Rest in Peace Big Joe - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Rio Grande Valley, Texas
Posts: 169
• Horses: 4
Rest in Peace Big Joe

Well, it's taken me a week to get to the point where I could sit down and do this. Last Friday evening I went out to feed the boys, Sonny and Joe, and found Big Joe standing motionless outside of the run in. It was a cold and wet day and both the boys would normally have been standing inside the run in, but they weren't. They were both standing in the cold, rainy, and windy open air. It immediately struck as unusual. As I got close to Joe I knew something was wrong, as it was obvious that he hadn't moved in a while, except to pivot in a circle off of his right front quarter. His left frontleg was just dangling there. It immediately made me sick to my stomach.

Big Joe was a 23 y.o. Grulla Quarter Horse. He would have turned 24 in just a couple more weeks. He was my wifes favorite horse. She called Big Joe her "Sancho", and they had a very strong connection. Big Joe had been a champion cutting horse, a winning barrel racer, and had been used for the last few years as a therapy horse for autistic children, and for the boy scouts horsemanship merit badge. He was as sweet, gentle, and smart as they come. He stood 16.3 HH, had eyes and a face that just seemed to talk to you. I never once saw Joe even begin to spook. There was just something is Joe that made you love him. Our 3 year old grandson, who is autistic, just loved to be up on Joe's back, and Joe seemed to light up whenever little Gunner was around. He was truly a "once in a lifetime" horse.

I immediately called my wife and told her there was something bad wrong with Joe, and that I thought he had broken his leg. I then called the vet and told him he needed to get out there right away. My wife called her friend and told her. Her and her husband came out immediately. My wife also called our farrier, who was just down the road from us, and asked him to come and look at Joe. Joe was shaking real hard, and you could tell he was fighting to stay on his feet. I knew that this night was not going to end well. It was about 4:30 PM when I found Joe standing there. At about 8:30 that night, in the cold, wet, rainy, and windy night Joe crossed over the rainbow bridge. Dr. John had given him 2 injections of that pink juice, and we were all horrified at the long, protracted process that was supposed to be a peaceful ending for Big Joe. My heart ached for Joe, and even more so for my wife as I watched her agonize over Joe's death. It was truly ugly and horrifying. Long periods of short, deep, hard breathing, seizures, and repeated gaspings for air. It just seemed to never end. I learned that night I will never again let our Vet, (and he's a great vet, and this is in no way, shape, or form anything against him), put any of our horses down. I am now thuroughly convinced that shooting a horse is by far the more humane and quicker way to euthanizing a horse. Nobody will ever be able to convince me otherwise.

Big Joe was truly a gentle giant, and he so positively impacted the lives of all of us who knew him. WE love you Joe!

Don't cry for the horses that life has set free-
A million white horses forever to be.-

Don't cry for the horses now in God's hand-
As they dance and they prance in a heavenly band.-

They were ours as a gift, but never to keep-
As they close their eyes forever to sleep.-

Their spirits unbound. On silver wings they fly-
A million white horses against the blue sky.-

Look up into heaven, you'll see them above--
The horses we lost, the horses we loved.-

Manes and tails flowing they gallop through time.-
They were never yours-they were never mine.-

Don't cry for the horses. They'll be back someday.-

When our Time is gone, they will show us the way.-
Do you hear that soft nicker? Close to your ear?-

Don't cry for the horses. Love the ones that are here.-

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post #2 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Australia
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Im so sorry for your loss :tear: :( Sounds like he had a great bond with your grandson and your wife..

Last edited by sommsama09; 03-16-2012 at 07:57 AM.
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post #3 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Rio Grande Valley, Texas
Posts: 169
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This is Big Joe. He was definitely a ladies man!
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post #4 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 08:09 AM
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Location: Australia
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God he was stunning
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post #5 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much. He'll definitely look good running in the clouds!
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post #6 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Australia
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That he will, best wishes to your family, i cant imagine the pain you guys are going through.. and i agree about the shooting.. though i couldnt do it myself i would want it done by someone with good aim (i cannot shoot

RIP big guy <3
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post #7 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 08:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Aww I'm so sorry, I'm so afraid to lose mine, it's so scary. My gelding is the closest one and I know it will be in a couple years. ;(
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post #8 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Cedarville, OH
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I am so sorry for the loss of Joe.
I am even sorrier it went like it did.
We put down our POA, Christmas Eve, my daughter chose a gun.
I had very mixed emotions and questioned that decision until reading your post.
I am so very sorry. Susan

Horses are proof that God love's us and wants us to be happy!
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post #9 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
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I am so sorry to hear about your losing Big Joe. I lost a mare in the same manner a few years ago, found her with a dangling front leg, she was shot in the end, couldn't get close enough to inject. But I did opt for an injection on my last horse put down earlier this year, and he went very peacefully, the sedative kicked in, he slowly rolled to the ground, went to sleep and then the final drug was administered and he slipped away. No stress at all.
So I am terribly sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with this - but remember, Big Joe would not have been aware of what was happening, the horse is brain dead and the movements and gasping are all muscles and nerves firing off naturally. He would not have suffered xx

RIP Big Joe

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

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post #10 of 23 Old 03-16-2012, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
Posts: 16,387
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My condolences on the loss of Big Joe. It's never easy to lose one, but especially so when it's because of a traumatic event.

Godspeed, good horse.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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