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Ave atque Vale Ro

13 January 2013 Comments

Since her sinus surgery in December, Ro has not been responding to treatment and recovering as she was expected to. My vet and the A&M vet have been working closely together, but last week everyone agreed she needed to go back to A&M to try and figure out what was going on.

The news was not good, and I did not feel that I could fairly put her through any more. She was put to sleep. Even when it’s the right decision, it’s never an easy one, and I am heartbroken.

There are a very small handful of horses I’ve known that I felt I could get on and be perfectly safe, no matter what. Ro was one of these.

She was one of the most opinionated and expressive horses I’ve ever known, but the more we learned to trust each other, the more I realized she’d do anything I asked her to. Even if she thought I was an idiot. Which she often did. And was probably right.

She saved my ass a number of times, including once from the evil llamas across the road. I was oblivious to both their presence and their murderous nature, until I suddenly found myself an acre from where we had been riding with no idea how we got there. But she was kind enough to bring me along when she departed stage left. And she trusted me enough to go back towards the llamas, even though she was absolutely certain I was insane and they were going to eat us all.

She’s the first horse I’ve ever brought along from scratch. I attribute our success to her temperament and forgiving nature (and good eyes on the ground!) more than my innate ability. And there were rides on her that I will always remember, when everything came together and it felt like nothing could stop us on our journey.

She got me back into the show ring, if only at schooling shows. Even at her first show, when she could have been reasonably expected to be green and goofy, she packed me around like a seasoned champion while I froze up and looked like someone had told me they were going to kill a puppy if I lost my class. By our third, and last, schooling show, she’d given me enough confidence to go into the ring and ride—no show nerves, just going in and doing what we came there to do, with the horse I had under me.

And all the other moments, like the time she spooked at a hay bale in a state park or the way she loved to follow the steers when we “helped” (we weren’t very good) the ropers.

I am sorry our time together was so short, but I would rather have had this short time together than no time at all. She was one of the special ones, and as much as it hurts now, I’ll always be grateful she was mine, for a little while.

Tagged: Horses, Horses - Ro, In Memoriam

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