Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Queen's Reign Has Ended


Just before 7:00 am this morning, Her Highness, Queen Estes, decided it was time.

She colicked yesterday and tolerated being tubed, allowed me to give her banamine during the night, but this morning, she was done.

She allowed me to walk her out of the pen toward the trailer, with intentions of a quick trip around the block to see if we could get anything moving, but went down at the back of the trailer.  That's when I knew I couldn't torture her any more.

Mom and I had a quick conference about where the best place to put her down would be - God, I hate having to deal with those details when faced with killing your own horse - and found a place.

Estes got back to her feet and said her goodbyes while I went to talk to Bill and have a quick conference on which caliber to use - again with the awful details. I had promised myself after her last colic that I would be the one to pull the trigger if she needed to be put down.  She was my responsibility and I couldn't imagine allowing her to continue in agonizing pain while I waited for the vet to come up from Longmont, it would have easily taken him an hour to get here.

I got my gun out of the car and went to love her for a bit while she was still sort of feeling good.  By good, I mean standing like a statue in one place and letting us love on her.

I sent Mom away to talk to a guest who was sitting on the porch.  While Mom was gone, Estes went down again and rolled one eye at me, and very clearly told me, "I'm done."  If I had asked her to get up, she would have.  My crotchety old mare had a ton of heart, but it was time.

I had intended to wait until Mom was back, but when Estes looked at me like that, I had to do it.  It was equal parts awful and a relief.  I am okay with putting her down because she was in so much pain and there's no doubt that to wait would have been inhumane.  But I feel like I just killed one of my children, and that's awful.






During our ride last week, I knew that we were beginning our "lasts".  For every first, there's going to be a last, so I did my best to savor every moment with her.  I had decided that this would definitely be her last year on the hill, but I was also planning new firsts for us as we continued life down on the plains.

Now that she's crossed the Rainbow Bridge, she can meet up with my all-time best dog, Jake and they can take care of each other in a place where there's no arthritis, colic or end-stage renal failure (Jake).

24 comments:

Dreaming said...

Oh my. I don't know what to say. You are an amazing woman and Estes was lucky to have you there to take care of her. Lucky horse. So hard. So sad.
When folks lose their loved ones I always tell them that I hope their memories of good times will sustain them through the sad. I can see that is already the case. Thanks for putting up the pictures of you and Estes have fun. Hugs to you.

Shana Putnam said...

I will tell you. I have been there before. You just know when it is time. Those eyes will tell you so much if you just look at them you know. I am sorry.

Shirley said...

You're a strong woman, but your heart must have been breaking. I know exactly how you feel, I've been there, even though it was a vet that administered the drugs that put my Sundee across the rainbow bridge. (((hugs)))

Laura Crum said...

I have had horses tell me it was time, and dogs and cats, too. You know you did the right thing, but it is still so hard. Thinking of you.

Cindy D. said...

Oh I am so so sorry. It is such a touch decision, but then not when they are in pain like she was. Making the decision to do it yourself, not sure I could, takes some strength for sure.
Again, so sorry.

Mrs Mom said...

You loved her enough to let her go.

Damn fine job. Love you guys.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

I am so sorry for your loss GD. She was a fantastic mare and I know how much you will miss her.

Marissa Rose said...

I am so sorry for your loss, but I am honestly impressed at how strong you are. I hope that I can have that strength when the time comes for me to make such a difficult decision

Linda said...

Only the ones who love them know when it's time. We had to do the same thing with our pony, Jasmine, as you know. I will say, doing it yourself at home is the MOST humane way. The last thing they see is the one they love and it is so fast. But I know it is also heartbreaking on every level. The easiest thing is to let the vet do it--for that reason. You did the hard thing. I'm so deeply sorry for your loss! I've read so much about her--a wonderful, wonderful being--what a blessing she was to you and you to her!

Allison B said...

I'm so sorry for your loss!
You have a strength that is very impressive and knowing what is best for sweet Queen Estes was a decision that you made for her.
I love the photos of your beautiful mare that you shared. Your stories together will be missed! But cherish the amazing memories that you have made together.

gowestferalwoman said...

hugs to ((gundiva)))

She will be missed by you for a very long time...but you did the right thing. you are a good and true horseman.

Mel said...

I'm so sorry. This is an amazing story of you listening to your horse and truly making a tough but necessary decision and I admire both of your bravery.

Reddunappy said...

So sorry. I could do it if it came to that, but would not be easy!
((hugs))

AmberRose- Girl With a Dream said...

i am soo sorry to hear this you will be in my thoughts during this difficult time

Funder said...

I'm so sorry, my friend. :hugs:

Momma Fargo said...

Man. I am crying big crocodile tears for you. Estes...RIP...long live the Queen!

Female and Armed said...

I'm so sorry...tears falling for her and for you.

Tara said...

My sincerest condolences, :(

Tara

Once Upon an Equine said...

I'm so very, very sorry. You provided Estes with a very brave act of love and kindness. Big, big ((hugs)).

GB Girl said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I know how much you loved Estes and how special she was. Bless you for having the strength to do what she needed you to do. *hugs*

The Queen said...

When I had to put the King's horse and the Princess's horse down on the same day it was horrid.

I had a wonderful vet. He brought an assistant, stood the two horses nuzzled nosed to nose and injected at the same moment.

Putting an animal down is so terribly hard. I feel for you.

Kris Hurford said...

It is never an easy decision to make, even when it is the right one. So hard to lose your best friend...

Rachel said...

I just keep choking up.

Always thought I would rub her head again.

Thankful for your strength and for the team you two were.

Heidi and Jared said...

So sorry, Shawntel.