My neighbors old mare 'went down' yesterday. She set her body with her feet angled at an uphill slant and when she decided to get up, she didn't have the strength in her old body to fight the gravity. I tryed coaxing her with a cookie to no avail. Another neighbor tryed scaring her . That didn't work either. Finally they got the tractor and a hoist and mechanically raised her to her wobbly feet. I'm afraid to call this morning to see how she is doing... For the past two winters we thought she wouldn't make it. Another Spring, and she is still here.
My fear of a horse lying down and not being able to get up stems from the loss of my old Appaloosa, 'Beast', who got cast in his stall in 1988 at the ripe old age of 32 years. I wrote a poem after he died...thought I would share....
Beast of Burden
I miss talking to you,
miss the weight of your shaggy head
draped over my shoulder.
You would listen, drowse, listen..
You would take on my sorrow..
it was mirrored in your huge brown eyes.
You were my beastie boy.
You listened with such compassion,
nickering softly at all the right times.
You held my weight,
carried me on your back,
and carried me through my pain.
You never asked for more than simple things,
a rub, a scratch behind your ears,
some water, hay and grain.
Those who have been lucky enough to own a horse know the feelings I speak about. We know that as caring humans we must make a decision for the animal, thinking only for its comfort, and not for our own selfish needs. But, it is a decision we sometimes wish God would make so we don't have to. The decision was made for Beastie, but in the end, either way, we grieve.....