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Coping with Loss of a Horse

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  • Coping with the loss of your first horse

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    04-19-2012, 12:07 PM
  #11
Trained
Agreed^^ It hurts so bad to look out and not see your loved one, huge HUGS!!!
Best medicine is that guy to the left.

I lost mine after 22 years of him being with me and I still miss him 3 years later. That's most of my life. Just cherish the good memories, talk to us about it, other people just don't understand. I've lost great a few great dogs, but nothing compares to my old man. If nothing else go shopping, eat some ice cream, and have a few really good cries.

Love sent over by the bucket load!!!!!
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    04-19-2012, 06:51 PM
  #12
Foal
Thank you so much for the hugs and most of all, your understanding. I've mostly been keeping to myself recently because I want to avoid those flippant comments, "Oh it's just an animal". They only make it hurt more, especially from someone who you considered a friend.

We lost our family horse back in 2010 and he left a huge hole in our hearts. My dad was the only one home at the time too which just about ripped him to shreds, and I hated that I wasn't there. I still don't know exactly what happened.

We weren't sure we could handle another horse. The grief, the long committment, the work...but we did start dipping our toe into the market, looking around, and we found Angel in November of last year. She was a sweet mare, affectionate, with some riding experience and only eight years old. We took her home looking forward to having a bright eyed face peeking out from our barn again for many years to come.

Over the weekend, Angel wasn't looking too good. She was sluggish and she wasn't interested in her food which was a huge red flag. She will fight for her food and lick the pan clean. The next day, she was eating and a little more perky and I thought it was just a random scare. I checked on her a few hours later and she was laying down, not eating. Called the vet and found out she had colic, probably too late to save her. We could send her several hours away for surgery, $3,000-$6,000, but the chances are, it would happen again. We stayed up with her early into the morning, walking her, brushing her, gave her some muscle relaxants, sedative...but there was no change the next day and we knew it was too late to save her.

We'd only had Angel for six months. It was so painful to watch my dad hold onto hope when there wasn't any left. He REALLY did not want to see Angel go - the pain of losing Joe was still right there below the surface, not fully healed yet.

Dad still seems hopeful about getting another horse. I don't know that I'm strong enough for that. I don't know that I could ask my family to go through that heartache again. I love horses, I love having them around, I love how their horsey smell and their big horsey hugs makes everything better....but it hurts so much.
     
    04-19-2012, 07:57 PM
  #13
Foal
So sorry for your loses! That's really tough losing him so soon :( if you ever need to talk feel free to post her or send a private message to any of us, we are all, I'm sure, more than willing to lend an ear. Best wished to you and your family in coping with these losses.
     
    04-19-2012, 07:58 PM
  #14
Yearling
Im so sorry, this happened twice last year january 1st and march 14th and I lost a TB 40 something big and black had him for 5 months but a really nice horse. And my moms Clyd/Tb I rode him for a year and she never got to ride him he was big boy and only 12. It was hard to go to school with my moms horse I stayed home the next day and didnt talk to anyone for a few days. I couldnt talk about any of them for a few months without wanting to cry.... sorry if I rambled..
     
    04-19-2012, 08:09 PM
  #15
Yearling
So sorry about your loss, I lost my first horse and to have people say it's just a horse, you can get a new one is frustrating.

Im sending you hugs, I truly hope you feel better soon.
It's ok to be upset about losing a family member but you can find peace in the decision that she had a great 6 months with you and she will be thankful for that.

*hugs*
     
    04-19-2012, 08:10 PM
  #16
Yearling
I am a first time horse owner and I can't even imagine how bad it is going to hurt when I lose Izzy. I had to put my dog to sleep back in 2003 and I thought that was the worst pain ever...but I have a feeling that a horse leaves even a bigger imprint on your heart.

I am sorry for your loss.
     
    04-19-2012, 08:15 PM
  #17
Yearling
I also put a dog down it will be a year on the 23rd... he was my first puppy and in 2 months he became a wonderful dog and 11 months after getting him we put him down... from lymes and he was becoming disabled in his hind legs...
     
    04-19-2012, 08:39 PM
  #18
Foal
@HarleyWood - Not rambling. I can tell how painful that was, and still is, for you. When my first horse died, I cried for two weeks straight. When we went to the fair and walked through the horse barn, I cried. Almost two years later, and I still cry. I don't think we ever stop missing them.

@Curly - Saying "Oh you can just get another horse", is like saying, "Oh you can just get another best friend or sibling." It's not really....the same. I have a hard time when people say that.

@corgi - Give your horse a big hug for me every day because there is no substitute for a horse hug anywhere on this earth. I hope you have many years with him/her :)
     
    04-19-2012, 08:42 PM
  #19
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyfern    
@HarleyWood - Not rambling. I can tell how painful that was, and still is, for you. When my first horse died, I cried for two weeks straight. When we went to the fair and walked through the horse barn, I cried. Almost two years later, and I still cry. I don't think we ever stop missing them.

@Curly - Saying "Oh you can just get another horse", is like saying, "Oh you can just get another best friend or sibling." It's not really....the same. I have a hard time when people say that.

@corgi - Give your horse a big hug for me every day because there is no substitute for a horse hug anywhere on this earth. I hope you have many years with him/her :)

Exactly right, they are part of our family. You cannot simply replace them.
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    04-19-2012, 11:08 PM
  #20
Weanling
You're not alone. The horse in my avatar was my baby and my life for four years. I took him from a pasture pony who couldn't do anything more than walk, jog, and run (and buck HAHA) to a happy horse who was going around the ring walk, trot, canter, jumping and going into frame. He was my best friend. We had a special bond. He would do things for me that he wouldn't do for anyone else. He really was a one-person horse and I was lucky enough that that one person was me.
Three days after I moved him to a new barn in Chicago (where I currently am for grad school) he came down with colitis and was dead in 72 hours. I had to stand in his stall at the emergency vet clinic and sign the papers for euthanasia. That was the hardest thing I'd ever had to do, but I knew I couldn't let him suffer. I locked myself in my room for 3 days straight, stayed in bed and alternated between staring at the wall and crying. I feel for anyone whose every experienced this.
It's been a little over a year and a half and I still miss him. I have a braided strip of his mane and tail sitting on my dresser as well as his ashes and a hoof print. I look at those and his pictures to remind myself how lucky I was that he came into my life. I'll miss him forever and sometimes I'm afraid that I'll never have that connection with another horse again.
I know a lot of people didn't understand why I was so upset. Outsiders don't understand the kind of bond we develop with these animals. Luckily no one said anything to me right after he died or I probably would have punched them repeatedly in the face.
For me at least, it does help to talk about it. Threads like these give me an opportunity to comfort you, but also talk about my experience which has helped me heal. My advice is to take your time. You just lost Angel so give you and your family time to grieve. I couldn't even ride for about 2 months, couldn't even be near the barn. Another horse will come along, but for right now I'd say just give yourself time.
Again, I'm so sorry that this has happened to you and thank you for sharing.
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coping, death, grief

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