13 June 2012

Rest In Peace, Cruizer. April 11, 2005 - June 13, 2012

I have been home from school since the beginning of May. Throughout the last month I've been home, Cruizer has given me absolutely spectacular rides. I can't even remember the last time he gave me trouble about anything. He was getting very solid with patterns, was pretty much auto-pilot on the rail, and was just fantastic everyday. My sister was riding him a lot and he was perfect for her every time. Last weekend we (my sister and I) took him to his first show of the year (and last) and he came home with three firsts, a second, a third, and three fourths as well as a reserve high point with my younger sister. He behaved himself incredibly well and looked beautiful.

This morning I arrived at the farm at five to feed horses and turn out. I fed everyone then went to Cruizer's pen to bring him in to eat breakfast (he is in during the day and out at night every summer to prevent sun-bleaching). He didn't come to the gate when I called him which is odd for him so I brought his pasture mate in and put a different horse outside on my way back. When I arrived back at the gate to Cruizer's pen he whinnied at me but didn't move so I walked out to him and noticed a lot of blood on the ground and more blood squirting out of his leg. I called the barn owner and my mom immediately as well as the vet. We got his leg wrapped out in the field then walked him up to the barn slowly. He was a perfect gentleman the entire time, even for wrapping without sedation. Once the vet got him cleaned up we noticed a lot of small lacerations and one large laceration on the back of his left hind pastern. I tried to stay positive and hope for the best. The on call vet felt around in the wound and felt that their was tendon damage so he was hauled to an equine clinic right away. The vet there (who happens to be the same one who did my first horse's colic surgery) felt that prognosis seemed fairly good (without looking at anything closely) simply because he was in good shape, alert, not too upset, and was lame but not losing control of the limb. However, when the vets laid him down and looked in the wound they discovered that the injury was severe and he had completely severed his deep digital flexor tendon. She explained that she was confident nothing could be done for him - he would never have any acceptable quality of life and at most had a 10% chance at maybe someday being sound to walk around a pasture but it would require 16+ months of rehab and even then we would probably lose him. At her recommendation we made the decision to euthanize him. I wasn't able to say goodbye while he was conscious; when they anesthetized him we thought he would be staying there for a week before coming home but no one thought that the outcome would be so severe. I stayed with him through the end and have his forelock and tail with me. I want to get bracelets or something made out of it for my sister and I.

Life can be so unfair sometimes. I know people who literally haven't touched their horse in months or even years and the only time they see them is every 6 months when they hand deliver their board check instead of mailing it. I saw Cruizer every day while I was home and love him dearly; everyone who knew him loves him. He was such an outgoing, affectionate horse who just loved people and wanted to make them happy. Even though he must have been in excruciating pain today he never offered to kick or tried to pull away. He had his ears pricked forward the whole time and was nuzzling everyone around. He was a complete gentleman for everything. It just kills me that it always seems to be the super nice horses that are absolutely cherished by their owners that get taken. The horses who never get any attention beyond being fed and turned out live on for decades unharmed. I did everything in my power to make sure Cruizer was safe, happy, and healthy. I was always so careful with him and still this tragedy happened. It just doesn't make sense to me.

Cruizer was truly a once in a lifetime horse who can never be replaced. I love and miss him so much already.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss Chelsea. Words cannot explain what you are going through. Four years ago, I lost my best friend in a freak accident as he got out late at night and was hit by a car on the highway. I didn't get to say goodbye either, and the same thoughts that are running through your head went through my own. My best friend, my show horse at the time was killed, our family pony that is just around for companionship didn't even get a scratch even when they both ran across the same busy road. It is never fair how the most beloved and cherished are taken away.

    Over time your heart will heal, and you'll make room for another inside, but it hurts now - it really hurts. If you need anything, or someone to talk to that knows what your going through please email me. amalia-olson@bethel.edu.

    Cruizer knew he was loved even though you didn't get to say it while he was awake. He was so brave to walk back to the barn with you, he trusted you and loved you. If you need anything let me know. - Amy

  2. I am so sorry. I lost a special horse suddenly too and it is so hard. I'm glad you had some good times with Cruizer this summer.

  3. I'm sorry. He was a cool horse, but you made the right decision for him. Thoughts and prayers with you and your family in this time.

  4. I am so sorry Chelsea. He was a wonderful horse for you and your family but you did what was right for him, even if it sucks.

  5. My heart breaks for you and no words can heal your pain at this moment. My daughter had to make that horrible decision last October with her event horse, Hennessy, after he tore 2 tendons in his left rear leg. The boarders at our barn had a necklace made for her with Henny's tail hair - it is gorgeous and she cherishes it.

    Special horses live on in our hearts forever.

  6. I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I had to make the decision to put my heart horse down in December, and it still hurts.

    A friend of mine makes very cheap, very nice horse hair bracelets. I highly recommend her for Cruizer:

  7. So very sorry for you loss. Cruizer was so lucky to be your partner and have a forever place in your heart.

  8. Oh Chelsea... I am very sorry to hear of your loss. To loose him all of a sudden too! Life is not fair at all. :(

    Please know that someone on the other side of the world is thinking of you right now. I hope you can gain some solace from the fact that at least he didn't suffer for weeks or even months on end. You made the 100% right decision.

  9. Chelsea, I am so sorry. My heart is breaking for you. There are no words to make it easier, but you both were blessed with each other for the time allowed by a greater power than any of us will understand. Not everyone can share that kind of relationship, nor give such love and care to a great and gentle creature.

    Rest in peace, beautiful Cruizer. The world is emptier now but your memory lingers with a power that has changed Chelsea's life. You were a special gift, taken away far too soon.

    Sending love and hugs. (((((((((((()))))))))))))))

  10. I feel so awful that I got so far behind on blogs and missed this. :( I'm in tears. My friend just lost her four year old mare (that she's had since the day she was born) from the exact same thing two weeks ago. It was awful! The injury was so gruesome and painful. She apparently got hung up and tried to pull loose because she had broken her pelvis too. During the whole thing she was so alert and bright eyed and friendly. She kept just nudging me like she wanted me to make it feel better. It broke my heart and she wasn't even my horse. I feel the same way about Cruizer. My heart is breaking for you. I am so, so sorry for your loss. You made the right decision (as did my friend), but it doesn't make it hurt any less. If you need anything please let me know.