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And she's off



Row Seatin'
Apr 24, 2009
Scales Mound, IL
It was time. Helped the neighbor get his backhoe running. He was so thrilled he even came and dug the hole.

I'd known her since I was a little kid. She was a racehorse. Helped haul her to the track a few times, helped nurse her back to health after an injury. She was a rockstar then, in the early 90s.

Rode her as a teenager when she was retired. She was just another horse then, like the others, found a home with my grandparents living a docile life.

Grandma passed away, and then grandad soon after, both tragically. Then there was just me. Barely knowing really how to take care of their horses they loved so much. By then she was the most fragile, cold in the winter, sensitive to rain, needing special food and care, really always on the brink of death without constant effort especially when the weather was bad.

When it was snowing and I was stuck at work late, I thought of her, the most vulnerable not her friends standing out waiting for me to put them to bed in the dry barn. For more than 10 years my care for that old horse was pretty much the only thing that drove me to wake up early and work late to be sure those horses of my grandparents best care that i could give.

It was time, an injury this summer had emaciated her, and worn me out, and no amount of food would give her life saving fat. Skin fungus stripped her coat in sheets. The injury and the made her unsteady and prone to tripping. Rather than fall on the ice and freeze to death, we decided to do what was best.

It happened very quickly, not the normal vet way but the cowboy way. She was gone before she hit the ground. The loader of course would not start, but soon she was in the hole and covered up, like barely anything happened.

The other horses are still there to care for, there's still a reason to do everything I was doing, the motions are the same, really. But I already miss her so much.

Feels like I unraveled everything I did to make sure she was okay.