First of all, off topic, I rode Cruizer tonight for about 30 minutes. We rode bareback. In the scary indoor. With the kindergarten easy KK Ultra bit. With no lunging. Yes, we were on a suicide mission. But I survived. He spooked one time, at a saddle pad on the rail that I parked him next to so I could get on. And that we trotted past no less than 10 times previously. Five year olds. ;) After he worked up the courage to go smell it he realized how dumb he was. He's cute. At first he felt a bit off, but warmed out of it. I love this horse.
In the couple of weeks before Beamer died, we had nothing but bad rides. I wasn't riding well, he wasn't wanting to comply, and it was just ugly. For weeks. One night, for some reason, it all came together. I rode better, and he gave me an awesome ride. We didn't do anything difficult, but he willingly did everything I asked, and for that he got spoiled. I spent a ton of time grooming, petting him, and giving him treats. I went home that night finally happy that we had had a breakthrough. I was hoping it would carry over into the next day.
The next morning I went to school as usual. At the time I was battling with depression pretty badly. I wasn't in the best mood. I was surprised to see my mom home when I got there, and I instantly knew something was wrong, but I figured I was in trouble for cutting or something. I wasn't that lucky. I was informed that my horse was dead. I couldn't imagine him being just.. dead.. when I had seem him fifteen hours ago and we had a great night. After bawling my eyes out for awhile and hearing countless apologies from my mom and my best friend, I crashed. I don't know how long I slept. All I know is I woke up and immediately started crying again.
He had colicked during the night and sustained quite a few major injuries. There was nothing that could be done. He was in extreme pain so they let him go. At the time I was angry that I hadn't been able to be there, that no one had called me. After I heard some of the details of the condition he was in, I was glad they didn't wait for me. He didn't deserve to be kept in pain. He was a great horse, and without him I would never be the rider I am today.
During the last hour of his life, he was kept company by my best friend. While I know it was one of the hardest days/experiences of her life, I am glad she was there for him. She loved him. If I couldn't be there, at least someone who he meant a lot to could be.
In the weeks following his death, I cried nonstop. My coach made sure I started riding again soon after. The horse I started riding didn't like me at all for awhile. We just didn't get along. I wanted him to be Beamer, but he wasn't. In the year following Beamer's death though, I rode Waco almost every day. He eventually did learn to like me, and I learned to ride him how he wanted to be ridden. He meant a lot to me. He was the horse that transitioned me through that part of my life.
We recently lost Waco. After being diagnosed with narcolepsy, among other health issues (seizures, etc) he was donated to a University (who had done the diagnostics) to help teach their vet students, and so the vets could learn more about equine narcolepsy. They put him down a week later. My coach got the call right before we left for state, but waited to tell me until after so I wouldn't be upset about it while trying to show.
I'm still angry about his death. We suspect that they were tired of dealing with his "adjustment issues," although they were fully aware before they asked for him that he didn't really like change and was going to need some time. I wish we could have kept him and done it ourselves.
I have never gotten the chance to say goodbye to a horse close to me that I've lost. I hope that when Cruizer goes, I get that chance. I also hope that I can be there for him. Since I got him in 2009, I have been there for him through every difficult moment he has encountered. I hope to be able to do that for him throughout the rest of his life. He will never be sold or anything like that, he's going to be with me forever. I know it's going to be even harder to lose him than the others. He is truly my once in a lifetime, forever horse. I have a connection with him I don't think I will ever have again with another horse. I really hope that he can go peacefully from old age, rather than from a tragic accident or disease. Either way, I promise to do what's right for him.