A beyond brilliant horse I'm going to miss very much... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-31-2012, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Scotland
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A beyond brilliant horse I'm going to miss very much...

My beautiful boy is getting put to sleep on Monday, and I really want to talk about him and how amazing he is without them telling me I'm torturing myself or not to think about it!

Fitzroy and I, as some of you may have seen from a post a few months ago, got caught in quicksand to his belly over the summer. He was so brave and so obedient despite how scared he was, and he got us both out of there without panicking. However, he really hurt himself, and his back has never recovered. That's been three months he's been lame, and despite time off, box rest, and painkillers.

As a last ditch attempt, my trainer offered to take him off my hands and try working with the vet and physio to work him through it at her yard - I had been offered the chance to take on a young rescue ex-racer which would be ideal for me continuing my eventing, and couldn;t afford both, but would never ever have given up Fitz without her offer and we both knew it. I felt like I was giving up on him, but I didn't know what else to do and she seemed sure she could help him. However it has all just led to him worsening, to both our dismay. I can't afford ongoing attempts to try and sort him, he's very sore despite trying to hard to keep going, and at 15 with arthritic legs, bad feet and difficulty keeping weight on as it is, my trainer told me today that she thinks it's for the best.

I feel horrible agreeing, but I want to compete - that's the whole reason I got Fitzroy in the first place, and we've down so much together and he's taught me so much. This youngster is exactly what I would have looked for in three years time when Fitz was due to retire, but right now I can;t afford to keep them both as Fitz needs lots of hard feed in the winter and year round shoeing as his feet are so bad. I feel horrible, as I love him so much and he;s such a good horse.

He's so steady to ride, he's never bucked or reared in his life! He does cross country like a dream, absolutely loves it and floats over everything. He gets excited when he's out hacking or at competitions and gets right up on his toes and does this huge bouncy trot, but you always feel so safe. He absolutely loves his food, and knows how to open zip pockets to find treats too. He always nickers to me when I walk up to his stable, and will stretch out his neck and tilt his head to get his chin or cheek scratched. He had an op for roaring when he was younger, so he can;t neigh, but instead will bang on doors, scrape the ground or throw buckets to make noise to get your attention. He has no respect for personal space, and pretends he doesn;t like cuddles, but whenever he's cold or has been arguing int he field he will come over and stick his head under my arm for comfort. I can keep him calm when no one else can, and when I walk out of sight he stands and looks, or fidgets and scrapes until he can see me again.

I love him so much, and I will miss him so much - but as he used to be, and how we used to be together, not the way things have been for the last few months. I want to remember loving him, not end up resenting him. Please tell me I'm making the right decision!!
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-31-2012, 04:56 PM
Join Date: May 2011
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So very sorry for your loss.

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post #3 of 14 Old 10-31-2012, 05:12 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
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SO SO SORRY!! **hugs**
He had a life before his accident. If rest and painkillers haven't healed him, he has NO life--not even as a pasture pet.
Putting him down is SOOOO painful--I've done it--but afterwards I knew I did the right thing. My 27yo super easy keeper babysitter QH that I had had for over 20 years, had 5 chronic ailments and then was losing weight, after teeth floating and senior feed. I wasn't going to watch him starve to death, so DH and I shot him.
Sometimes we have to help them go home. There will be tears and waves of grief afterwards. You are NOT being selfish or evil. Post us afterwards and you can share all of the fun you had with him when he was healthy.

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post #4 of 14 Old 10-31-2012, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Scotland
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Thanks, I appreciate that - I know he's sore and unhappy, and that's it the right thing to do, but I just feel so guilty.

Don't worry, there will be lots and lots of photos. I plan to go and visit him one last time over at my trainer's yard at the weekend and to really spruce him up and take lots of photos and feed him lots of sweets. He can have as many apples as he likes!!!
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-31-2012, 05:45 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Washington
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It sounds like you're boy is well loved. Its a tough call to make but it sounds like its from the heart to ensure he is in a place where he will feel better. Perhaps a braided piece of his tail to make a horse hair key chain or for your rearview? Remember to tell him just how much you love him and how much every experience you've had with him was amazing! Thinking about you!
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-31-2012, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
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I know exactly what you're going through, as I am going through almost the exact same thing right now. I will be putting my boy to sleep next week as well. He also has a few conditions that are not responding to treatment. He's in pain, and miserable all the time now. It is definately a VERY hard thing to go through, and I as well feel very guilty, as if I'm giving up on him.
Believe in yourself, and your decision. You obviously love him very much.
I always say that if the horse is in pain, and its something you can't fix, the kindest thing is to let them go as soon as possible. I'm mad at myself for not putting my boy down a month ago instead of trying for a month to fix the problem while he sits there in pain. Know that you made the right decision, and grieve for him. Also, keep remembering the great times you guys had together, as you've been doing. This place is such a wonderful network of caring, compassionate people, and I have received so much help and comfort this past month from everyone. We're always hear to listen and understand.
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-31-2012, 06:56 PM
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My thoughts and prayers will be with you, minstrel. I agree with the other replies, and want to offer a huge hug. What a great love we have for our horses, and even through the pain of parting, one cannot fathom never to have had them and the precious memories. We're a compassionate lot on the forum - lean on us and share every photo and thought you have. God bless :)
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-31-2012, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Letting them go is never easy, even if it's for the best. I just euthanized a two year old and it was heartbreaking.
I'm sorry he didn't make it through okay, but you had some awesome years with him.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-31-2012, 07:33 PM
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My thoughts are with you *cyberhugs*
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-31-2012, 08:23 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Quebec
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I'm so sorry you have to go through this. :( Big hugs coming your way!!
I know how heart breaking it is. I had to put my guinea pig down 2 years ago and it was so difficult. I had gotten her when she was only a month old and she left us exactly 6 years later.
For her last moments, I brought her outside so she could enjoy some spring grass (she loved it because it's so sweet). She seemed so happy there, munching away at that rich grass, and the thought that she was never going to have this pleasure again killed me, but I knew she was sick and things would get worse before long.

It consoles me know to think that I spared her worse trouble/pains by putting her down then.

This is what you are doing. The brave choice of making your beloved horse leave this world before it becomes unbearable. It's a hard choice, but when you feel better about all this, you'll be happy you went through with this decision now.

A ride a day keeps the worries away!

Last edited by Hidalgo13; 10-31-2012 at 08:25 PM.
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