There are no words…

to describe the angst and misery of the last two days. I have posted so little in the past 6 months, and too much of it has been about loss. I have so much to write about our recent trip to the Black Sheep Gathering, but all that seems far away and long ago…..


We lost our dear Lucy early yesterday morning and I still can’t believe that she is gone. Lucy and I have mowed, harrowed, raked together…she and I and her first team-mate, Lizzie, were the L-team. We understood each other and they knew that I would stop for them to rest whenever they were tired, that I would never ask anything that they couldn’t do….and there were always apple treats for them in my little box in the mower.

Lucy was a shy mare who was afraid of many things, who worried constantly, but who had learned to trust me…and I know that she felt the deep love that I had for her.


Lucy was the alpha mare….so healthy and vigorous, slick and fat as are all of the horses on our rich pastures. Not any sign of illness, eager to go out to the pasture in the morning, no inkling that anything was amiss….

Then Thursday afternoon, when the horses had come down from the pasture, we saw Lucy lying down and rolling. She was colicking…amazingly this happened when our vet was here (she came to see another horse who has been ill for months now).

Lucy had all the usual treatments immediately, but didn’t respond as she should have. Because of the nature of her colic, and the fact that the medications hadn’t completely eased her pain, our vet arranged for her to be seen at the Idaho Equine Center in Nampa, ID.

It took a long time to coax her on to the trailer; I am certain that it was because she was in so much pain. In the best of circumstances, the hospital is a dedicated 3 hour drive…we drove carefully, thus slower, to make the trip easier on Lucy. She could hardly walk once she got off the trailer, and so the examination took place in the open space between the hospital building and the barns. Her heart rate was elevated and there was a large amount of fluid in her abdomen, implying that some of her bowel had died…how much we couldn’t know. Everything pointed to a twist in the small bowel and therefore loss of its blood supply. She was too weak for an operation (the vet said there was a less than 5% chance that she would survive the anesthesia, let alone the surgery itself). Lucy was in terrible pain and in shock, and had to be euthanized. We were/are grief-stricken…too stunned to know how to cope.

When we came home last evening, all the horses ran down from the pasture, led by Bess (Lucy’s adopted daughter). Although we are always welcomed when we have been away from home ourselves, they have never been this intensely eager to see us. It was clear that they wanted Lucy, and were certain that we had brought her back….

I tried to explain to each of them, but I hardly understand what has happened myself.


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