Winter is tough on the old

We have among our herd a couple of seniors – Terry a fearless old trail blazing Morgan who looks at you with deep brown eyes that have seen it all. He has been beloved of his owner for more than 20 years and is a secret favourite of mine. His very presence can calm my boy Romy down when we’re out in a forest and a rock they have passed a hundred times suddenly looks suspicious. Those of you who know horses understand what inexplicable terror this may strike into their big hearts.

Fearless Terry

Fearless Terry

A grand old dame named Lily and a little he-monster called Pegliaro (Pegs for short) are two four legged friends I’ve had the honour to hang out with at our co-op barn. Lily is fully blind and Pegs has lost one of his eyes and they hang out together to share the one remaining good eye between them. Lily was the mainstay lesson horse every stable wants – she carefully looked after every young charge on her back for generations, until her eyesight failed and she was retired. It’s too dangerous for her to be with other full size horses now but she’s queen of the paddock with her 3 mini companions – Pegs being her shadow.

Lily and Pegs - Happy days

You get immersed in the more basic concerns of life while working around animals and I feel blessed to experience that at our communal barn. As you may have read here before Northern winters bring a lot of challenges to caring for horses and especially older ones like Terry and Lily.

Over the summer we do our best to fatten them up to prepare them for the cold months. They have pasture and hay on demand and as you can see Lily loves her hay! A thousand pound horse really should add a hundred to their weight to be ready for what’s ahead.

Lily loves her food

Try as we might though sometimes you can’t do enough. Terry left us Christmas Day although the vet and my friend, his heartbroken owner, did their best to keep him here. And Lily left us this week…her inflamed hooves and swollen joints wouldn’t carry her any longer. They both have lost their fight with winter and old age.

In a society that farms sentient animals like them for meat it may seem silly to some to be sentimental since they really have been among the more fortunate. But they worked with us, played with us, they’ve had their stories, their joys and challenges and a few of us will mourn the passing of these two sweet old creatures.

 

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This entry was posted in Horses, Life, Photography, Puzzles and Contradictions, Thoughts, Winter. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Winter is tough on the old

  1. Nancy says:

    Horses are such beautiful and incredible animals. And when they are family … how much harder to say good bye. I am so sorry I heard of this so late but wanted you to know I do care. Hugs to you and your friend. So sad for your loss.

  2. badfish says:

    lovely, just lovely. I used to have a horse that was gelded but still thought he was a stallion. Had a lot of attitude. But when we came to a tiny stream of water, he freaked. He’d jump it, or side step it. Or stop dead.

  3. Cecilia says:

    Oh, I so much understand you – and feel with you! They are our friends, aren’t they!

  4. mommermom says:

    What a touching post. I was very moved.

  5. Lavinia Ross says:

    Carol, I just found your post. WordPress didn’t send me any email notification. I am sorry these two beautiful elder horses have passed on. More daffodils will go into the garden in memory of these two.

  6. Oh, How well I understand how you felt at their loss. Your final sentences says it all. when I started reading, I didn’t expect to be so moved by this post, but you sneaked up on me, you did.

  7. So sad for your loss, Carol. They were both such beautiful creatures. I’m sure you gave them the best life possible. xx

  8. hermitsdoor says:

    Best to not name animals whom you raise for meat. On the other hand, if keeping animal for other purpose (labor, companionship, recreation…), names are personalities are important.
    Oscar

    • Thanks for your visit and I know you don’t name your intended dinner😉.

      • hermitsdoor says:

        I think part of the problem with our view of food is that we take ourselves out of the chain of life. Fungus, plants, and animals give me life by becoming food. When I die, do not fill me with poison to perserve my body. Just bury me or spread my ashes in the woods so that I will become nutrition and soil. I have a cousin who jokes that he wants to be ground up and put out to feed all the ancestors of animals whom he has hunted. Life is not about keeping me alive. It is about being part of the cycle of life for me and others. Thus, we give thanks to all those who give us life.
        Oscar

  9. restlessjo says:

    I didn’t think it was going to have such a sad ending! I’m so sorry! I know you’ll have helped to give these lovely creatures a good life and yours will be emptier without them.

  10. I read this and straight away knew what you meant about the rock, or a letterbox .. or anything that could hide something worth worrying about. I am so very sorry to hear about Terry and Lily .. my eyes are still damp. Thinking of you .. hugs

  11. Dina says:

    I’m so sorry for loss. But what a beautiful tribute to your beloved horses. ❤

  12. agnesashe says:

    It is so sad when beloved, animal companions can no longer experience a worthwhile life, but it’s so hard to make the decision to say goodbye. The best we can manage is a pain and fear free end. Beautiful photos that I hope bring all some comfort.

  13. Sorry for the loss. But you wrote a beautiful tribute to those special horses.

  14. Denis1950 says:

    Beautiful story and horse images Carol. They are such wonderful trusting animals.

  15. Sue Slaght says:

    So sorry to hear of the passing of these two special animals. Although I have never owned a horse I know the heartbreak of the loss of a beloved animal. My heartfelt sympathy and hugs to you.

  16. Gunta says:

    So sad to see such good friends go. So sweet that they were loved and cared for in their old age. Can’t hope for much more as I approach my 73rd birthday next month!

  17. I am really sorry that these friends have passed away. The more you get to know an animal the more complex their character reveals itself to be – just like us.

  18. What a lovely commentary about barnyard friends. Brenda says it so beautifully – love is love is love.

  19. Joanne Sisco says:

    These animals who have become a part of our lives are true friends. They’ve worked their way into our hearts and our world has been a better place for having had them in it. So it stands to reason that the sense of loss would be profound when they finally pass away.
    I’m so sad for you and all the others who have been touched by Terry and Lily … but I’m also thinking of little Pegs. I believe that animals mourn and my sympathy also extends to him.

  20. Gallivanta says:

    Oh, such sad news. The other horses will miss them, too.

  21. What a lovely tribute to two special friends. I feel for you in your loss.

  22. Denise says:

    I loved this write up and how sad to have to say good bye to these two lovely friends. Thanks for sharing.

    Sent from my iPad

  23. Denise says:

    Sent from my iPad

  24. Sheryl says:

    I’d like to extend my condolences. There’s definitely something special between pets and their human companions.

  25. Ingrid says:

    Lovely post. My sister-in-law lost her Morgan last year around this time due to old age. Trooper was a magnificent animal that is missed. There are those of us that form special bonds with four legged creatures and their loss is always sad but their presence in our lives was a gift, something we wouldn’t want to miss out on.

  26. Brenda elliott says:

    Cross species relationships can be just as meaningful as same species. Love is love is love. What a loving tribute you have written about these two magnificent creatures.

  27. margaret21 says:

    Oh I’m so sorry. We have good friends who own horses so I’m aware of how very much they become part of the ‘family’.

  28. Kim says:

    A wonderful celebration of the lives of these two sweet creatures.

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