I’ve not added a post since mid June, and its not for lack of trying.
At the beginning of July my horse Rio, who features quite a lot in my blog posts, Facebook posts, and website, got injured in the field.
Only a few weeks previously the vet had been out and declared him very nearly sound, and more than likely just a bit stiff from not wanting to step through from behind, with a nicely healing back leg, and should continue as he was for about 4-5 more years, without to many problems. I was over the moon. He is one of the nicest horses Ive known, despite not always being one of the easiest to deal with.
So, on the 6th July, I went to get him in from the field, to discover that he was 4/5ths lame. Hes a tough nut normally, so this really didn’t bode well. Gravel (a Yorkshire term for a foot abscess!) was quickly ruled out, and a tendon injury ruled in. So despite being a Sunday night, the vet was called. The leg was looked at, scanned and due to the damage, decided that 10 days complete box rest was needed, and then to rescan it.
Progress was slow and steady, but always heading in the right direction. He started walking round his box easier, and was brighter in himself, so I allowed myself a glimmer of hope.
But it was not to be. The afternoon before the scan was due, his fetlock started to sink. Slightly at first, so that I thought it was just the way he was stood. But by late evening, the damage was evident. We made him comfortable overnight, with a extra dose of bute, and booked everything for the following morning.
Ive held enough horses for the vet for their final journey before, so knew what would happen. Rio was 15. To me, still far to young.
Being the first horse I’ve ever owned, and the first horse of my own that I’ve ever lost, I could not have imagined the complete and utter sense of loss and emptiness that followed, and I’m so very glad that my best friend came and helped me through that morning, and the weeks after.
Life has been rather different without him. Some 3 weeks later I lost another horse, who I’d had on loan for a long time, but this time, being 29, I could easily say he’d had a full and complete life. It was no easier to say goodbye though.
Business continues pretty much as normal, I keep busy, but every day I am reminded of the reason I started my tack shop in the first place. Quite simply, I work to afford and enjoy my horses.
It’s a harsh reminder to enjoy what you have whilst you have it. Make the most of what you’ve got. Because tomorrow is another day, but it may be a day too late.
And to my next horse, when the time comes, ‘I’m sorry’, because you’ll have some very big shoes to fill, and a very large space in my heart to help heal.