So I had to write about an event who made me the person I am today and I decided to write about how the death of my first horse I ever owned made me a stronger person.
I figured I would post it here to honor Jet.
It was the morning of March 2, 2008. It started out to be just a normal day at the barn, everyone was happy and I was getting my horse ready to go trailer to a lesson that was not even 10 minutes away. I loaded my horse, Jet Stream, into my friend’s horse trailer along with her horse, Amber. We closed up the trailer and proceeded down the barn road. All of a sudden, Jet started to kick, rocking the entire car; we slowed down to a stop. Jet calmed himself down and we slowly inched forward down the road. As soon as we moved, the kicking started again. We decided that the chance of Jet hurting himself seriously was not worth continuing to our lesson so we unloaded him and walked him back to the barn. Although I was disappointed that I was not going to go have my lesson, I knew I was doing the right thing to prevent Jet getting hurt.
The next day we decided to put Jet back on the trailer and do “practice-runs” up and down the barn road to try and get help comfortable with the trailer again. We loaded him up and closed the doors to the trailer. We got in the truck and moved forward and all you heard was a big bang coming from the trailer. I got out and decided to get in the trailer so I could talk to Jet to try and calm him down while we were moving. As soon as I waved to my mom, who was following in a car behind us, that I was ready to go; the trailer started to move forward and Jet was tense but not kicking. I started to praise and pet him to relax his nerves, which seemed to help.
As we turned the corner, Jet started to shake vigorously and looked like he was about to sit down like a dog. He had never done this before so I patted him telling him he was a good boy when I looked back at the back of the trailer and only saw blood. I stood there in shock and wondered where the blood was coming from and as soon as that crossed my mind, Jet raised his foot up and I watched blood gush out of the hoof. I screamed and started waving my hands frantically, signaling my mom to tell the driver to stop. As the trailer slowed down to a halt, I jumped out of the trailer and pulled the ramp down to start to get Jet out of the trailer to try and help him.
With every step he took going down the ramp, more and more blood came out from the hoof. How could this be happening to me? I loved that horse to death and now he was slowly being taken away from me. We called the vet to come out and she told us she was in the middle of scheduled appointments she had at other barns. We called our trainer who was at a horse show and he called the vet back to tell her that she needed to get to the barn as soon as possible because it was extremely urgent. While we waited for the vet, other boarders from my barn saw us down the road and came to help with ice packs, bandages, and towels. By that time, there was a puddle of blood around Jet’s leg and as I looked closer, I could see the hoof split from top to bottom. After I saw that, his hoof was soon wrapped in towels to keep pressure on it so he didn’t lose any more blood. We wrapped bandages around the towel so we wouldn’t have to keep holding the pressure. The vet finally came and evaluated just how bad the injury was and I stood there in shock listening to her talk about the damage. Then she said it. She said the phrase that no pet owner ever wants to hear, “I think it could be possibly life-threatening”. That’s when I turned around, walked as far away as I could and started to cry the tears I had been fighting back all morning.
They loaded Jet into a different, more spacious trailer to take him the vet’s clinic to fully evaluate the damage that was done to the hoof. After many x-rays, the vet brought us into her office and showed us the x-rays on her laptop. To me they almost seemed like nothing was wrong with his bones but those speculations were quickly lost as the vet gave us our options: pay thousands and thousands of dollars to send him to get his hoof healed and have a slim possibility that he could be ridden again let alone walk without a limp, or put him down.
I never thought I would have to make a decision like this at age 14. I didn’t even know I had the strength to get through something like this. But my mom, the vet, and I agreed we shouldn’t put Jet through the pain and suffering for just a small chance that he will live a pain-free life once again. Jet spent the night at the vet’s and on the 4th day of March, after I said my goodbyes, he was put down.
Luckily, I had so many people around me to support me losing my first horse I ever owned. My trainers, Ray and Beth, assured me that all things happen for a reason and that Jet was only protecting me from something bad happening from riding him in the future. I still continue to think that. As well as thinking that if this horrible thing hadn’t happened, I would have never gotten the amazing opportunity to help train my new horse, Mighty Mouse, which I will take through some of the upper levels of eventing and will own him as long as I possibly can. Having Jet die gave me strength that you cannot get any other way. Although I would give anything to have him back, I know that this happened for a reason that I will never find out. Going through this experience has given me strength to overcome anything that comes my way and has shaped me to be the person I am today.
RIP JET STREAM~~~~~~ I WILL FOREVER AND ALWAYS LOVE YOU.