(*Disclaimer- most of this post was written earlier, I knew I couldn't do it all today)
Today we said good bye to the best red head I've had the privilege of knowing.
|he had the most handsome head|
I've had Irish since 2003. In all the ways that matter I have been the only person for his entire life. When we moved to our farm I promised him that that would be his last move.
Irish was always the sweetest horse. When he was young he loved to buck. He still is the horse that threw me off the most. And no one was more upset when I came off than he was.
|he always looked so innocent|
When he was older he was the safest horse I've ever known. I could put anyone on him and he would do his best to keep them safe and happy. If he didn't think that they could trot yet he wouldn't. It was hilarious to watch.
|he adored children|
|and being on the trail|
When he was diagnosed with his neurological issue
back in 2012 I was sure that our time would be limited. I am so happy that we had another 10 years together. I've been fortunate to have other who have ridden him. He loved to be ridden and felt proud any time he was in a lesson.
it became apparent to me that Irish's condition was worsening and that he simply could not handle our winters anymore. It sounds like it was an easy decision, and in some ways it was. In others it was incredibly difficult. I didn't share it broadly that this was my plan. Mostly because I wasn't looking for anyone to weigh in on my decision. I have seen others in my situation experience people trying to give them advice. I am comfortable that I have exhausted all medical options for Irish. This summer he improved but not to his previous condition. His hind legs were less secure even on grass.
|back when he could fly across the snow|
Is it possible that he would make it through the winter? Yes. But it was even more possible that he'd fall and seriously injure himself. My rule was that he had to be happy. Last winter he was not happy- he was frightened and worried. It was important to me that Irish had a death that was as painless and easy and I could manage. He deserved it. I firmly believe that it's better to be a week early than a day late. I owed Irish a kind death.
This spring/summer/fall we gave him the best time we could.
HIs last week was spent getting groomed and being fed treats. He was lavished with love. I had told some people who he touched ahead of time. They came to say goodbye. My niece came for the week.
|the most boopable snoot|
October 28 the vet came and we let him go. The weather was sunny and cool. A perfect fall day.
|he always looked so handsome in the fall|
It was hard. We were all in bits- including the vet. She was amazing, talking me through the process. Irish, as always, was a complete gentleman and went quietly and easily. He was surrounded by myself, Ed, Julia and Caelen. We all cried and told him how much we loved him. The vet gave him a kiss. She said 'you did such a good job of keeping him going as long as you did'
As he passed I had a vision of him running and jumping like he used to.
He was laid to rest beside Steele.
|these three are gone but still hold a piece of my heart|
During his passing, the horses were quiet but as he left Carmen began to call and call and call. Julia, Caelen and I brought Quaid and Carmen down to see him. As soon as Carmen came out of the barn she knew. She would walk a little, settle, walk a little closer. Both of them touched his muzzle.
When they seemed settled I put them in the barn until Ed put Irish's body in the grave. We then led them out to the field and let them go. At first it was quiet and then Quaid came down to the corner close by the grave and began to call. Carmen watched but stayed away. I walked down to him and she followed. We all stood there looking at the grave.
|don't tell me horses don't grieve|
The three of us sat on the ground keeping watch and that reassured Carmen and Quaid because the left and grazed nearby.
They settled and then Carmen began to run and call and run and call. I walked up to her and she ran a little more but called. I know she's grieving. I just told her that it was hard and that was okay. I stood and breathed and we all stayed quiet and she calmed down.
The next little while will be a big adjustment. It's okay to grieve- he was a grand horse and deserved it. He passed without pain or trauma, surrounded by so much love. We all should be so fortunate.
Irish Gold - May 2000-October 2022
|God Speed my love, until I see you again|
I am so sorry. As someone who did this with App, you made the exact decision I did. Let them go on a good day, before something tragic happened. It is SO, so hard, but it was the best choice. The grief takes along while to overcome, but it helps knowing you went above and beyond and also let them go when they weren't suffering. *hugs*ReplyDelete
Thank you. I know that many horse people get itDelete
It is so hard ad so right. So much better to say goodbye quietly on a glorious fall day than tragically and frantically searching for help on a brutal winter day. I am sorry for you and glad that Irish had you. Hugs to all of you on this gloriously sad day.ReplyDelete
❤️❤️ perfectly saidDelete
Ugly crying over here for you, but what a selfless gift you gave him, to go out on a good day. I'm going to be in that position with Jack sooner rather than later and I hope I can do it with half as much grace ♥️ReplyDelete
My condolences for your loss. It's a day we all dread. I'm just an internet person you somewhat know, but I want to say I'm so proud of you for having the love for Irish and strength to choose to let him go when he's happy. It's a hard choice, as we love them so very much, but it's a promise we make to them when we love them. And he was so very loved.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your kind wordsDelete
Ohhhhh. You had hinted this was a possibility and I am dabbing my eyes at work right now. He truly was a special gent and so lucky to have shared his life with such a wonderful, thoughtful caretaker. You made the hardest best decision any of us ever face. I'm sure there are memories of Steele coming up as well now. I hope they will soon bring more smiles than tears. Be gentle with each other while your family honors their grief.ReplyDelete
Thank you. You are correct about Steele. This grief is easier , I think partly because there was not the trauma. Just love and sorrow.Delete
😢 Im so sorry and you are absolutely right … it is our last gift to choose a time when they can pass peacefully. 🤗ReplyDelete
Thank you ❤️❤️❤️Delete
Irish was such a special horse - what a lifetime he had with you <3 so very sorry that it’s over, but grateful that it was able to be on such gentle and loving terms. Sending warm thoughts to you and the herd!!ReplyDelete
It’s hard to believe it’s over. He’s been with through so much.Delete
What a beautiful tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss.ReplyDelete
Thank you. ❤️Delete
In tears for you, but thank you for being everything Irish needed right to the very end <3ReplyDelete
Thank you. It’s never easy.Delete
So sorry, but I think your reasoning on this is impeccable and I totally agree. I never feel like I get it right, but I always go with better a week too early than a day too late, on making these decisions. Still it is such a hard thing. Hugs.ReplyDelete
I am so very sorry for your loss. Irish was an icon on your blog and the heart in your body. He was gorgeous inside and out.ReplyDelete
I made a similar journey with my Harley. I managed his medical condition for seven years and let him go before winter when it was no longer possible to keep him comfortable. I miss him dearly, but know that I did right by him. You are correct in that we should all be so fortunate.
I was wondering how Harley was. I am so sorry that you lost him. He was a grand horse.Delete
It's the hardest thing we can do for our horses even when it's the right thing. Like you said, it might be an easy decision, but it's never easy. You're the most wonderful horse mom and Irish was so lucky to have you all of these years. And especially now. What a wonderful horse he was. My sympathies to you and everyone who loved him.ReplyDelete
He really was a wonderful horse. We all miss him, but our memories are happy ones.Delete
What a beautiful horse he was. You did right by him all his life, even to the last day.ReplyDelete
Thank you! That is what I always strive for. Sometimes I fall short, but I'm glad that I didn't this time.Delete
I'm so sorry. It always feels like it's far too soon, no matter how prepared you are or how ready they are. Huge hugs and thank you for sharing him with us all these years.ReplyDelete
It always hard to say goodbye. I loved sharing him with everyone and I will miss doing so.Delete
Condolences to you and all others who loved him. And you're theory on timing is exactly right IMO.ReplyDelete
Thank you. We was a much loved horse.Delete
Sending big hugs. You made the hardest but kindest decision, which is never easy. Thinking of you.ReplyDelete
Thank you for you kind words. they really do helpDelete
Even when it’s the right decision, doing it is really hard. Hugs to you. Yes, horses grieve. When we put old Red down, Cowgirl stood over him and allowed each horse in the herd to file by him and say goodbye. She stood by his body until it was taken away. After that, she stayed in her stall for two weeks, and refused to participate with the herd. We bought Foxy, and her arrival helped Cowgirl, but I don’t think her heart was complete until she had Epona. I’m so happy Carmen has Quaid and has had time to get to know him. That will be a huge consolation to her. Here’s to Irish and all the wonderful memories he has given you and others!ReplyDelete
It took Irish a long time to recover from Steele but that was pretty traumatic for all of us. Quaid and Carmen seem to be doing well together.Delete
I've been reading this and trying to find the words. The photos just break my heart. I never really knew him. The fact that you can bury a horse on your land and grieve over his grave is a strange concept. That reminds me, I need to cut a little bit of Mag's mane because I cannot imagine doing that after he has died. Isn't that a strange thing that pet owners do, I'd hope no one would take any part of my body as a keepsake after I die.ReplyDelete
I am glad that I am able to bury him here. I did cut a piece of his tail that I need to figure out what to do with.Delete
So sorry to hear this. You did the right thing for Irish. I'm sure you will miss him terribly but there will always be good memories for you and all who knew him. He was a special boy.ReplyDelete