Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our hearts break

The first horse we officially took in as a group........Junah. Big, beautiful, underweight and neglected boy standing forlornly in the Enumclaw auction yard. His owners did not even bother to run him through the auction (they know who they are)......instead they left him to get on the slaughter bus.

He was breezed at the track and he was "going to be SOME FAST race horse" according to a previous trainer...........and then the jockey said "he felt weak behind"..."not right"..."wobbly"......and he was sent home to rest. Thrown out in the pasture, his feet not done, his mane not combed........nobody had time. Then he was given away to another trainer and this person saw the weakness too.....and sent him to the auction sale....."just send him along with the next truck."

We went and got him on a chilly, icy day......a little snow remained. He was weary of us. I approached him and looked him over. He was a little lame, but no wonder with those really ba feed. He was wearing a ratty halter and an old blanket. He looked me over and was not sure he would let me touch him, so I ignored him.......turned my back and then he came to me, nuzzled my hands and invited me to touch him. I put a lead on him and led him out to the trailer, where Chelsea and I loaded him. Not too much trouble, just a little nervous....and understandably so.

We took him to Chelsea's and looked him over again. His feet were, I think, the worst we have ever seen. The one front was completely split and the sides moved a cloven hoof. He was not emaciated but he was thin and his coat was dull, his mane dried out and bleached. He had a wound on his front ankle with a large flap of skin hanging. He was a mess.

He would stay at Chelsea's for the next several months. A big baby.......he just didn't know a lot of things but he was a quick learner. Chelsea put him on supplements, de-wormed him, had his feet attended to and loved on him. He had to stay in confined quarters due to his hooves... and when she let him out the first time a few weeks ago, we saw it.......the weakness. He fell down and scrambled back up, but slowed way down.....quit cantering...was a little shaken.

He has had problems with holding his hind legs up or out and has had to be tranquilized for the shoer.......he doesn't always seem to know where his hind legs are. He frequently stretches one hind leg over and over again. Something is not right. We have the vet out to do an exam and he confirms what we already know in our hearts.... Junah has a neurological disorder. It makes for a dangerous situation for him and for handlers.

We talk about it, kick it around........and our hearts break. A decision is made to euthanize Junah, for his own sake and for those around him. He is a big horse and coltish.....his hind legs are unmanageable without tranquilizer and a couple of patient, willing people to handle him.

He is stunningly handsome. It is hard to imagine doing the unthinkable......but we go back to responsibility, commitment and rational love. We swear to be do the right thing for the right reasons. Sometimes love hurts us at the very core. Sometimes I hate the hurt that love brings.

We will all be there with him. He will be buried on the farm.

He can go where we hope all horses go........a big green field with other horses, sunny skies and freedom to run.

Chelsea will post later. She is pretty devastated.......she has been the primary caregiver of this boy and has spent hour after hour taking care of him. He has had the good life in her hands at her farm.

Goodbye for now.....
I sleep a peaceful sleep...
you have been my love, my life...
for me, please do not weep.
You will see me in the brilliance of a far away cloud...
or a feather floating on the wind.
It's just goodbye for now.

Hug your horse tonight....

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