Hugo was put to sleep this afternoon, and while I have been a wreck thinking about it since I made the decision on Saturday, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
He was such a special horse, the day that I met him it was as though he had chosen me as his owner. From day one, he was always full of life, and never failed to put a smile on my face. The few months that I spent privileged enough to be on his back were some of the happiest of my life. Though he was an off the track thoroughbred, no body would have picked it, he was always so quiet, so willing and gave it his all.
The day that we found his hock issues broke my heart. But we both stayed strong and fought through it, until he was cleared to begin light work.
When his ligament went, I guess I already knew what needed to be done, but because there was a lingering chances there still, I couldn't quite bring myself to make the call.
When I found him 2 weeks later, with a bowed tendon and back on 3 legs, I knew that the decision had been made for me. It was like he was telling me that he'd had enough.
His last afternoon was spent having lots of laughs getting some beautiful photo's taken by "Brindisi Equestrian - photography". Whether it was the high dose of bute kicking in, or the joy of being out of his stable, Hugo was in such high spirits that it was confirmed that I'd made the right choice, letting him go before he suffered too greatly.
After he was put to sleep, the vet said that I had made the right decision. His hock had started to swell again from the extra weight, and it appeared that his pedal bone in the opposing front hoof may have begun to twist already.
Now I can be happy, knowing that I gave him the best quality of life possible, and let him go before it was too late, when he would not have made a recovery anyway.
RIP Hugo, you were one hell of an amazing horse xxx