Knowing when to let go

It’s your worst nightmare when the Vet pulls up and informs you that you have to make a decision to let your horse go. Basically what they are looking for is the authorization to administer the drug that will stop your horses heart from beating.  There are just a few seconds that you have to say goodbye to someone who has been apart of your life for 15+ years.  Through good times and bad, ups and downs. The call was not easy but necessary and to ensures that there would be no pain we made that very decision in July. This mare was so stubborn I thought that she would outlive all the other horses in the field. Aren’t they supposed to last forever?

Well here we are again with another horse who has experienced a condition known as RAO or COPD.  Whichever you way you say it the result is the same.  Your HORSE can not catch his breath. A breath he takes is labored.  Some days are good and some days are bad. Treatment includes drugs such as Dexamethasone, Ventipulmin and more.  We have changed regimes several times over the course of three years.  We are not sure what the trigger was for this horse – it could have been dust, molds, ammonia.  Anyone of these could have started the spiral downward.  Three years later with one of the hottest summers on record and high humidity levels and Ace is on Dex daily to assist his breathing difficulties.  Heat really isn’t the issue because he has been body clipped to the skin. HUMIDITY is the killer. He has his good days and then he has bad days. Ace has such a strong will to live.  He LIVES to EAT.  Loves to EAT.  I’ve never seen another horse who lived to eat the way this one does.

It’s such a hard decision because we have chosen to be caregivers to our horses from the point of purchase.  When is the right time to let them go?  Will tomorrow be a better day?  After all, everyone has a bad day once in a while.  Would you know when to let go?  It has literally taken me 6 months to write this post because it hurt so bad.

I know it’s getting closer to let ACE go because he’s just so tired and has lost weight.  He a young 22 year old stout built quarter horse.  I remember the first day I saw him and thought that he would be an awesome cow horse for me.  We did some team penning and some trail riding but he also did some local shows taking some ribbons for western pleasure.  I do not think that there will be another horse like her or like him.   I feel very fortunate to have had the time (better than 15 years with each one).

I know the day that we lose him will be the hardest but I want to cherish all the memories.  If you you have lost a horse, dog or cat feel free to share a personal memory hee.