Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Heartbreak in the Road



There are not enough words to express what I feel in my heart. I must do the telling the only way it will come out. I cannot see through the tears to write unless I become the reporter instead of the grieving owner............even then there just are not words to honor this mare..............

The exquisite Arabian mare, Solidare, breathed her last breath as she was humanely euthanized this afternoon. I knew this day was coming but I was not prepared for it. At twenty years of age it was reasonable to expect that there was more life left ahead for Solidare. It just turned out not to be the case. There just is no way to prepare for such loss.

As my heart breaks for her I know I did the right thing by breeding the mare last year. Her last days on this earth were filled with joy as she doted over her foal. Despite being extremely crippled with arthritis complicated by a torn tendon in her left hock, the new life of the foal brought happiness to Solidare and filled her up. The mare was in heaven being a mother again. Her eyes twinkled and her heart danced. There was no doubt about that. Anyone who saw the crippled mare saw the joy she carried in her heart as she tended to her foal.

Sometimes it even looked like Solidare might rally and maybe make it through another winter. I wanted to give her that time if it was good for her. Those moments were only fleeting, however. It became more and more obvious each day that Solidare was never going to admit she'd had enough. The mare had such great heart she was never going to give up on life no matter what it threw her way. She wanted to live even if she would never be whole again.

New challenges presented themselves and it was clear that I must make the decision. There was not going to be "that look" in her eye that said Solidare was ready to quit. Even with a rub developing on her right side from her struggles to rise, Solidare was undaunted. She snaked her neck at me and shook her head because I was fussing over the wound when she wanted to be out grazing with her son.

The final straw, a dislocated left fetlock that the mare still walked on without wincing.............anything to keep up with the colt she adored. She tried to out race me to the gate with the colt at her side so she could escape into the yard to teach him how to eat my pansies. The mare just would not give up no matter what.

There was no difference in her stride even with the dislocated fetlock. We suspect the bone missing from that spot actually relieved some of the pressure in the joint making it a little more comfortable, a little less painful. Still, the injury made getting up and down all the more difficult but Solidare was not complaining. All she wanted was another day to spend with her baby.

I gave her all I could but today, it was time. The colt may not be the normal age I like to wean but he is old enough to survive safely. It would be such a shame to lose him too. The mare was willing to make the sacrifice for him. I had to give her that despite my breaking heart watching her decline.

I will never forget her calls of distress as we separated from her foal this afternoon. Nor her calls at the vet because the colt was not there. It is the only complaint I have ever heard from this mare when I have dared to separate her from her foals for any reason. The mare would do anything for her babies and to be with them. They were her life. My heart ached for her that she must feel that heartbreak even for those few minutes. I wish I could have spared her that discomfort. Oh, how I wish I had the power to save her. I would gladly have given my life for hers.

I cannot help but think about how Solidare came to be mine. I went to check out the mares of another breeder here looking for a replacement for Scandalous within my herd. There were twenty something mares in that 40 acre field, all running together, bossing and shoving and putting on a show. Solidare was there flagging her tail and showing off before she came up close to check me out.

Solidare chose me that first day I met her. I don't know why she came to that decision, just that she did. The mare stole my heart as she ran off any mare who tried to get anywhere near me. I will always remember the swell of pride that welled up in my heart as I realized this beautiful Arabian mare wanted me to be her special person. I have always felt humbled by that gift and her presence in my life.

I cannot imagine a day without Solidare. My heart breaks that same nagging way it did when Scandalous died and my dear sweet Image. I have never recovered from the losses of either horse............and I will never recover from the loss of Solidare. These are the very special horses from which dreams are made.

Solidare carried my dream broadly, squarely and poetically. Her foals are magnificent Arabian horses, each special and unique and exquisite like their mother. They have their mother's sweet disposition and fierce abiding love for their people, not to mention that great magnificent heart. This mare deserves all the tears I have to shed for her and so much more. I will never forget Solidare. Her image is forever etched in my mind.

Goodbye.........Sweet Mare.....................Goodbye.................

42 comments:

  1. Oh MiKael, I'm so sorry to hear about Solidare. She was a special horse, beautiful, sweet, loving, a wonderful mother and so much more. There are no words to express the sorrow when we lose a horse like her. I hope you can find some comfort in the coming days knowing that she loved you and she will always be with you in your memories and your heart.

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  2. What a heartbreaking story! I am just in tears! She was a very special horse and I'm sure you will meet up with her again someday, just like I will meet up with my Beauty. I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my Beauty a year ago and I still miss her every day!

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  3. I am so very sorry that it was Solidaires time to leave this earthly realm, I know that she lives on in your heart. My thoughts are with you.

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  4. My heart breaks for you. I will keep you in my prayers.

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  5. No words can express what you are going through. I have loved reading every portion of Solidare's journey with you. Prayers from MN. Know that she touched not only your life, but through your stories, she touched ours.

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  6. I am so, so sorry MiKael. I know nothing will help, but my thoughts are with you.

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  7. So sorry for your loss of your beautiful mare . Tears for you and her. May you meet agien someday strong and beautiful. Godspeed Solidare.

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  8. My heart aches for you, I'm sorry you had to let her go - it was clearly time, but that doesn't always make it easier.

    She lives forever in her foals, and her sweet nature is carried forward thanks to your loving attention.

    With you in spirit.

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  9. My heartfelt condolences to you! She was such a gorgeous mare. I'm glad she will live on through her foals.

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  10. MiKael, I'm so sorry to hear about Solidare. She sounded like a wonderful mare and doting mother.

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  11. I am so sorry to hear this...I wish she could have been with you longer. We never know when we are going to lose a beloved companion. I hope you can take comfort in your memories.

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  12. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved Solidare!! I can't ever imagine going through anything like this, and my heart breaks for you.
    I will be keeping you in my thoughts during this difficult time!

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  13. My heart breaks for you MiKael. Farwell dear Solidare, you will be sadly missed, but your memory will live on in the hearts of those who knew you, and in your beautiful foals.

    Karren

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  14. Oh Mikael-I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

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  15. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your girl. It is always a very difficult decision to make, but I'm glad you loved her enough to make it. She will always have a special place in your heart.

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  16. I'm so sorry for your loss. She was absolutely gorgeous.

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  17. This is so sad; how heartbreaking to do this. She will live on in memory, your heart and her four-legged legacy. Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. Hugs to you and for her baby who is clueless as to where Mama went. Poor baby.

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  18. I am so sorry MiKael. So very very sorry. Remember- she will always be with you, watching over you and the herd.

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  19. I am so sorry, Mikeal. Solidaire really was a gorgeous mare; I'm glad she was able to have that one last foal to love :).

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  20. I am so, so sorry for your loss. Some wounds never heal, but I hope you find comfort from your pain.

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  21. I am very sorry for your loss.

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  22. Oh, Mikael. I'm so sorry. She really was a beautiful, beautiful mare.

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  23. I was unable to say more earlier. Your loss touched me deeply. Those who really care for their animal friends take this duty with heavy heart, to bring them a peaceful and dignified end when we know it is time. She will gallop for ever in your minds' eye; nostrils flared; tail high and an understanding in her kind eyes. Loss burns and horses leave a huge gap in the universe when they go. I hope that you were supported through this difficult time by those close to you.

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  24. wish i could have met her. her babies are my favorites of all your horses.

    i hope you develop a special relationship with the baby, i know you are having a hard time.

    i'm so sorry she's gone.

    ~lytha

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  25. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. So heartbreaking. It sounds like she was truly one of those special horses that one never forgets. My thoughts are with you.

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  26. I'm sorry for your loss. It's so hard to accept.

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  27. I'm so very sorry for your loss. What a lovely old mare and a dedicated mama. Hugs to you today, I know it's hard to let them go...

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  28. I am sorry to hear of your loss. She sounds like a very special mare and I know your life was blessed to have her in it.

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  29. I'm so sad for you on the loss of your lovely Solidare. Hugs & prayers to you and her colt.

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  30. I too am saddened at this news and send my condolences.It is so hard to make these decisions when the animal does not seem to be asking for relief. Rest in peace, Solidare.

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  31. Oh no! What a sad story, Im sorry for you loss, she sounds like she was a very special mare. Hugs for you as much as you need them.

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  32. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I hope the little guy can offer you some consolation and that he carries forward the best qualities of Solidare.

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  33. I am so sorry. It is never easy to lose a good friend and a faithful companion.....

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  34. My condolences on Solidare's passing.

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  35. I haven't stopped by the blog in awhile, but today I had been thinking of the lovely Solidare. I did some bad things to the ligaments in my foot and still have to stand all day at my job, and I kept thinking of her having to handle that bad leg of hers while I struggled to stand, and I kept telling myself, "If she can just keep going, then I can too".

    I'm so sorry that she has passed on. I kept hoping she would heal. But I'm glad her last days were joyful with her baby.

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  36. She was beautiful and I'm so sorry for your loss. Give her baby an extra squeeze for me.

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  37. I received this comment from notablogger asking that I post it since blogger wasn't co-operating. Blogger wouldn't let me post it either under an open id so it'll be looking like it's from me when it's really from my friend who just happens to be notablogger.

    "To make the life/death decision for any creature is a heavy responsibility. To make it for a mares such as Solidare is overwhelming.

    I've had several horses for whom I've had to make that decision. Mostly due to colic when the decision usually has to be made quickly. My personal "Solidare" was one of those. I'd had her since she was 8 months old. She had a wonderful personality...she pretty much tolerated most people...she loved food...she had great babies. She did everything I ever asked of her. She raced in Kentucky and California, won the equivalent of national honors, and ran the pasture with an iron hoof. I always said that she was my soul mate and when she left, I'd not be the same. It's been five years since colic took her down at age 22, and I was right. I've never been the same. It's not that I don't care about my other horses, I just don't have the "fire in the belly" any more. I have her son and three daughters. The son has one baby on the way for next year. The legacy of this mare will live on, but it's just not the same that she's not here.

    You did the right thing, MiKael. Solidare is waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge, all sparkling white with mane and tail flying in the breeze. She's happy and healthy and waiting for you. Maybe she and my mare will become friends while they wait."

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  38. Your mare is beautiful!! It is never easy to lose something so special... I have owned arabs most of my life and it is/was never easy to say goodbye.. but who says you have to?

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  39. This is the unfortunate price we all pay when we are loved by such amazing creatures. But I don't doubt any one of us would gladly pay it just for the priviledge again.

    I have "lost" 5 horses in the last three months - horses I loved, that I rode at times, and just played with at the barn where I was riding. I am so tired of this part of the journey.


    My heart aches for you - and know you're not alone in your pain.

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  40. I have been very busy this summer and not getting around to blogs very much..... It made my heart heavy to read this. I am so sorry. My Boo turned 20 this year. I was there when he was born and he has been with me every since. I don't know what I will do when the time comes for him to leave me, but I know it will leave the hole in my heart that this mare's passing has left in yours.

    I am so sorry for your loss. She was a beautiful horse with a wonderful spirit. I hope you find comfort in the fact that she had a wonderful life with you and I'm sure that final baby was the light at the end of her days.

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