How do you guys cope? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-18-2009, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lima, Montana.
Posts: 479
• Horses: 8
How do you guys cope?

So... I have a thread in the horse health forum, but it's not really about horse health... anymore at least. If you haven't read that thread, here's an update.

My filly was colicking (sp?) and it took 3 hours or maybe it was two and a half, I don't know for sure, for the vet to get here. Anyway, she's only two, and she and I had this bond. Like, we just... Clicked. From the moment I first saw her. She'd never been handled before and she came right up to me and let me pet her. And when she was colicking, and her legs would give out from the pain, and I cried and begged her to get back up, she would, just because I asked. If I didn't ask her to, she would lay there. Poor baby. Anyway, her gut was twisted and I had to make the hardest decision of my life. I told the vet to put her down, and my dad wanted to keep trying, but she couldn't breathe anymore and I was just screaming at the vet to hurry and give her the shot before she suffocated and it was effing awful. I'm crying just typing this. And then she fell and she kept putting her head in my lap and just smelling me. GOD. and I was bawling and I kept hugging her until she was gone, but then her body just kept... Like, I don't know, twitching or something. But for some reason it didn't even bother me, because as soon as she was gone I just felt... I don't know, Like so calm. And peaceful. But as soon as I went inside it was gone, and I couldn't sleep at all last night for crying. SHE WAS ONLY TWO! WHY?!?! She was so great..... And then my dad was worried that she might have eaten something that all the other horses might get, so he wanted to do like an autotopsy, and so he and the vet cut her open, I guess. I didn't watch. But I did tell him it was fine, because I don't want to loose any of the others. But still, just imagining that... It makes me shudder. And I cut off some of her mane, but every time I look at it, I just start bawling. She suffered the whole time it took the vet to get there, but she just kept walking with me. ****. why???

Anyway, I could probably just use some coping tips or something right now. I can't even think about it or I cry. So during the day I have to face the world, so I just ball up all the grief to deal with later, when I'm alone. And I feel like it should feel so wrong, but I am already setting up a time to go look at fillies, because I feel like.... I dunno, like there's this void that I have to fill before it consumes me or something. I think another filly would help that, but is that way wrong to do after just losing Flair? I don't even feel guilty, but it's just so soon. Like maybe I should feel guilty? I don't know.

Kudos to you if you made it all the way through my novel. *weak attempt at smile*

To rein a horse is not only to guide him,
but also to control his every movement.
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-18-2009, 10:52 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: CT
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Reading this made me cry =[ im so terribly sorry for your loss, i cant even imagine.

Honestly, maybe getting another filly may be the right thing to do in a way. I always felt that if I lost my horse, I couldn't replace him right away, not that anyone would ever "replace" him, but in all honest truth I think I would have to have another horse. I think maybe getting another filly will give you something to concentrate on other than Flaire's passing, and keep your mind busy. It wouldn't replace her, just help you cope.

I've never been through this so I honestly can't say much more, but I really hope everything turns out okay. Best wishes.

RIP Flaire.

~Kait & Mark~
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-18-2009, 11:03 PM
Join Date: May 2009
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I haven't lost a horse yet. I said in your other thread that I came very close last week, and just the prospect of having to do that to Gypsy was making me grieve for her before it happened. I was bawling, and having panic attacks and making myself physically ill all day Wednesday before I found the second vet to give me another opinion.

My point mostly is though, that everyone is different. You will handle this the way you need to. And knowing the bond I have with Gypsy, and how upset I was at the idea of losing her, I can imagine your pain-- very clearly. But I am not you, and I know that I would be handling her loss differently than you are handling the loss of Flair.

Having said that, though, I can offer this comfort-- I think part of the reason I was so upset at the prospect of losing Gypsy was not just that she would be gone, but also that deep down I knew it wasn't time, it wasn't the right thing to do. It sounds like you knew with Flair that it was. I don't mean that she was ready to go, but that it was the best thing for her, and you had done everything you could. This is why you felt peace afterwards, and then the grieving began.

You will grieve for a long time. Even after you get another filly, you will still remember and cherish Flair. And that's okay. You should. You should remember and love the horse that touched you so much through her short life. Another filly won't be Flair-- there will always be things that you say to yourself, I wish she would be more like Flair, or, I remember how easy it was to teach Flair to do this. But-- your new filly will still be YOUR filly, and you will grow to love and cherish her as you did the horse you lost. You will bond with her. Eventually, you won't think about Flair so often or so much, and you'll be able to see your new filly for herself. For the love and companionship she can bring you. She won't be a Flair replacement, she'll be a new friend and joy to you.

Again, I can't speak for you. The last animal I lost was my old rabbit, Barley Hops. It was nearly a year before I could consider getting another, and when I finally did, it took me a long time to be with HER, not with my old bunny, in my thoughts. But now I am, and my little HopScotch is precious in her own rights as a new friend.

If you feel you need to fill that void, fill it. No one else can tell you if it's too soon but yourself. As for the rest, talk it out with us. We are here for you.

My turn for a novel... I hope this helps, Nita.

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post #4 of 17 Old 08-18-2009, 11:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Losing a loved one is never an easy thing, especially with one so young. People deal with it differently. Just give yourself time to grieve. If you have another horse that you are close to sometimes it helps to just go stand with them a while and let it out. Crying and bawling is all just a part of the process and it may keep going for a while. Is there any particular reason why you would need to look at other fillies right now (shows, futurities, etc)? Or do you just feel the need to..................replace her as soon as possible?

I know it hurts and it seems like getting another may help to ease the pain, but it won't. I don't want to sound mean but I think you should try to resist looking for another so soon. You may be blinded to their faults because "She is the same color as Flair" or "Her star almost looks like Flair's". There is no reason to feel guilt because you miss a loved one and the way you want to deal with it is to smother love on a "surrogate" Flair (new filly). There is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.

My suggestion is just to grieve. Spend time with the horses you already have and you may form a bond with one of them that you never knew was there. I don't know how many times in my life I have cried the night away by myself, in the pasture, with my head buried in a horse's mane. It just takes time for the pain to ease but it will never be fully gone. I know it is hard but try to concentrate on the good times that you had with her, the day you met, the day she came home, the smell of her neck, the sound of her whinney, etc.

Allow the worst of your grief to pass before you look at any more horses and when you do, clear your mind and look at them as they are and not as how they compare with Flair.

(((((Hugs))))) I am so sorry for your loss and don't feel guilty about not feeling guilty. You did all you could and not Flair or anybody else can fault you for that. As you put in your avatar thingy, sometimes all you can do is just not enough.

Last edited by smrobs; 08-18-2009 at 11:08 PM.
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-18-2009, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lima, Montana.
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Thanks guys. Some of the stuff you have said made me bawl, and some of it is very true. I already compare the horses I have to Flair now. But I think that if I had something else to think about, something else to train and work with, maybe it would be easier. Maybe not though. I looked at some today and thought I did well with not comparing. Occasionally I would catch myself, but not as much as I thought I would. It's just that I'm afraid to get a horse that takes a little more time... because Flair was so EASY! and not being able to deal with it at this time. I don't know though, maybe I would throw myself into it. this is my first time dealing with anything like this, I mean, I lost my dog, but she was old and it was probably her time to go anyway. and I didn't have to watch her suffer. but yeah thanks again. it helps to have people to talk to.

To rein a horse is not only to guide him,
but also to control his every movement.
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-18-2009, 11:20 PM
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We are all here for you and if we can help in any way, we are more than glad to. ((((more hugs))))

You got me to cryin' too, BTW. :,,,/
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-18-2009, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lima, Montana.
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awwws I think I make everyone who reads this cry. i really should go to bed, I barely slept last night at all and I think I've gone about 27 hours without any considerable sleep... but I know if I go to bed I'll just dream about it. AGAIN. and again. that's what happened last night and I woke up crying... so I just... You know, you can fight the sleep, but not the dream. It's like I'm reliving it. Over. and over. and over. when she fell for the last time, and I was just crying, and she just looked at me like "i love you mom" and then she quit breathing and I just keep seeing that in my dreams, nightmares actually, again and again. I'm hoping that if I just stay awake longer and longer eventually I'll be so tired I don't dream at all.

To rein a horse is not only to guide him,
but also to control his every movement.
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-19-2009, 01:40 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine how horrible it must have been. At least you were there for her, which takes a very special person. It will hurt less and less every day, but you'll always miss her. That's just the way things are. I haven't lost a horse yet, but I know horses who have passed away. We had to put an old gelding down just a couple months ago at my barn.

I don't think it's wrong to look at more fillies. You're not replacing Flair, you're just getting another horse so it won't be so horrible when you're grieving for the one you lost. I did the same thing when I lost my cat who I had since I was two. I adopted another kitty a couple months after my Tiggy passed, but I definitely wasn't replacing him. Getting another animal helps make the grieving process less awful. You will love again. :) *hugs*

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is ultimately to be at peace with himself.
What a man can be, he must be.
" Abraham Maslow, 1968
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-19-2009, 08:41 AM
Green Broke
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This may sound horribly over-simplified, but it's my experience that you will know, when the time comes, what is right for you and your grief. There have been times after a loss (not just horses - all my beloved furbabies) that I have felt the pull towards a new baby (not as a replacement, that has never been the intent or the feeling) almost immediately and there have been times when my grief takes a different track and it is a great length of time before I feel ready to open to a new friend/partner. When the time comes for you, you will know - you will feel ready. Whether that will take days, weeks or months, only time will tell.
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-19-2009, 11:33 AM
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I am so sorry for your loss, Nita.

I can totally relate. I lost my first horse this past spring, while I was away at school. I'm only an hour from home (residential school), but it happened in the middle of midterms week, really suddenly. I spent a couple of days just half-crying (it's a miracle I passed my midterms...), but I knew that I wanted to get a new horse soon. I hated going home weekends and not having my bud there. I spent my spare time for the rest of the semester doing searches online for horses in the area (it's a miracle I passed my finals...). I found Scout online and sent my family to look at him, and (totally not the way anyone is supposed to buy a horse, lol) I decided to buy him. It felt so much better to have a horse again, to have a project, to be "back in the saddle."

You'll always remember Flair, but when you get another filly you certainly aren't replacing her. Scout is my new horse, not my new John. I love him just as much as I loved John, he just has his own "place" in my heart.

Best wishes, and so sorry for your loss.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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