A dear friend had to put her horse down yesterday. That's a kind of pain that feels overwhelming...like ground glass in your soul....and it feels permanent when you're in it. Maybe in some respects it is. But at least it doesn't stay that sharp forever. I know of what I speak. In 1991 I was faced with making that same dreadful decision.
I still miss my sweet "Stranger." He got me through a lot of rough times. (Remind me and I'll scan and post some old pictures of him that Mom dug out for me the other day.)
Horses touch our lives in very profound ways. There were some very dark times for me this past year when I went through a bout of laminitis with Solana. It's horrible when we see our animals in pain. There were times when I had so much fear because I know how serious it was (is. She is doing wonderfully now, but will always be at risk and I'll always have to be vigilant.). I spent a lot of hours out at the barn...in all hours of the day and night and all weather conditions...and with a broken bone in my foot that I didn't even know was broken because I was so focused on her I didn't go to the doctor for 2 months. That may not make sense to you...unless you're a horse person...and then it makes complete sense.
My friend only adopted this horse about six months ago...but I know how attached she was to him. He was a sweet boy. So gentle, despite the fact that he'd been through a lot of awful things in his life. I may not know much, but I know he loved living with my friend. I know that he enjoyed his time there. I know that he knew he was loved. I found the following last night when looking for something to share with my friend:
If you bury him in this spot, the secret of which you must already have,
He will come to you when you call-
Come to you over the far, dim pastures of death,
And though you ride other, living horses through life, they shall not shy at him, nor resent his coming.
For he is yours and he belongs there.
People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall,
Who hear no nicker pitched too fine for insensitive ears.
People who never really love a horse.
Smile at them then, for you shall know some thing that is hidden from them,
And which is well worth knowing.
The only place to bury a horse is in the heart of his master