View Full Version : When does it stop hurting??

08-01-09, 03:00 PM
I lost my wonderful, beautiful horse about a month ago. The decision was made to end his pain that was untreatable and degenerative.

I am not wallowing, but it still hurts so much. ;(

The slightest things make me cry, like noticing cobwebs on his bridle, a soppy song on the radio, or reading Horse Deals and realising I will never replace him, and I had everything I wanted in a horse.

Not looking for sympathy, (although I will take it:-)) I just want some advice from other horsey people who understand. Why does it still hurt so much?

Unfortunately, my non-horsey husband, (he hates that) does care but doesn't understand.

This was him. Beautiful wasn't he.


08-01-09, 03:22 PM
He was indeed gorgeous.

It does stop hurting, eventually. I still cry over my wonderful QH that we had to have pts in 2004. I look at his picture on the wall and get all teary, but mostly I just try and remember how much I loved him and that I was blessed to have him in my life. Took me about 6 months before I could think about him and not burst into tears!

Thinking of you.


08-01-09, 03:22 PM
hi first of all i want to extend my deepest sympathies to you,he certainly is a lovely boy.
speaking from my own experiences with both pets and humans the pain will never go away but time does and will make it a bit easier to cope with.
you made the kindest and bravest decision you could have made for him and im sure when you 2 meet again he will thank you.i lost a human love about 3 months ago,break up not death, and i have to turn the radio off when a song comes on that reminds me of him.a friend of mine has a horse by the same name as him and i cant even bring myself to say the name...i had to explain to her why i call her horse 'your horse' all the time.
you will never be able to replace your precious boy and im sure each and every horse that comes into your life will never compare to him but will always be compared to him.let him live on in your heart and your memory forever....thats where he deserves to be.
have a good cry when you need to,let it out.ive lost count of the times ive just sat and bawled.
our pets are like our family and deserved to be remembered as such.
now i need to go and get some tissues......
remember him fondly forever and maybe not let the cobwebs gather on his bridle...keep it oiled and in top condition as a dedication to his memory.

Le Le
08-01-09, 03:31 PM
I wrote a poem for our old man who was pts at 30yo. He was our first horse. I still get all teary thinking about him. I always read the poem about him, and it makes me smile. I miss him dearly, but i know he is in a better place. I am so thankful for all the memories and experiences he has left behind. My current horse does what we call "the glenny grumble". It was Glens signature noise. It scared the bejeezus out of me the first time my current horse did it, for a split second i thought it was Glen. I like to think that Glen is still here with us, and he has left a part of him to watch over me in my new horse.

My old dog was pts in 2007. I miss her sooooooo much. I can only just look at her photo without crying now. It has taken over a year to get to this point. In fact, getting teary again.

Be thankful of everything he has left behind. all the memories, all the moments and know that he will always be with you.

08-01-09, 04:00 PM
U have My sympathy as well, he looks like he was a luv.

We had my daughters first pony pts 9 months ago. The only thing that made it ok at the time is that I reckon that if she could, and I was going thru what she was, she would have done the same for me. I owed it to her to take away her pain. We have never doubted that it was the correct and only thing left to do to help her.

Grief to me is kinda selfish, it is an emotion we feel when we loose something we loved and didnt plan on ever losing. A hole where the loved one was that hurts. Im sure in most cases the loved one would NOT be happy to see us so sad on their behalf!

.. so when I get teary I think of how she deserved to be released and how happy she would be in her next life without pain, so I sook with a reassured grin on!

08-01-09, 05:08 PM
Glenda I actually agree,

I've just been through a pretty gut / heart wrenching time personally and I kept thinking to myself that being so upset and depressed was actually quite self focussed about me. Esp when there were others around me suffering because of the same deal. Not to say its not a correct emotion, I think for me realising this though was part of my healing process.

As for your sweet horse, as with anything it takes time. You probably have lots of vivid memories of 'that day' right now and are remembering the bits you would rather forget. And indeed that is what time seems to do. We dont forget, but the focus switches to the happy things, the things that make us smile and not tear up.



08-01-09, 05:42 PM
MMC You have my sympathies he was a gorgeous boy.

I dont think it ever stops hurting but it does lessen in time.

I lost Piny and Herman in 2007 and still even saying their names brings tears to my eyes. Even making the feeds up I see their buckets and start crying. Even Sally my old brood mare that I lost 14 years ago I still cry over when I see her pictures.

But I always try to remember the good times with them and so should you. Those are the reasons why you loved him so much and those are the memories you need to cherish.

08-01-09, 05:48 PM
It is simply time.. and that time varies for each of us.

Eventually you will get to a time where you wont get teary, and will just be able to remember him for him.

I disagree with Glenda and Oaky - everyone is entitled to their grief. I dont believe it is selfish to be upset over the loss of something dear to you. Yes, you may have done the best thing you could for the well being of your horse, but that doesnt make missing him any less sad for you.

These creatures we insist on owning do leave quite a hole in our hearts.
I had to have my beloved Dally put to sleep 8 years ago, and it still gets to me on occasion now!

I am not looking forward to the day my old horse leaves me....


08-01-09, 06:03 PM
Absolutely Glenda & Oakeypoke, I came to that realisation a few years ago when Mum went & it did help me control the waterworks tho' when my dog went, just over a year ago, different story :-( nothing worked! I have a friend who's an animal communicator when time permits & her explanation of things, thru' the dog helped more that I could've believed, especially the promise that she'd reincarnate, which she has.
What a wonderful kind & 'knowing' eye, no WONDER you're still distraught, I would be too. I too asked my friend the Q you've just posted & her answer was a week for the most acute phase & many months to ease a little more. I've found she was right.

08-01-09, 06:05 PM
What a handsome man he was, and obviously very well loved.
When I lost my STB gelding back in '02, I cried at the smallest thing for months. 'Underneath your clothes' by Shakira was playing on the radio when I got the news he had passed, and again on a different station as I got in the car to come home! It still makes me mist up sometimes. In time the hurt goes, and I love my new horse (of 5 yrs, :P) to bits, but he never was and never will be a 'replacement' for my beautiful 'Port'.

What non-horsey/animal people often don't understand is the closeness of the relationship we have with them, some of us have spent more time with our horses than we have our partners, and many horses will still be around after the breakdown of a relationship. They are often our closest confidante and friend, we spend hours each day caring for them, many more thinking, dreaming and planning... It is little surprise we fall to pieces at their passing!

My only real advice is you are entitled to your grief, and you will take the amount of time you need to heal. There is no given timeframe, we are all different. And if anyone should dare to say "he was just a horse" (and people did to me, family which is the worst!), just think to yourself "how sad it is for them to never have experienced what I had"; which will save you from thumping them!

08-01-09, 06:14 PM
I KNEW you guys would understand. Thank you.

On the subject of songs that make you cry. The day I found out how bad his fetlock was, I was driving and heard the Dire Straights song, Romeo and Juliet. There is a line that goes, " I love you like the stars above, I 'll love you till I die" I had to pull over.

I am crying now. I miss him so much. Now that song is in my head. Silly ;( ;(

ETA: Defender, I got your PM. Thank you very much. :-)

08-01-09, 06:27 PM

08-01-09, 06:35 PM
Reading you post really made me feel for you. I haven't lost a horse, but I have often thought about "what if" and that thought alone gets me feeling a little emotional because I really don't think I could replace what I have. I hope it gets easier for you because I understand you pain and my sympathies really do go out to you.



08-01-09, 06:44 PM
Firstly my sadness at your loss, he was indeed a beautiful boy.

Loss of an animal affects us all very differently, I find the older I get the easier the loss is, doesn't stop the pain but it becomes easier to accept that animals do not live as long as us and invariably we will go through many times of grief as we lose our beloved pets.

I also think it differs with each, not meaning that some you love more or less, but I find it easier to cope when the animal i have lost has lived its life to the full, is old and you are able to prepare yourself for the loss.

Losing an animal in its prime, through an accident or when its young I think is more heartbreaking, it is also more difficult if you have high hopes for the animal, or that special bond.

I have lost so many over the years, and will lose many many more, never stops the pain or the sense of loss.

I lost the love of my life horse wise 6 yrs ago, he was only 12, a tb gelding I had owned since he was 2yr, I got him to medium dressage, he broke his leg in a paddock accident, I still get tears in my eyes when I think about him and still miss his dreadfully.

I have a 28 yr old mare that I have owned for 22yrs, I know her time is drawing near, but I think I will cope with her loss better as I know she has lived a long and happy life with me, and she cannot live forever.

Smile because you had him, mourn him and remember him with happiness.

08-01-09, 07:10 PM
Dearest MMC my sorrow for your loss your boy looks wonderful.

How brave of you to do the right thing for your friend at a time that was best for him and how lucky you were to have each other.

I have not lost a horse but I lost my two beloved cats (the youngest was 15 and like a child to me) to a violent stranger with a lump of wood in 2004. My trusting, loving little mates were beaten to death, one of them was thrown through a window (she was still alive when she was hurled through the glass) and I found the aftermath. (The person who did then stalked me for many months)

Took a long time to realise that I was suffering PTSD as a result but I also found out a lot about grief. It is different for everyone and will take it's own time to resolve for you. There is no "timetable" for getting over it...just time. Don't let anyone push you or make you feel guilty.

I felt a lot of guilt about failing my cats. They were elderly and I was expecting them to either not wake up one morning or to make that sad trip to the vet...their violent and unexpected departure deprived me of that comfort. Could I have changed anything about that day and the decisions I made that left them vulnerable.

I had life crippling nightmares and flashbacks (ptsd) and the slightest memory would tear open the most agonising despair. Pictures would reduce me to blubbering and I cried myself to sleep any number of times.Finding a little black cat hair in my things would make my eyes water. I could not bear to see a cat lying on it's side taking in the sun. There is still an Evanesence song that causes me to tear up with memories of Shiva and Grey Puss. The hole in my heart felt that it would never go away.

Things changed...just a bit at a time. Good memories started to percolate through the pain. Even though I still cried I could smile at remembered silliness and anecdotes. Pictures became objects of comfort rather than hurt. I continue to miss them but the rawness of the loss has blunted over time. The richness that their friendship brought me is the primary memory. It will happen for you too. When they touch our lives so deeply they leave a lot of good behind. Talk about him a lot :)


08-01-09, 07:26 PM
Absolutely Glenda & Oakeypoke, I came to that realisation a few years ago when Mum went & it did help me control the waterworks tho' when my dog went, just over a year ago, different story :-( nothing worked! I have a friend who's an animal communicator when time permits & her explanation of things, thru' the dog helped more that I could've believed, especially the promise that she'd reincarnate, which she has.
What a wonderful kind & 'knowing' eye, no WONDER you're still distraught, I would be too. I too asked my friend the Q you've just posted & her answer was a week for the most acute phase & many months to ease a little more. I've found she was right.

08-01-09, 07:34 PM
Never. I lost my dream horse, 18.2h holsteiner, few years ago, and still wake up early hours crying for him, seeing him dead and twisted as I found him (blood poisoning from rsuty old building nail in hoof, could see he'd been pawing on same patch in his yard all night. Even though I have replacement same breeding thanks to big help from Kendalee stud because they appreciated how well I did with the now-dead K Riddler. Then in 60s, now 70, didn't really want to start again with young, newly broken horse. Lucky those Kendalee horses have great temperaments.

08-01-09, 07:42 PM
reply two: I'm tearful just reading your post. you have my sympathy. I lost my dream horse (Kendalee Riddler), my 14yo blue cattledog (14 is a good innings in tropics, heartworm treatment takes years off their lives, now my wonderful vet, equine and general, says heartworm so under control now no need for treatment) and my mother all in the same year.

08-01-09, 09:14 PM
I am so sorry, really lovely horse.

The only thing is give it time. At least you were brave enough the make the decision when it was needed.

I don't know if it helps but I had a lovely TB mare who had to be put down after a freak tragic accident (that I had to what unfold and could do nothing to stop). I could not bring myself to ride, train or go near horses for the next 5 years.

Eventually moved to a new town, met some new people and found that while it still tugs at the heart strings, now I can bear it.

Be brave and remember the reasons that you did what you had to do in the first place and you had his interests in mind.

08-01-09, 10:10 PM
Hello, MMC.

When I had my terrific pony put down due to a lipoma, I spent the next few weeks sobbing, crying and all that, totally unchecked. I felt that I was wallowing in it but I didn't care. I bought HD and looked through it, adding to my distress.

One evening a family member said, "I hate to see you hurting like this."

And it was said with such compassion. I could see that I was hurting this person. So I listened to what this person had to say.

"You need to give yourself a problem."

"What sort of problem?" I said.


I thought, 'Hmm, that won't work,' but I kept my thoughts to myself and decided to give it a go because I had nothing to lose.

The very first thing that came to mind was the blasted couch grass growing out of control in my veggie patch. (I don't use pesticide of any kind.)

So next day, I got into that couch grass. And every time I needed a distraction, it was into the couch grass for me.

Digging, pulling, ripping, clobbering, pulverising.

You know what? I never looked back. I don't know if it's the physical effort involved or the mental distraction or a mixture, but it was the turning point.

But there's one more thing I did. When thoughts of my wonderful pony came into my mind, I changed the channel.

I think the pain does go and I think that I needed that time to wallow. I really appreciate my family member for allowing me those few weeks of it.

But I also thank this person for showing me the way out.

08-01-09, 10:44 PM