The End

The inevitable. One day our beloved will take their last breath. Earlier I wrote about one's own last breath and the aftermath. As well as you should be prepared for your own death, you should think about the death of your horse before it's a reality. One shouldn't worry too much in advance, but sensible thinking ahead can help out a great deal when the time comes.

You should think what is necessary if your horse falls ill. How much you are prepared to do and pay for your horse's treatment and what is right for the horse. If the prognosis is with caution, would it be kinder for the horse to be put down? If the horse is old, would it be kinder to let it go, even with hopeful prognosis? 

And if the worst happens and you have only seconds to decide what to do. For example, if you're galloping in the near forest like you do every week and this one time your horse takes a tumble breaking it's leg. Where do you get help? Who do you call if the first choice of help doesn't reply?

Viikari, still alive, no worries!

I can't bear to think when the day comes I have to make the final decision. But I have thought about this a lot and I have made decisions. When I first began to think about this, I thought I knew it all. Gladly I had a friend who studied horses and had a course on which she stumbled across different methods. It was like an eye opener for me too. It was clear, my horses will be shot to death.

Then life happened. I've witnessed few different methods and what I can say for sure, a vet anesthetizing my horse with injection is the last source. I've seen it fail and I've seen it done as well as it could have gone. It was still slow. It took only a minute or a few, but those minutes felt very long.

Some time ago I got the chance to see a bolt gun shooting. The horse was very dear to me. I thought the horse was going to be shot so I wasn't quite prepared for the experience but it was a positive one. 

It was done before I realized it was going to happen, the horse didn't see it coming either. He took a step, *snap* and fell down. Just like that. In an instant his throat was cut open and he bled to his death in seconds. Compared to the long minutes of injection, this was all over before anyone realized it had begun.

In this case the owner had made the decision when she bought the horse. She had decided, if anything bigger would come, the horse would be euthanized. She still struggled with the decision and changed her mind many times before the shooting took place. If she had not thought this beforehand at all, it might have been that much harder for her to make the final decision and to live with the decision she made. 

When you're grieving, making decisions is harder and you can't be sure if the decisions are made because of the grief. If you're actually making them for you rather than for the horse.. You shouldn't go to bed mad and you shouldn't make big decisions sad.

Death is not a punishment. It's the only sure choice*. The grief and pain are with those left behind. Not with the horse.

- J

*Sure choice when done properly by someone with the necessary skill

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Thanks for your toughts!