Saturday, December 18, 2010

R.I.P Viva

Sometimes things just suck. I don't think its bad luck, or a jinx, or unfair. Life is hard at times, and sad, but also great and filled with joy at others. But i think the real tragic events leave a mark that is harder to forget, and those really emotional events provoke such strong depth of feelings, we remember their imprint all the more.

I lost by best filly yesterday. My only two year old, and little Hope's sister, broke her leg. I love all my horses, but there are some that have more of a place in your heart than others. This filly, Viva (Vivacious) was one of them. For us we don't breed big numbers of horses. Usually one every two years or so, so each one is precious. This year is unusual in the fact that we had three mares due to foal. Viva, when she was born, was a stunner. We were just blown away by her good looks, and athleticism, she was the first truly talented and special horse that we had bred. Never have i looked forward to riding a horse more. As she was a competitive riders dream, talented, brains, and super sharp and quick to teach.

At 6.30am yesterday i heard a horse neigh, i was having a rare sleep in, and even commented to the boyfriend that " it was weird to hear a horse nay in the morning like that". By 7am i dragged myself out of bed, as it niggled at me, that neighing in the morning. Looking out the front room window, there was Viva grazing by herself in the paddock in front of the house. This set alarm bells instantly. As the horses always graze together in a herd you never see one off by itself. I looked closer, started swearing, and throwing on socks and a jacket. when you have been around enough horses for a long time, you know that sometimes you just don't want to go and look because you don't want the bad news. this was how i felt. As i left the house, i heard the boyfriend start swearing from inside, and i knew whatever he'd seen was bad.

My lovely little filly, was standing grazing, almost peacefully. Except that a good few inches of bone in her forearm was jutting out through the skin at her knee. From the knee down her leg was just hanging out at an odd angle..And that was it, horses do not survive these kind of injuries. Anything to do with horses bones and their legs is pretty much without a cure. It was the end of the road for the horse, as well as all my hopes and dreams for her, and i knew it, the second i saw her. Your heart just drops.

But like anything with horses and farming, there is no alternative but to get on and deal with it. You have to do what needs to be done, for the good of the animal. Because when you choose to own them, you have to accept that their will be tragedies, no matter how hard, your the one in charge of getting things done, when its needed.

The Vet got their an hour later, luckily my lovely boyfriend was their to help and got all the other horses out of the paddock, the dogs and geese locked up, so i could spend the last hour with my girl. To be honest it is sometimes easier, when an injury is this horrific. There is no alternative, no cure. You have just the option of giving the horse and end to the suffering. Little Viva, was so good the hole time, just standing there quietly, but by the time the vet arrived, she was defiantly going into shock. you know the vet desperately wants to help, but even had i been next to the best veterinary hospital in the world, the result wouldn't have changed. Two injections later, Viva lay down, and peacefully went to sleep, for good. At least for her the whole ordeal was over, and for me, although heartbroken, i had survived the worst, and it was a relief to know that the horse wasn't suffering anymore.

There is no time on the farm to sit and cry. The other horses that are still alive, need feeding, and attention, there is stables to clean, and a million other jobs to get done. There was a digger and burial to arrange, and although i was heart broken, i managed to keep busy enough, with the help of a friend, that i wasn't completely overwhelmed by grief. Life goes on, it just suck for a little while at times.

There is always a silver lining, the vet knows Fern and was happy to see little Hope to. This is the great thing about small communities and rural vets. They always know all your animals and what going on, and most seem genuinely interested. She asked after my wild horses, and so i took her to see Fern and Sonny. I had to laugh she definitely agrees with me, that not so little Sonny, is the fattest foal she has ever seen. Although she politely described him as "solid" and "you can be pretty sure his legs wont break so easily" then asked if Fern did in fact have Sonny's twin inside, still waiting to be born. With all the tragedy, i still managed a laugh, Wild horses therefore are definitely good for the soul.