It was a perfectly wonderful day. A dear friend had just arrived into town. I was saddled and riding a wonderful young mare. My friend was filming my ride. My own mare, Parley, began running around the pasture, just over the fence from the arena I was riding in. Her thoroughbred half was showing up and she was gallping flat out. Suddenly she fell. I saw her get up and from past experience of seeing other injured horses, I knew she was seriously injured.
I jumped off my mount and quickly tied her up. My friend had rushed to Parley. I rushed there too. Parley tried to walk from where she now stood. She had no support on her left front leg. I could see from a quick examination of her leg that the radius was completely broken in two. Parley was going into shock, sweat pouring off of her body.
This is one of those times I am thankful to have a cell phone. I immediately began calling every local vet who’s number is stored in my phone. I needed one of them asap. Parley’s leg was broken beyond rapair. She needed to be put down. I am thankful that a vet was able to arrive in about thirty-five minutes. A truck to haul off her body was able to pick her up about forty-five minutes later.
In an hour and a half, a completely wonderful day was riddled with shock, tears and grief. I look back and see many things I am thankful for in the midst of such shocking and difficult circumstances: a dear friend; that I was on site and saw what happened; an available vet; consoling property owners; on site pain medication and an ability to rationally process the circumstances.
I’m sharing this with you, hoping to be a sorce of encouragement to anyone else who may experience something like this. Its easy to love our horses. Its not so easy to tragically loose them.
I now reminise about my five years with Parley, six if you count in utero. I have many happy memories and by far, the best ride ever, the day before she died.