later the vet came.
I slowly walked him to where he was to be buried (about 30 ft from his stall). I held his head and the vet gave him a shot. And then there was no pain.
Its been almost 2 years and I still can't get over it. He was my buddy, if it were not for him who knows where my riding would be. He will always be in my heart. On a slightly happy note, however, after the vet gave him "the shot" he nipped me. I can at least say he was all Truffles right to the very end.