It was a long, hot summer. I don't remember a lot of it. One of my beloved horses, Beauty, died overnight and I found her dead in her corral the next morning. There was no trauma to her body and it doesn't appear she suffered. We THINK she got cast in her corral, tried to get up, and hit her head on the metal pipe railing. We believe she died instantly. This was a devastating blow to me as Beauty was trained by my cousin and I was anticipating riding her again this summer. I went into a deep depression for 6 weeks after her death, struggling to understand WHY this happened and why it happened to such a wonderful and loving animal. I rescued Beauty from a slaughter-bound feedlot up in Washington state, along with our thoroughbred, Gigondas, and had both horses brought down to Southern California. I had Beauty for 3 years before her tragic death. She was only 5 years old. Some days I could barely function. My husband took me to Flagstaff and I just went through the motions of taking photos. I was conflicted. When I was at home, I wanted to be up at the ranch with our other 4 horses. When I was there, it was actually easier to do my chores for the rest of the herd. It was actually calming to be around them. I didn't do much with them or their training and it wasn't until late August that my cousin FINALLY held me, let me cry for Beauty, and told me I needed to move on. She started training my quarter horse gelding, Sunni, and she has now ridden him.
Why am I writing this on Ripley's blog? I really don't know. I just wanted to get it out. I need some closure for Beauty and I need to think of our other animals that need me: our 5 horses (we got a new one...Quad), our 3 dogs and our cats. I'm now feeding birds in our back yard and a juvenile scrub jay visits our feeders every day. He has grown and is now quite large and I can hear him at our neighbors! Life goes on...while I deeply miss Beauty, I do have a new horse to take care of (Quad) and he needs a lot of food and reassurance. He came to us foot sore and he colicked last weekend (we nearly lost him), but he has now recovered and is demanding to be fed! I've posted some photos of Beauty (the chestnut) and Quad (the gray gelding). Quad ran in 6 races, never won, had 2 seconds and 2 thirds, and was retired from racing at age 4. He ended up at TB Friends, a horse rescue in Sacramento, and, with the loss of Beauty, Joe sent him to me. He is an absolute joy, a very sweet and calm horse...he is only 5 years old. Such is the life of a thoroughbred. He was lucky to end up with Joe. Most thoroughbreds that don't win races end up on slaughter feedlots, like Beauty and Gigondas. If you want to read Joe's daily blog about the horses he rescues, please visit: http://www.tbfriends.com/