A few of us chinchillas from Eventing Nation will be helping out at Horse Nation on Friday.
Here’s a post by Jessica Bortner-Harris to tide you over until morning.
From Jessica Bortner-Harris:
Breeding is not something that I ever saw myself doing. It sounded like a lot of gambling and heartache to me. There are so many great stories of home breds going on to achieve amazing things, but there are also a lot of horror stories. However, in 2008, I was approached by a farm going out of business. They had a 4 year old, untouched Hanoverian stallion who had lameness issues. Fuerst Rendition was world class bred, but he had been injured as a baby, and they weren’t sure he would stay sound to be ridden. After much deliberation with my husband, I bought Renn and Jet (a TB mare in foal to him) for $1. It was a huge gamble for me, as I don’t have a lot of money lying around to put into gambling on an unproven stallion and a breeding business. After a lot of hard work, Renn ended up being sound and just did his first Prelim at VAHT this spring.
Jet was a beautiful, big boned TB mare. On April 26, 2009, she gave birth to a BEAUTIFUL, lively bay filly. Unfortunately, somehow during foaling, my gorgeous mare broke her front leg up by her elbow. She ended up having to be put down, and my world was turned upside down. The filly was such a diva and a fighter from day one. She drank her milk from a bucket and knew exactly when we were supposed to be there to feed her. She loved to play in the baby pool, jump over little sticks in her field, and even jumped her 3′ 6″ playpen fence at 3 weeks of age. My hubby is not a “horse person” per say, but he is amazing with them. He helped a lot with taking care of our little girl, so I gave him the chance to name her. He chose “Me Fuerst,” and we called her Mia. It was the best name for this little sweeheart.
Mia has been a joy to work with since day one. She was easy to teach and learned things quickly. She loved to have her butt or any other body part scratched. She loved people. This year was her 3rd birthday. I loved watching this beautifully moving filly out in the field, and I couldn’t wait to get her started on her road to a big eventing career. Just a few weeks ago, I sat on my baby girl for the first time. By the third ride, we were walking and trotting around the arena on our own. She was amazing, and I was over the moon about her future.
Flash forward to this past weekend. My beautiful baby girl got very very sick. I fought with her from Saturday through Tuesday. We tried so many things, and we thought we were making progress. Suddenly, things went downhill very fast, and I had to make the tough decision to put my baby girl down. It was very hard for her to move, but we got her up and out into the lovely sunshine and breeze yesterday while we awaited the vet. Even until the end, my little fighter didn’t want to give up, but she was in so much pain. I could hardly bare to look at her. My heart was so heavy. I wanted to be selfish and try to keep her alive and maybe, just maybe there would be a miracle. However, I knew that wasn’t the right decision. As much as it destroyed me, I had to let my little girl go. It killed me to stand there as she passed, but I refused to let her go without me. She fought hard, and I would be letting her down by running away at the last minute.
I have shed so many tears in the past few days. I just want her to press her big, gorgeous head into my chest and let me smoosh her rubbery lips. She had the best lips. I feel like my heart weighs 100 pounds. I am so heartbroken, gut wrenched, and distraught. I have lost my child. I thought that losing Jet was hard. This was so much worse. I raised this little girl since day one, and I loved her with all of my heart. She was so talented and had a bright future ahead of her, and now she is gone.
These amazing beasts of ours fill up our hearts and can be taken away so quickly. We put all of ourselves into them, as they give us all of themselves in return. People keep saying to me that I gave her the best life she could have had. She’s never known a day without love and care. I guess I can feel some comfort in that.
Everyone out there in Eventing Nation, give your ponies extra hugs and kisses today. Life is short. No matter what you are doing with your horse, they are your heart. Level of training or competition doesn’t reflect their importance. Love the journey, as it may be a short one in some cases. In those cases, be able to say that you gave it your all, and you cherished every minute of it.
“Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” -C.S. Lewis
- Send an email to John, the author of this post at John@horsenation.com