Ruby was a grand old lady who graced our farm for the last few years.
We got Ruby as a rescue mare. If horses can have PTSD this mare certainly had it. It was pretty obvious she’d been hard done-by in her life. We gave her a peaceful and dignified retirement as companion to our Arab gelding and then as aunt to our weanling.
But as time went on it became increasingly obvious that her harsh early life was catching up with her. She struggled to walk and eventually could no longer stand on three legs to have her feet trimmed. We scheduled the vet and an excavator to dig the hole.
It was a good thing we did because two days after that she gave me ‘the look’; you know, the one that says, “I’m tired now, I just want to go to sleep.”
My Arab, Rumble, somehow knew that she was at the end. Her last 24 hours he never left her side. When we led her slowly over the hill to her final resting place, where he normally would have called out to her, he just stood quietly watching her go.
After a peaceful farewell my husband walked back with her halter. Rumble sniffed it and hung his head. Then he rallied himself, walked over and took up Ruby’s job as caretaker to our little yearling. He led him over the hill, stopped to sniff the mound of dirt, and then took him down to the hay.
Thank you, gentle sweet Ruby, for a job well done. It was an honour to have you in our lives.