I started riding very recently, for about two years, and i was lucky enough to buy myself an OTTB mare. She was… to put it simply she was amazing. She was everything, even though she was only 15 hh she could jump up to 1.30 with ease, she didn’t even know the definition of spooking, any jump she had in front of her she would jump, and she just had the best heart, always took care of me, and she was only 9 years old. I had her for 2 years and before me she had been abused severely so I would like to think that my family and I gave her the best years of her life. She’d never even eaten a carrot and the first time she had one she had been so confused.
Sadly she passed away and I’ve just… I don’t know what to do. I feel distraught, heartbroken, I can’t even think about it without wanting to cry. She passed away after a losing battle with EPM but before that she had had hip problems but she had recovered when suddenly she stopped eating and lost so much weight in less than a week. We found out she had EPM only after it had gotten to the point where she couldn’t swallow due to NS (nervous system) damage and we poured everything we could on her, gave her the best medical care possible and she even started eating again, not much but she was trying. We decided to send her to a ranch where she could rest while still recovering with all her medication in tow and even special food for her. We left her there a week before we got the news. We didn’t even get to visit her in her last moments because we swore she was going to make it and I just don’t know what to do. I feel like I don’t even want to get out of bed because I don’t want to think about how she’s gone.
I feel guilt at not being with her at her final moments, I feel regret I couldn’t even say goodbye, and I hate myself because I feel she just suffered her last month because I was selfish and refused to put her to sleep, I feel she might have hated me because she felt abandoned. I can’t help think I didn’t do enough and I failed her, I feel like I gave up on her and I regret that at certain points during her sickness I felt overwhelmed and frustrated with her for not getting better no matter what I did, I regret every bad thought I had. I just… I don’t know how to cope. What should I do?