DiDi - Whither goeth SHe? - Page 36 - The Horse Forum
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post #351 of 371 Old 07-06-2012, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Guns, The trouble is, I chose her to accompany me in my retirement. I was, for much of my time with her, worried about her outliving me. She was 12, horses are supposed to live for twice as long as that.

I feel it is too late for me to go find and buy another companion - what do I do now with a room full of saddles, blankets, bits and leather tack?
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post #352 of 371 Old 07-06-2012, 01:45 PM
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BG, I've followed this thread off and on since I registered on the forum. I never commented because the levels of knowledge and involvement with the whole story so exceeded my own. I am sorry for the loss of DiDi and she does seem to have been a very special horse.
However, it was reading this last post of yours that makes me want to chime in with something:

It's not what you do with the room full of saddles, blankets, bits and leather tack which is important: what's important is what you do with your capacity for love and understanding of horses. You shouldn't waste it.

So what should you do? Get out there, get searching for another companion, make preparations for the eventuality that s/he does outlive you, and get on your way to forging another relationship as rewarding as this one was.
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post #353 of 371 Old 07-07-2012, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaHalford View Post
BG, I've followed this thread off and on since I registered on the forum. I never commented because the levels of knowledge and involvement with the whole story so exceeded my own. I am sorry for the loss of DiDi and she does seem to have been a very special horse.
However, it was reading this last post of yours that makes me want to chime in with something:

It's not what you do with the room full of saddles, blankets, bits and leather tack which is important: what's important is what you do with your capacity for love and understanding of horses. You shouldn't waste it.

So what should you do? Get out there, get searching for another companion, make preparations for the eventuality that s/he does outlive you, and get on your way to forging another relationship as rewarding as this one was.
That's pretty darn good advice Barry.....


We all have to check out of this world at some point.

There's a horse out there that needs someone to love and care for it. You obviously have so much love to give a horse..... Why not you?

Maybe, just maybe, this new horse, while not Dee Dee, might just steal your heart.....if you give it a chance......
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For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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post #354 of 371 Old 07-07-2012, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Anna, & Guns: if only it were that easy.

Few people, even some of those who have been hanging around the horse world for sometime, ever really get to understand what my idea of a relationship with a horse can be.

Sports riders, amateur or professional, become fixated with performance, and with obedience. For them the horse is a tool, an essential necessity in the game - the name of which is to win. If the horse doesn’t fit that role, then it will be exchanged for another horse which might succeed. Professional riders, or even seriously competitive amateur riders, would laugh were they to read these words of mine. To such horse riders it is success which counts.

To me a horse brings companionship. There’s nothing to beat a ride on one’s horse up into the woods on a bright summers day. It can take years to get really close to a horse and it must be a two way process. The mutual trust, the elimination of fear, the rapport - they all have to come together and gel. The horse has to see the human almost as an equal but one from another species. With persistence on the part of the rider, the horse will eventually come to accept that there is less to fear whilst alongside a human.
Maybe the horse doesn’t have to run away from that strange noise.

For our part, we humans know that a horse cannot live in the modern world without a human as guardian.

If I am honest the DiDi was not the horse I enjoyed riding the most in my lifetime - a HannoverianXCob named William was.
DiDi was not the horse which fitted the best with my plans for retirement; Joe a stubborn carthorse cob was.
But
DiDi was the horse that expressed back to me, the emotions which I felt towards her.
Whenever she was highly agitated, when she was close to freaking out, I could calm her, with my voice, my touch, my mere presence. And together we would play whilst working on her fears and hesitations.

Then along came ulcers and the accursed lung disease. The ulcers could be managed; the lungs no one could not repair. Helpless I watched her remorseless decline.

Over These last six months I have lived by the words of my own horsey poem - some lines of which read thus:

And finally, Boss, if I am in pain or when my useful strength has gone;
Do not turn me out to starve or freeze or send me on to owners new;
They did not know me in my prime; You did, my Master,
You should end my life when the day has come, in a quick and painless way.

Living up to those words proved to be a highly burdensome task. But I believe that is exactly the pledge we make when we take on the responsibility for the health and well being of a ‘dumb’ animal which cannot fend for itself.

Can I find another DiDi , or a Joe, or a William?
Maybe I could with time, but what becomes a serious question for a retired pensioner such as I is:

“Do I have the days left or the physical fitness?”
And perhaps : “Do I have the stomach for more potential anguish”

I think not.

But in time we shall see. Maybe a horse will find me. Dogs seem to.

Last edited by xxBarry Godden; 07-07-2012 at 02:31 PM.
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post #355 of 371 Old 07-07-2012, 05:44 PM
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I don't know what the market is like in England. Around here, there are almost always older horses (say 16-20) that need a home. Many are stock horse breeding, with calm temperaments and experience...but their owners are going to college, etc.

As a brand new beginning horse owner, THAT is what I should have been looking for, I suppose. My relationship with Mia has certainly had its ups and downs...she may be making me into a decent rider, but there have been many times I wished I had taken a different route.

But I've met some 20-ish horses who had some get up and go, but who also believed in bringing their rider home with them. Even some of the lesson horses I rode last summer seemed almost pathetically glad to meet someone who showed them a bit of respect and understanding instead of just slinging on a halter or dropping their feet. The 14-15 year old BLM mustang pony we were given has taken a while to relax, but he's increasingly showing his worth as a reliable trail horse...all 13 hands of him.

Just a thought. I've wondered what I would do if/when on of our horses dies in 10 years. I've met a few horses I wouldn't mind owning if I couldn't ride, and could only take them for walks, but it will probably be 10-15 years before I REALLY find out what I will do.

... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)
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post #356 of 371 Old 07-07-2012, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe a tough little hairy cob gelding - say friendly, stocky, lots of bone and maybe 15 hands - who had fallen on hard times and was in need of rescue.

A fella who'd never found a good home.

If I went looking, no doubt I'd find more than one.

We shall see.

B G
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post #357 of 371 Old 07-07-2012, 10:58 PM
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I'm pretty attached to my mare Lacy......she's the joy in my life.....can't imagine how hard this is on you....but I know how I'd feel...that said....

I think you would be depriving yourself of something you love should you not find another horse.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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post #358 of 371 Old 11-25-2012, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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It is the end of the month of November, virtually six months since I said my goodbyes to DiDi, In the interim have not bought a replacement for DiDi. Her stable remains empty and the tack room has been cleared of her things.

Following on after the euthanasia of my little 17yo terrier, Rocky my 10yo Rottweiler, has also been sent on to pastures in the sky.

My own health has also suffered from some unexpected ailments. Interestingly three medical practitioners have said that I have been suffering from clinical depression and perhaps I have been, Odd but saying goodbye to three much beloved pets takes a toll which we humans should not ignore. But I feel I am getting better thanks to the arrival of two rescue terriers - one Westie and one Cairn. They play, they run around, they give cause for me to smile and to walk more. A replacement horse however doesn't make sense to me as yet.

Although, as a result of the undoubted Recession hanging over the British economy, there are thousands of horses looking for new homes. Only the winning, well documented, sports horses seem to find a new home when put up for sale. I fear that the depressed horse market is here to stay in the UK for sometime.

Of late I have been reading this thread back to myself. So it seems have others for the readership figure has almost reached 16,000 - that's a lot. I have printed off a copy of the thread and from time to time I open the file and read an episode or two. Instantly the memories come flooding back. Of course I ask myself if I made any mistakes whilst DiDi was in my care. If I had the opportunity to relive my time with DiDi again, I am not sure I would take the route I did. But that is with the benefit of hindsight. The eventual outcome was however unavoidable. The knowledge of equine herpes viruses is by no means complete even for the veterinary profession at this time. But one thing I will do if ever I again think to buy a horse, is to have carried out a complete veterinary examination including sputum, urine and blood tests. Previously I have thought that the cost of the inspection would be too high, but now I know that one must put a value on one's own distress in the event that one's chosen horse develops an incurable health issue.

One thing I have also noticed. Whilst I started and largely wrote this thread, a large number of members of the Horse Forum gave me some support at a time when I desperately needed it. As a reader you will know who you are.

I must say to you all:
"Thank you, your kindly words were, and still are, much appreciated."

As I write this I sit in front of some framed photos of her, taken when she was doing well. You know, she was a beautiful horse - although it is also important to remember what a character she was. Whenever I see some juicy pears on a shelf in the grocers, I think of her and probably I always will.

Barry G
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post #359 of 371 Old 12-02-2012, 05:04 PM
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Barry, I smile to think of you keeping the rescue terrors - er, terriers - in check. I think you must know that you are meant to be around animals. They are good for you, and you for them. DiDi came into your life for a reason, and it may have been that you were meant to see that she was worked up to her potential and to care for her wisely in her last months, as you certainly did. It's rough on you that her last months were so tragic for you, but I think that goes hand in hand with the heart of the man you are - it's impossible to work that hard to save an animal and not be grieved at life without them. If there is another horse out there for you (and I think there is) then you will know when the time is right.

Take care of yourself - we care and we are rooting for you!
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post #360 of 371 Old 12-02-2012, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Lady T, thank for your kind words.

DiDi's saddle was sold today and in the process I checked over her tack, which still hangs in the tack room. Of course the memories came flooding back.

The young rider who has bought the saddle presented as a nice young woman.
Amazingly the saddle fitted both her generous butt and the pony's short coupled but powerful conformation. Round and round the arena and over a few jumps the pair went and the deal was made. DiDi's saddle has found a good home.

My new little Westie terrier looked on. He hadn't known about the tack room before but once he had sneaked his way in, I got the impression he thought the smells of the leather were heavenly.

My old GP saddle is still packed away in its container ready for immediate usage - should the need arise. One never knows.
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