So, my sweet Maggie Mae met her end on Monday. It was not exactly how I thought the day would go. A routine vet appointment to find out why she was lame ended up with a complete break of the proximal third of her cannon. It's not often, I think, that one finds comfort in the vet report to the insurance company, but knowing that the vet heard the break and saw it from his spot on the outside of the longe circle, when I didn't, lets me know that even if she'd stopped immediately, the outcome would have been the same. I was anguished at not being able to get her to stop before she'd done more damage to the leg.
The vet was wracking his brain as to how he could have known, or discovered what we believe was a defect in the bone that was causing the lameness (whatever that may be, tumour, hairline fracture, etc). We all know that most lamenesses are soft tissue, we proceeded in that vein. I told him that we'd both have to accept that this was, in every sense of the word, a true accident. We were all doing exactly what we should have been doing, and we'd have to forgive ourselves, because there was really nothing we could have done. *If* we'd x-rayed the cannon, we don't even know if we'd have seen it then.
It's not the same as what they call an accident in cars, where someone was following too close, or distracted or whatever, and hits someone else.
I'm not saying that this makes it all okay. But I think it helps me not blame myself for the rest of my life for causing her to have to be euthanized. I've always done the best I could for that little girl, and I swear I did that to the end.
Everyone at the barn has been so very supportive. The owner of the barn took care of her disposal arrangements, and cut her tail for me, washed it and brought it to me. The vet took care of the insurance folks for me. My trainer and her roommate came and got me and my vehicle from the barn, and took me to see my baby boy. He sniffed and sniffed at Maggie's tail, he'd never met her. So I told him about her while we snuggled. My Dad came up to be with me, and my Mom would have come the next day, but I decided I'd be better working and processing alone.
I went to see my Havoc as much as I could, he's good therapy. He's a snugglebug and animals have a sixth sense for when you are upset. Plus, it got me out of the house. It's really easy to become a hermit when you work from home. My trainer and her roommate have offered me a horse to lease, which is a huge thing, to make sure that I have someone to keep me riding until Havoc is ready. She's a very well trained horse, and more like Havoc than Maggie, and they don't want me to lose my love of riding while Havoc grows up.
I have a fabulous group of folks around me, which is such a blessing. I didn't need to lose my horse to know that, but it does bring it into sharp focus. I have decided to get a tattoo to memorialize Maggie. I've always considered her my angel, and, as it happens, in 2009, we did Christmas cards with her dressed as an angel. I have a great picture of her from then, and am going to use that. I will also have a bracelet made of her hair.
She's the first horse that I've lost, and it was horrific. I don't know if it's worse when it's sudden. I was spared making a decision... there was only one right answer. I've never regretted buying Maggie, and not everyone can say that about a horse purchase. And even if I knew then what would happen, I'd do it again, for she has brought me more joy than I had any right to. It hurts like hell, but I loved her with my whole heart.