Ave atque Vale, Dexter
In early 2012, I saw a Craig’s List ad for a grade, hairy, 18-month-old pony.
Under normal circumstances, none of those descriptors would make it on my horse-buying list, but there was something about his photo that intrigued me.
In an act so uncharacteristic of me that I can’t even describe it, I hooked up my trailer and went to go look at the pony. Reason reinstated itself for one day, but I returned the next day, loaded Dexter up, and brought him home.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with him, but I figured if nothing else he could stop with me for a year or two, grow up, get started under saddle, and then I’d find him a suitable home. Or keep him, if he turned out to be my kind of ride.
Dexter cleaned up nicely and was a barn favorite everywhere. He spent the last year doing nothing but eating, playing, and sleeping. And sometimes sleeping in the hay pile, to make the transition from sleeping to eating that much quicker.
Everything seemed to be going well, and early this year I started baby ground work sessions with the intent of backing him sometime this summer.
Then in late January, he had a severe bout of uveitis in both eyes.
We were never able to get him completely through that bout. Every time we attempted to wean him off medications, it flared back up. At the same time, he developed an abscess that would not respond to targeted treatment and, in the past few weeks, began developing additional complications.
Ultimately, there was nothing more I could do for him and he was put to sleep a few days ago.
While I knew I would probably only have him for a year or two, this is not the ending I expected. However, I am glad I had him for the time I did. Over the past year I watched him grow from a sweet but pretty passive pony into one with confidence, an abundant desire to explore, and more than a bit of trouble maker in him. It was only a year, but it was a good year.
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