Grieving The Loss Of That Special Horse

I’m only fifteen years old, and after only owning my very first horse for a year and a half, I lost him to colic yesterday. :frowning: :cry: I am beside myself with grief. It just seems unfair. Despite our ups and downs, I will forever and always love this horse to the ends of the earth. RIP Leo, Señor Pablo Picasso, my insufferable twat. Roll and eat peppermints to your heart’s content in horsey heaven. Thank you for walking for me, and teaching me to dance. 4/19/02 - 10/18/14

Now, if it’s not too painful to share, what are your stories of losing a horse? Did you do anything special in their memory, or to help grieve? Did you keep halter, saddle pad, etc? Along with planting flowers (statice), we are planning on making a custom Breyer horse to look like him, as well as the classic tail hair bracelet. Does anyone know anyone who does either of those things for a reasonable price?

I’m so sorry for your loss. I had to put my Lizzy down back in May when she developed Colitis. She was 28 and I had had her for 17 years. I know it doesn’t seem it now but the pain gets easier as time goes by. Try and think about all the good times that you had with Leo.

My girl was cremated and they saved her tail for me and the shoes that she wearing. One day I would like to get a necklace made with her tail hair. I did get a heart pendant made that has her name on it that I wear.

I’m so sorry you lost your horse.

I put my beloved Arab mare, Imaginique down three years ago and just writing this makes me cry. She was 30 and I’d had her for 28 years. She had arthritis in three legs and was only pasture sound. She had a back injury from being cast and I didn’t want her to go through another winter. Although I know I did the right thing for her I still miss her. I have a fly wisk made of her tail hair and recently had a bracelet made of her tail hair. I also kept her halter and bridle.

She is only one of three that I have lost. I lost her son, Raj, two and a half weeks after putting Image down. He had coliced and was 25. I also lost my first horse, Nicky, at age 38 about 15 years ago. I bought him when he was 14. I have fly wisks made of each of their tail hair and have their halters and bridles.

We lost our beloved Buckskin QH Doc about a month ago to colic, too. He was 24 but was going strong… I had a beautiful ride on him the night before we lost him. He taught my daughter how to ride and show, and was our go-to horse for little kids and beginner adults. We loved him more than anything and are still reeling from the loss.

I will share with you some wise words my husband said years ago when we lost our beloved dog unexpectedly. “Maybe they had to leave us when they did to make room in our lives for another to love.”

Their lives are so short compared to ours, but when they leave us, they go to a better place, and leave room for another to love.

Best wishes to you,
Mary Jo

I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s never easy whether it’s the first time or the tenth time.

We plant a tree or long lived flowering shrub. I learned to avoid plants with short life cycles. It breaks your heart when the plant dies. You could plant a patch of annuals. Each year when they come back would be a nice moment to remember your guy.

A friend just put down her beloved 34 yr old. She has planted a tea rose in a large pot so that it can stay with her if/when she moves houses.

I lost my first horse at 14 years old, so I can totally sympathize with your loss. In fact, I’m 27 now, and thinking about it makes me cry still.

I got him when I was 7 years old, and while he was my first horse, he wasn’t technically my first ever…I had a rotten mean pony from 5 years old to 7 years old, and when she bucked off a friend who broke her arm, she was sold.

Enter, best horse ever.

I put him down because he foundered in all 4, so badly that he was holding himself in a standing position by putting his head over the stall wall, and essentially, using his neck to hold himself off his feet.

It was THE.HARDEST.DAY. of my life…to this day. He was my first love, my best friend…and I had to make the call.

So, I totally get what you are going through. I have had many horses since, but none compares to him, and that’s fine, because he was so special, I can hold onto that for the rest of my life.

I kept his halter and leadrope, which to this day has never been used on another horse. It’s hanging in my new barn’s tack room, with a picture of me and him when I was 8 years old. A shrine like area, if you will. Also, we had him put down in April; the Christmas right before, I had gotten new brushes. They had only ever been used on him. I still have those, and they still smell like him, 13 years later. There are a few other things of his that I kept, and they are all in a very nice oak hand-made tack trunk (a small one, much too small to be of use in the barn) that my uncle made for me that Christmas after he passed. It’s in my bedroom, and contains a braid from his mane and tail (I couldn’t bring myself to send them in the mail for a bracelet - I would be devastated if they were lost), and the rest of his things.

It will take a while to grieve, and that is okay. Take all the time you need.

HUGS
Thinking about what you’re going through brings back my memories like it was just yesterday. And especially so, because I’m at a point right now that I need to make this decision about my mare within the next week or so. Aside from the gelding I mentioned above, she is 2nd best for sure. Those good ones sure are irreplaceable, and they will leave a hole in your heart, ever over many years. That is what makes them special, and I’m thankful I had that with a horse.

Hugs to you.
I have not lost a horse (yet), but as the owner of two 20 something retired horses… the time will come and I dread it.
My DD is 27 and she got our mare as a Christmas present in 2000. That mare has been her rock through break ups, depression, university stress times… she loves her and so do I. She is 22…
The gelding is 20 this year…
They are boarded together and I know that when one passes… I can’t imagine going back to that barn (although we have been there 10 years…) Not seeing one or the other there would just be too hard, esp. if the mare goes first.

I decided to get hair from the three horses (my DD has a younger horse at a different barn) now and have a bracelet made NOW. After their passing would be too hard.

I am in Canada and I sent the hair to Galla Designs… she is terrific and so reasonably priced… http://galladesigns.com/ and she is local to me…

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened (Dr. Seuss)… hard, but true. Soon, only the good memories will stay!

I was 17 when I lost my first horse- I had owned this creature and she had lived on my property my entire life. She was genuinely one of those truly special horses, and not once in my entire life did she miss an opportunity to take better care of me than I deserved. She carted me around the fields and trails and roads of our town since before I could walk, was ALWAYS willing to cuddle and listen to my every woe, never did she step a toe out of place. She decided one late spring morning that that was her day, simply laid down after breakfast and refused to get up. My principal was very understanding and excused me from classes, I met the vet at the barn and her friends said goodbye. No one really knows where she came from originally, or how old she was exactly. Several years before we agreed to take in another boarder, and low and behold it turned out to be her previous owner, and the horse my mare’s previous pasture mate. My boarder had originally picked my mare up at a local auction, with no information other than “chestnut mare”. The vet at the time estimated her to be between 9-14, which would have put her at 42 years on the low end. We’ve heard everything in terms of breed and joke that she was an “anglo-morab”. That mare gave me a truly magical childhood, in a way nothing else could have in a million years. My best friend was a Pretty Princess Pony who literally carried me away from my troubles, I could run up to my barn at any time of night and day and be away from everyone, safe and sound from the world. She was in every way my heart horse, I can physically feel the absence of her presence at times. It was very difficult for me, but even in her death she was still teaching me, and I learned that you have to grieve in your own way, and that that way may not be the same in every instance, and it might not make sense- to you or anyone else, but it’s for you, and no one else. And that deep in that grief, in its very core, is the love and bond that you shared. Eventually the awful feelings will slowly start to fall away and you will only be left with the love.

For the bracelet: Look into Heart and Sole Jewelry. I inquired of a number of these artisans and liked this one the best for a number of reasons. Nice lady in South Dakota. I had the bracelet made for a teenager in my barn when her “horse of a lifetime” died unexpectedly. She now wears it whenever she shows (she rides a few horses in the barn but none are hers) and every time she does, just before entering the ring, she looks at it and thanks me again for having it made for her.

I am sorry for your loss. My first horse passed away in June. It takes a lot of time. I miss him so much, all the time. You just need to let yourself grieve. Let yourself feel it all.

I have breyer made of him and also have his saddle pad, halter, and a piece of tail.

Breyer:


I did this set up for awhile and then moved. I want to get a shadow box type thing for a more permanent setup.

I lost my most favourite mare ever a few months ago. I held her in my arms just after she came into this world - with a glass of champagne in one hand.

Some people think that I am hard as I havent really cried for her - I certainly miss her and her awesome back-scratches and her awesome nature and absolutely loving nature and fabulous rides etc. BUT I had the chance to make a rational decision prior to having to make the decision if that makes any sense. There was absolutely no chance of survival (advanced kidney cancer) so there was no humming and haaing - the vet already knew the decision that I would make.

I think what has helped me is that I made the decision to donate her body to vet research - the diagnosis was made at our teaching hospital. Here she was able to assist students in learning more both on her last day as well as after her death. The student on her first rotation that my Honey just stood there for her to have her first ever go at sedating a horse - she was crying and had to leave the clinic when the decision was made. The student who was finishing her time and had to do the final injection for the first ever time - my Honey made it easy for her.

Just remember the good rides, the good grooming sessions (mutual and otherwise), the wandering up to each other in the paddock and just loving on each other. It does get easier.

My most favourite memory is just cantering down along a long grass verge (we were supposed to be trotting but Hon wanted to canter) and just being in perfect sync. Oddly enough, another good memory is how she just loaded perfectly onto the trailer on the way to the vet hospital, stood like a rock and quietly walked off and into a building. That was my Honey through and through.

QUOTE: She was genuinely one of those truly special horses, and not once in my entire life did she miss an opportunity to take better care of me than I deserved. QUOTE This is probably the best ever description of have read of a special horse. My Hon to a T. I have part of her tail - just part as she needs a tail - and it is being made into a necklace for me.

Allow yourself a lot of time to grieve. It takes a long time to come to terms with their deaths. Keep functioning as well as you can.

I lost a very beloved horse 7 years ago. He had been completely healthy from the time I got him as a 5 year old, until shortly before he died at age 12, of an unknown ailment with fever and subsequent laminitis. I still get tearful when I think of his loss.

A few months later, a friend asked me if she could name her foal after my boy. For some reason, that made me feel much better. Every time I saw her foal, I thought of the joy my boy brought me. I hope the foal, now grown, is bringing joy to his family.

Pray for your horse, and yourself. Cherish the good memories. Try to not blame yourself for anything you did or didn’t do that might have contributed to the colic. Sometimes we blame ourselves for silly things that are unimportant in the big picture. You were fortunate to have a horse who was so special, even if your time together was brief. Remind yourself that your grief will get better over time.

I had to put my 28 year old going on 29 year old gelding down this past New Year’s Eve. I had him for 26 years. His hind end could no longer support him. My heart was broken and still is. Time has eased the horrible grief but not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and miss him like he!!. I had a bracelet made from his tail hair. The rest of his tail hair is in a memory box on my dresser. http://galladesigns.com/index.html Trish did a beautiful job on the bracelet. I had a silver disk added to the bracelet with his name on one side and birth/death dates on the other. I keep Bob’s halter and lead line in the back set of my car so he is with me. I made a little “Bob” corner in my garage with his brush box, fly masks, and cooler. Every time I put my car in the garage I touch the fly masks and tell him I love him. I have a bin of saddle pads that I may or not get rid of. I don’t plan on owning another horse because it would be too emotionally painful for me at my age. But you are younger and have time and energy to keep your memories of Leo, yet move on.

[QUOTE=DoomPony;7814554]I’m only fifteen years old, and after only owning my very first horse for a year and a half, I lost him to colic yesterday. :frowning: :cry: I am beside myself with grief. It just seems unfair. Despite our ups and downs, I will forever and always love this horse to the ends of the earth. RIP Leo, Señor Pablo Picasso, my insufferable twat. Roll and eat peppermints to your heart’s content in horsey heaven. Thank you for walking for me, and teaching me to dance. 4/19/02 - 10/18/14

Now, if it’s not too painful to share, what are your stories of losing a horse? Did you do anything special in their memory, or to help grieve? Did you keep halter, saddle pad, etc? Along with planting flowers (statice), we are planning on making a custom Breyer horse to look like him, as well as the classic tail hair bracelet. Does anyone know anyone who does either of those things for a reasonable price?[/QUOTE]

Um, am I hallucinating or is there an elephant in the room no one is mentioning?

A certain . . . unexpected . . . phrase in the OP?

I am 64 years old, male (ironically my name is Leo) and I lost my stallion Heir To The Ring, Christmas Eve, due to a double twist to the intestine.

He was always in his paddock with his own mini barn, but the kennel, so I saw him first…and he received a carrot every morning.

I have missed him daily. We actually liked each other…and I miss that acknowledgment of my presence with his majestic toss of the head and his nickering

I have learned, over the years, there is no right nor wrong…you take as long as you want to heal…do not try to forget him…do talk about him and what he ment to you…always remember there will never be another like him…but don’t let that stop you from finding a new friend.

Best of luck and congratulations on loving your horse.

I have been luck enough not to lose a horse yet, but I know how I felt about my cat.

I make the custom breyers- start at 28.00 for a stablemate in a common mold and goes up from there for bigger or rare. You can see some I have done in my ebay store.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Custom-Painted-Breyer-Stablemate-Model-Of-YOUR-Horse-Or-Pony-Gift-Horses-Small-/400784150268?ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

OP, do you know what a twat is? Did you mean twit? Just wondering…we’ve had some trolling lately.

Sorry about your horse. BTDT, lost my special guy 2 1/2 years ago and I still have a huge hole in my heart.

Oh gosh! Twat is a British word for an idiot. My dad is British and I picked it up. Didn’t catch that.

I lost my first horse when I was young.
After I graduated high school (at 17) and got a job a friend of my mom’s gave me their daughter’s horse, as she was going off to college and couldn’t keep him any more. Felix was an ugly color varnish Appy that looked like he had some draft horse in there somewhere. But he was a fun and safe horse to ride all over town. A year after I got him I lost him to colic, on my birthday, no less.

A decade later I lost a mare that I had to colic, she was only 8. She was a BLM mustang that I had adopted as a yearling and trained myself.

So sorry :frowning: Losing a beloved horse is so heartbreaking.

I have saved my two guys’ tail hair. The art teacher at my school has mentioned to me horsehair pottery, and I think I am going to get her (or one of her ceramicist friends) to make me a couple of small pots with the hair from each horse.