Is a horse just a horse? Or is your horse a family member?
I am one of those horse people who some horse people think is a nut. When a horse comes into my family, he/she becomes family. I don’t take horse ownership and responsibility lightly. This is a philosophy instilled in me since I was a kid. All of the horses I grew up with (all 5 of them) are buried on my parents’ property under trees marking them.
Recently I was heart broken when given the news that my mare Krissy is a wobbler. Her diagnosis from the get go was difficult because for a year she would present lameness issues, yet we couldn't quite figure it all out until one day she was pretty ataxic and I knew right then that there was a real problem. There are some options with her, one includes surgery–but as far as I am concerned none of the options make a lot of sense. The one option that I have had a few people suggest to me is euthanizing her. To me, that is a horrifying thought. This is a horse who is all heart. She is kind, she is intelligent and she has a strong work ethic. She is family. I’ve had to wrap my brain around the fact that my dream horse is done with her job–at least her initial job. Trust me, I have cried, I have been completely frustrated and angry, and I have found myself in her stall asking her and God, or anyone who might answer me as to why? The answer I have settled on is that Krissy has a new job to do now. With her big heart, she provides me a place of respite at the end of a long day. I can talk to her and she listens (and she never talks back. I have 3 kids and they all have the ability to talk back). Is she expensive? Yes. Has it been an emotional toll? Yes. But is it worth it? Absolutely 100%. This horse is an animal that when I bought her, I made a commitment to her. And, just because the job I had intended for her hasn't worked out, her worth has not diminished in my eyes. I don’t view her as a lawn ornament either. As I mentioned already, I view her as family. Call me a horse crazy nut…whatever…Krissy is a keeper and I've even found another job for her. She gets to try on any new Professional’s Choice product design first. I have officially coined her as The Professional’s Choice Super Model. Now if she could only bring in some super model type of pay check, we’d be even that much better.
The picture above is of her telling me a joke about the dumb cow who lives next door.
How about you? Do you view your horse(s) as family? If they couldn’t do the job they were acquired to do, how would you handle it? I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories.
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