Sunday, 27 November 2011
The Hardest Thing About Horses
As soon as I saw her I knew. I spent time with her today and it just proved that it was the right thing to do. She's gone through a growth spurt lately and with that, the angle of her leg has gotten even worse. My dad lives two hours north of me so he doesn't get the chinooks that I do. Once the snow hits, it's usually there to stay and that can mean several feet of snow just out in the field, not counting how much snow there can be in the trees. She just wouldn't be able to make it through another long, cold winter in that much snow. Her leg can't hold up for another winter. I could put her in a stall and leave her there, but she'd hate her life and it would only delay it. She can't be healed, she'll only ever get even worse. She lasted a year longer than the vets thought she would.
She's sick of being bothered. She tries to bite if you attempt to lift up her bad leg and even with her other ones now, she doesn't want them to be touched. She just wants to be left alone and to have people stop messing with her. She's even touchy about being brushed. She just seems like she's sick of being harassed.
I said my goodbyes to her today. I won't be there when it happens. I live two hours away and we cannot wait for me to be up again in two-three weeks. I spent several hours with her, sometimes it was just the two of us, sometimes Jillian and Sommer were there too. I hugged her a lot and cried a lot. I took lots of pictures of her and my sister took some of Cas and I, since I have only a few of us. I felt morbid the entire time.
She bit me three times in true Cas fashion. I've tried her entire life but I've never been able to get her to stop biting. She bit Sommer once and wouldn't stand still. She still tolerated hugs though, like she always does. The whole day I was either laughing or crying. She was the same Cas she's always been. She didn't care that I was upset, she was annoyed she couldn't go back out in the field.
I brushed her one last time and fed her some sweet feed. I took pictures of her leg to remind myself that this was the right decision, because I know there will be times when I doubt that. I took her out to her field and hugged her one last time. I let her go and she didn't run like she used to, she just walked away calmly. She didn't look back at me. I watched her go until I was distracted for just a second. I looked back and she was gone, down over a rise. I kept hoping she'd come back up but she didn't. I told myself it was very metaphorical and then I hated myself for thinking that.
I just keep praying that this was the right decision. She wasn't even three yet and it'll always bother me that I'll never get to know what she would have been like when she was older. I'll never know what colour she would have ended up to be, I'll never know if I could suceed in getting her mane to grow. I'll never know if I could get her to stop biting. She was the first foal I've ever dealt with, she was my first foal and she wasn't at all what I expected. She truly taught me that you get what you need, not what you want. She wasn't the foal I imagined but she let me know she cared in her own little ways.
I could go on forever about this horse. She has more personality than any horse I've ever met. You don't have to get to know her well to know exactly what she's like. She became known as The Demon, both for her "tempermental" disposition and for her long and interesting namesake. I keep going through moments where I feel like I've made the right decision, and moments where I'm certain that she would be fine and a miracle would happen.
I love this horse and I will always love her, no matter how much time passes. She was a nobody to the horse world, a crippled, mean, "fugly" animal but she is amazing. This wasn't how it was supposed to happen, it shouldn't have ended this way.