Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Final Journey

" Sweetie"
There is some sad news to report today.  Our Arabian mare Sweetie is no longer with us.  She has been failing for the past few months and it was time to ease her suffering and let her go.  Sweetie could hardly walk anymore; her legs were crippled by her DSLD disease and she was very uncomfortable to the point where she did not want to go out with the herd anymore.  So, we’ve been leaving her loose around the barn, she had access to any stall she so chose to go into for hay and water or lie down for a nap, which she did quite often.  There was also access to grass for grazing.  It was the best we could do for her given the circumstances.

Our vet was out to check on some of our other horses and we asked him directly to let us know when he thought it might be Sweetie’s time, as we were afraid we couldn’t be objective about such a difficult decision.  He told us it was past time and we should consider making arrangements as soon as possible.  Even though we did not want our time with her to end, it was the best choice for her.

Princess Nibar, aka “Sweetie,” came to us two years ago from a bad situation; she was 25 years old and in desperate need of good care.  If we had left her where she was, she would have been put down.  When she nickered to us to come back and not forget about her, we had to take her home with us.

It has been two years of getting to know and care for a very charming, smart, sensible and classy mare, and it would be impossible not to love her.  She made us smile every day we knew her and she taught us so much about the impressive Arabian breed.  Sweetie was one of a kind and our lives have been enriched for having known this gentle soul.  She has shown us through her indomitable spirit that no matter how dire the circumstances, one should never give up on life.

We have heard that in her younger years as Princess Nibar she was a National English Pleasure champion, and I do not doubt it.  When she was 10 years old she was sold to a breeder and this woman bred her quite a lot.  So, suffice it to say, I do not think she had a very happy life.  We are content that for the last two plus years of her life she got to be a horse and spend time with the herd grazing and grooming each day.  Sweetie was very appreciative to us, her human friends, for the care and love she received and deserved.  We do think she thoroughly enjoyed herself.

It is never easy to make this kind of decision but it is a necessary evil of being a horse’s caretaker. Last night she spent her time outside with Sami, her son, under the night stars. She had access to the paddocks and could rest in the shed when she needed to.  We led her through the barn this morning to say her goodbyes to the rest of the herd and then let her meander slowly with us to the back field. Sweetie snacked on carrots, apples and her personal favorite ‘Stud Muffins’.

Sweetie will always be with us as she is on our property resting peacefully on the hilltop overlooking the farm under a grove of shady trees.  We gave her the best end we could and she left us with the dignity that she has exhibited while she was with us for the last two years.

Although this is a sad time, we would like to think of Sweetie not in pain any longer, but whole again, running through green meadows, tail flagged up in the air and feeling like a young filly once more.  There is a picture in my mind of her drinking from a crystal mountain stream, occasionally lifting her head, ears alert and perhaps meeting horse friends from her past that she can forever roam green pastures with again.
Goodbye little mare, we will miss you; it was an honor and a privilege to have know you, if only for a short time. We will always remember your sweetness and your spirit forever.

Until next time

Quote for Today

There is something about the sight of a fallen horse that strikes one's heart in such a way, even for those who are not particularly a horse lover...the significance of something so sacred, powerful, beautiful, intoxicating as the horse...when a fallen horse is seen overcome by life's obstacles, fallen tears and a jolt to the heart and soul can never be prevented...
    - Stephanie M Thorn

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