Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Grand Old Lady

Anyone who has ever had an equine, recalls their 'first' horse with fondness. It wouldn't matter if the first horse [or mule] you owned was mean, ornery, or had a propensity to make you into a dirt dart.

You will always recall that first one with fond memories.
Cheyanne, or Cheyenne [my personal plates spelled her name CHYANN] was my first horse, sort of.
I owned a horse named Red first and he was a good one...I sold him to my sister and kept this half arab/half quarter red mare...with attitude.

She was green, I was green.
What a wonderful combination. The kind of combination that you are told never never to do!
Of course, I didn't know that, but plunged in blindsided with love for this feisty prancing horse.

She made me a dirt dart.
She ended up in 4H in the Horseless Horse Program and went to the State competition once. She qualified with with other riders, and she was good with novice riders [in the arena].
She carried me on more than one Wagon Train.

She carried two molly mules to term. Two beautiful bright red mollies!

She has a huge lists of accomplishments that span her 27 [???] years of life. She and I have been together for nearly 23 years.
Cheyanne is tired.
Most of her teeth are gone.
She cannot eat hay.
Senior Feed and alfalfa pellets make her sick.
She creaks when she walks.

This summer she was able to get enough grass in the meadow to keep going and look fairly healthy.
She now stands at the hay feeder and refuses to eat [well, is unable to].

I have made the only decision that a well informed horse owner can make. And that is to humanely put her down within the next couple of weeks.

This is not an easy decision to make. Should I wait until she is a walking rack of bones? That is not fair to her.
The vet's prognosis is that she will die of starvation if I don't do anything. I cannot be that cruel to a wonderful red prancing mare that has given me so much.
A very big part of me does not want to ever let this horse go...she was my first after all.
She will always have a huge part of my heart.

I love you CHYANN...


  1. We here at Greystone Mules will be praying for you Val. I know this is a difficult decision. Hugs to you all.

  2. Oh's just the toughest (and kindest) thing we ever have to do in our lives.

  3. My heart goes out to you Val. It is by far the toughest part of what we inevitably need do for the animals that we love. That last photo of your Chyann speaks for itself. Bless her her heart, I know that you given her all there is to give. Thinking of you.

  4. Thank you. Sometimes it is difficult to write about things like this, but other owners need to know that they too can make a tough, yet kind decision.

    Part of me does not want to let go, but I have so many years of wonderful memories with her.

    ...and two beautiful long eared daughters to continue her heritage with.

    I know she'll be waiting for me at the rainbow bridge when I am ready to cross...

  5. Aceliberty4:27 PM

    My heart goes out to you, but you are doing what you know is best for your faithful friend. It is a difficult decision, but you will always have her in your heart. How lucky to have her prodigy so a part of her lives on. If possible, you might wish to do what I did--I kept Littleman's mane and tail hair. I'm having some of his tail hairs fired onto "horsehair" pottery. (((HUGS))) Ace

  6. Val, my heart is breaking for you. As everyone else has said, you are doing the right thing, as difficult as that is. We've all been there. It's like losing a piece of your soul. She knows you're doing the kindest thing possible. Hugs to you, and hugs to the Grand Old Lady.

  7. Anonymous2:12 PM

    A big hug to you and The Grand Old Lady :( from Chiara

  8. Not many of us working with animals can escape the inevitable. I've had to make too many of these decisions over the years, but there will be new life, new friends, and fond memories to carry us forward.

  9. Carolyn9:18 AM

    I just put my mare down this past Saturday...One of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but in my heart I know it was the kindest thing I could do for her...I had my mare for 23 1/2 years, lots of memories and 3 great babies...My heart goes out to you....

  10. I understand Carolyn and how hard it must have been.
    Hard yet kind.