MPN Voice

One of the worst days of my life

I only started riding lessons when I was 45 and rapidly learned 1 hr /week did not not teach you to ride. I don't know if this belongs here but to me it seems it does as we all have lives outside our diseases and I want to share this.

I then took out a part loan aggrement with a local riding school where I was having lessons so I and my 2 daughtrers who also had riding lessons as children could have use of a horse if not being used for lessons. My oldest daughter challenged me to have lessons after I took them riding on holiday and could only stand upright but balanced at a trot.

I still think the horse picked me rather than the reverse as she was so quirky and the most intelligent horse I have ever rode. She had so many tricks and even a sense of humour. She would pick up each hoof to be cleaned if you tapped her leg but if she had an audience would always pick up the opposite hoof. She broke my leg when I came off her racing up a field but I got back on and rode her home ,put her away then drove home before I knew what had happened. The looks she gave me the day after when I went down with a big splint on my leg where comedic, like how did you do that nothing to do with me.

I gave her up when I was diagnosed with CML as paying off the mortgage etc was more important.

I had her for 5-6 years and hacked her out to places the stable owners never knew about, plus she taught me how to ride a gallop and then I taught my daughters how to do the same.

Tues I got a call from the stable owner that she was going to be put to sleep today. To their credit both of my daughters went to say goodbye to her and she was a stable favourite so lots of other people did the same.

I went Wednesday and groomed her till she was spotless but she then went in the field and rolled in the mud so she was filthy again.

Today I went down and spent a lot of time removing all the mud then gave her a bath using very good shampoo with warm water so she was virtually spotless. There have been a lot of tears between that call Tues and today. You have to say goodbye eventually so I left her drying under heat lamps rooting for all the apples and carrots I had hidden in the hay on the stable floor. She was happy though I know her feet which were basically rotting were giving her pain.

She taught me to ride which led to so many adventures involving horses in my life but she will always be special and the most intelligent and playful/quirky horse I have ever rode. She was docile when used for riding for the disabled andtesting if she knew you could ride, never putting her passenger at risk. At a gallop it was for her fun and she accepted you as a passenger.

I have made arrangements to have her ashes as having her cremated with other horses was to much like just disposing of rubbish. I think I will did distribute her ashes along our hacking routes next Spring to be taken up by plants and grasses as that is the best I can come to resurrection. Maybe I will keep them and have them put in my coffin though I doubt the cemetary will let my kids put on the back of my gravestone 'Buried with his Mistress, a big black lady who was into leather'.

This site can be all about us but sometimes its OK to think about who or what our disease affects and what our disease makes us give up. My teacher told me as much as you are looking at the horse it is looking at you. Lacey remaind my friend after I stopped riding and it was a priviledge to be involved over the last 2 days even though it has been emotionally harrowing.

I don't know if this belongs here but I wanted to share one of the best/worst aspects my disease has caused me which is familiar to anyone who has ever had a pet, the size doesn't matter.

14 Replies
oldestnewest

What a lovely story. She will be galloping up there with the others, including mine from past years, having fun. I am sorry for your loss though, it’s never easy x

2 likes
Reply

Thanks for understanding. Yes I hadn't rode her for a long time but I have never come across an animal with a sense of humour. She would untie her lead rope when you were grooming her, never saw herdo it in all that time but she never walked off just looked at you like what have I done. She would snap above my head but knew the rule was no touching and if she had the slightest touch knew she would be punishished but it was always the least to keep equauality not dominanace. This has been harded thanlosing my Dad, He was responsible for himself she depended on others.

I hope there is an afterlife but I have always considered we live inother peoples memories so to scatter her ashes or keep them is a big decision for me.

2 likes
Reply

Why not keep some and scatter some then she is free to roam and still with you as well, I’m sure she’d approve x

3 likes
Reply

Hi skodaguy,

I am so sorry to hear of your sad loss which you have conveyed in such a moving account; pain mixed with happy memories and humour. What a wonderful relationship.Your love for Lacey is clearly evident.

I think your plan of distributing her ashes along the hacking route you shared will bring you great comfort.

I get the sense that it has been cathartic for you to put your thoughts in to writing. Therefore, don’t question ‘does this belong here,’ of course it does! As you rightly say, it certainly highlights the limitations ‘our disease’ can impose on us, as I’m sure many here will recognise.

Thoughts are with you

Mary x

3 likes
Reply

I'm so sorry, Skodaguy, horses get into your life and become part of it and even when you know putting them to sleep is the only option, it's the hardest thing ever to do. I hope you keep riding, and sleep tight Lacey x

2 likes
Reply

Thank you for sharing your story skodaguy, I totally understand what you are feeling. I think scattering the ashes along your favourite route would be a fitting tribute. You're right about living on in other people's memories.

You reminded me about when we lost my mum. We scattered her ashes near the river Exe, where we live and where my mum had used to walk her dog. We took my Dad and said do you want your ashes scattered here with Mum? He said " yes, but not so near the water because I can't swim " it still makes me smile when I think of that day so thank you for the memory.

Judy x

3 likes
Reply

I loved reading your story - I took up riding when i was 60 - always wanted to do it and its the highlight of my week going to the stables - grooming tacking up and talking to the horse - having a lesson or going on a hack. I dont know how long I will be able to keep it up - bit more difficult now getting on and as for jumping off - well maybe more of a slide ! Such beautiful creatures that allow us to ride them.

1 like
Reply

Hi skodaguy

You must have had such a bond with Lacey and my thoughts go out to you. I have had my horse, Summer, for 9 years now and really feel she is my animal guide. I was originally asked by her previous owner to ‘sort her out’ as she was behaving very badly. Within 3 hours of riding her I can’t explain what happened - we just clicked and when the owner decided to sell, she came home with me! She has gone from a problematic horse to a calm, intelligent amazing best friend. All it took was me learning from her and boy did she teach me! She is an ex racehorse and had been badly beaten when being retrained so anyone showing aggression or complex feelings towards her set her off into a panic and she would do anything to get away. She now comes when she’s called, loves attention and knows how to make me feel better when I’m having a bad day. She’s incredibly gentle around those she knows are wary of her and let’s my puppy run around her hooves. If you can have an animal soulmate, she is mine.

It sounds like Lacey was the same for you and you must feel so honoured to have had her in your and your girls’ lives. I do believe they choose us. We are the lucky ones who were at the right place to be chosen. Your idea of scattering her ashes along your favourite areas is a lovely idea and I hope it goes well. I love the epitaph idea - it would certainly shake the congregation!!

All the best to you and I hope the good memories of your time with Lacey will help you through the coming weeks.

Gill x

3 likes
Reply

Skodaguy,

A truly wonderful story ...that's all I can say, too many tears.

2 likes
Reply

Read with understanding x

Linda

1 like
Reply

Thank you, today I felt emotionally flat rather than tearful and greaving. Your support has been priceless. Went to a film tonight that ended in tradgedy but before the final scenes had an image of horses running wild over wilderness. I am an atheist but hope my girl is spiritually running wild, if not I like the idea of scattering part of her ashes and having the rest buried with me. I even have a shirt with silouettes of horse on a horizon that I plan to wear when scattering her ashes.

I will ask her legal owner if she wants to come with me to scatter her ashes but know it will be no, not from being uncaring but horses are her business and not in her emotions and as an ex GP who had to take similar decisions I know where she is coming from.

It is time to kill this topic and move on. I have 3 feasts to plan. My daughters partner 50th birthday, a Christmas meal for the 27th Dec as my son only comes back from S.Korea on the 24th and my daughter can't get here because of no public transport on 25th and 26th. Then my Mum comes on the 30th for another feast before my son flies back to Korea on the 3rd Jan

Thank you for your understanding , maybe you think I move on to quick but I had a lifetime of having to move between 10 min max consultations.

No one rides a horse with an MPN except those who know that relationship is as important as life itself.

2 likes
Reply

Thank you for your empathy

1 like
Reply

For me,a life time of loving and breeding horses,I thoroughly understand the emotion,there is always the inevitable loss of a much loved horse or dog,but they stay in our hearts,my last brood mares are 31 yrs old now ,and our stallion rising 28 .....thank goodness they are in better shape than me!!Keep strong,there is a horse heaven of that I am sure,where else for the most beautiful animal created?.....The ashes of ours and the lifetime of dogs if not buried are in big pots for flowers.Sympathy to you,I mean it.Sally

2 likes
Reply

What is it about animals that touches us like nothing else. I don't have a dog right now but after over 40 years of being gifted with their love I only have to imagine and one of them comes to join me. When I was a little girl living in Africa I longed for a dog and my mother said one day when you have your own home you can have as many dogs as you like. Well the most I had at one time was two grown up dogs and six puppies - with six chickens and two ducks on the side! Happy days.

Linda x

1 like
Reply

You may also like...