Monday, September 8, 2008

So It Goes.

This post is really hard to write.

So I'll cut to the chase. My mom spoke to Bailey's owner today. Yesterday, he walked up to the fence over near where she was to say hi, and looked a little off. Upon closer inspection, she discovered that he had a very, very deep cut on his leg.

To make a long story short, he somehow sliced damn near all the way through his leg, severed his flexor tendon, and was euthanized. She's not sure what he did it on, and walked the entire fenceline without finding anything.

She's very upset and we are too. She says he was not distressed at all -- he was very calm, and loaded calmly on the trailer to get to the vet (the only time he's ever gone on without giving her trouble....leave it to Bailey!).

It's hard to think that he's gone. He was my first horse, you know? I'm sure you can tell by the tone of my posts about him that I loved him very much. I find it both ironic and very sad that the day before this happened, I wrote about my last ride on him. It means so much more to me now, and all the other memories -- the good and the bad. Sitting on him out in the center of a big outdoor round pen under a flat grey sky, crying from frustration in the pouring rain as he stood. Cantering in a group on a trail ride, and the way he stopped dead for me when another rider fell right in front of his hooves. Cruising around the stadium course at Inavale and that easy way he always was willing to take the long spot. The fact that he'd stand perfectly still for an intranasal vaccine, but not for the farrier. The faces he made when I fed him a bite of an ice cream sandwich, or the one time he mugged me for a cough drop and spent the next ten minutes trying to get rid of the taste. The nasty faces he'd make at me every day when I tacked him up. The way he'd always boss McKinna around and herd her away from other horses. The way his whinny always started out hoarse and barely-there, but by the third try was earsplitting.

At least it wasn't traumatic. It wasn't frightening for him, or confusing, or horribly painful, though I'm sure it hurt. It wasn't a long, drawn-out illness that slowly killed him. It wasn't an agonizing episode of colic. To be honest, he was an incredibly healthy horse. Other than being footsore after trimming for the first year or so, he was always completely sound and healthy.

I'm going to miss him very, very much.

This is one of my senior pictures. Before I got the studio photos (for yearbook), we had a session out at the barn with Bailey, because he was for sale at the time and we wanted to have these pictures of him. I am very glad we took them.

This one's my favorite. It's the way we always were when I was telling him what a wonderful boy he was; hands on either side of his head, and he'd just cock his ears and stand there. Must be a horse thing, I guess.

As Vonnegut would say -- so it goes.


damsel78 said...

Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of Bailey. You're right, it could have been much worse. Nontheless, it hurts. I can imagine it came as quite a shock.
I never post, but read as often as you write.

Leah Fry said...

I am so SO sorry, There's really nothing else to say but that.

Mike said...

I too found it incredibly ironic that you'd written such a poignant tribute to your last ride on Bailey the day before his last day. That brought a tear to my eye as I read it Monday morning; especially knowing the horrible news we had for you yesterday afternoon.

I loved that horse. I hated that horse. I do have many many more fond memories of him than not though. Standing in the rain for 2+ hours working with him to get in the trailer, entirely missing that scheduled practice. Watching you glide over the cross country fences with him at Inavale. Loved his full-on gallop across the fields there! Wanting to break his neck with my bare hands the day he cow kicked you in the stall. Seeing the love in your eyes when he'd come up & let you put your face on his ala the senior picture. His ears always on you. The way you two rode as the wind in Diane’s field chasing the sheep. The effortless ease in floating over jumps in various arenas. The way he let you go across the finish line first at the Roseburg jump show when he didn’t like that banner floating on the side wall (that’s actually a fond memory, I got such a kick out of the judge saying “she was across the line before she came off!”). I could go on & on, I just felt like I should post something on here as my tribute to Bailey. I already missed him with him being up in Montana. I’ll remember him always. Your first horse. You brought him so very far. I’m proud of you & hope we have a very very long time between his accident and the next catastrophe!

ORSunshine said...

Many, I am so sorry for your loss. Hold on to your good memories and cherish the things Bailey taught you.

ezra_pandora said...

I'm really sorry for your loss. They say horses spend their entire life looking for their resting place. Even if we can't find it. I'm very glad that you got those senior pictures. We had a horse colic before I had gotten any pictures at all, and I did not want my only pictures of him to be ones of him in pain before he was sent upward.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Bailey. But you are right, atleast it was quiet and not traumatic. Sounds like he lived a long, and very loved life. Klein and I send our condolences.
I got my first horse when I was 8 and to this day I still have dreams about her sometimes, and I'm 24 now.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

What a shock! My sympathies to you. That picture is beautiful, and so is your tribute.

buckpony said...

Oh, I am so, so sorry! What a horrible, shocking loss. My heart aches for you. How devestating for Bailey's new owner as well.
I sold my dear Hamlet to a precious young girl after leasing him to her for a year. He was a horse I never wanted to sell, but because I was getting married, I felt like he deserved more than I could give him at that time in my life. Somewhere around three months after I decided to sell him to the young lady, he was struck and killed by lightening. The loss was almost unbearable. Again, I am so very sorry for your loss. (big hugs to you)
That photo is amazing - I know you cherish it; and even more so now.

mugwump said...

You got to know a horse that was sweet, funny, talented and exasperating. He got to know you.
Lucky for both of you.

Beckz said...

I'm really to sorry to hear about that.

MyLittlePony said...

Ah Bailey... I sure loved that big goof. I remember after we got some weight on him and he turned into a kicking, biting demon it was scary just trying to get a blanket on him. Then we won him back ala Monty Roberts... I remember you crying the night before an OHSET meet because he was so frustrating and you felt you weren't ready for the meet. The next morning he sailed over the jumps effortlessly and took you to third place. I remember all the nearly last place dressage rounds, including the one where every canter circle was instead a "buck" ciricle, but in the jump rounds he became a different horse. I remember the frustration when he developed his "rushing fences" habit and how hard you worked to fix it, and fix it you did. I fondly remember the time I got him "stuck" in the arena, trying to turn him out, and the first time we turned him and McKinna out in the big field. I think they ran three big loops, up and down the hiill, before slowing down. I will always remember the mini event at Inavale. His first cross country round, that wonderful stadium round and the smile on your face when you finished. You learned so much and he turned into a nice horse. Mugs is right - Lucky for both of you. Rest in peace big guy.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am so sorry for your loss.

Nancy (aka Tony's person) said...

I am so sorry for your loss of Bailey.

allhorsestuff said...

I am so sad with this post and mystery event that lead to your loss. Washashe and I send our heartfelt tears, to wash over yours~ sincerely so~allhorsestuff, Kacy

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