Dd pony pts, how do we get her through this?(25 Posts)
DD's connie went down with colic yesterday and despite vets best efforts he had to be pts. He was 20 and although she'd only had him a year after losing first pony she was devoted to him. Dd is 12 and has anxiety issues and struggles with people so her animals are her escape from day to day life. I don't know how to help, I'm an absolute mess myself and feel people won't understand as it's an animal.It was just so unexpected we'd had a lovely morning and had left him happy in field just a few hours earlier.
I am so sorry. That must be devastating for you all. I wish I could offer advice but all I can say is I understand
I’m afraid I have no advice but just wanted to send you and dd my heartfelt sympathy. You will both be in shock so give her time and space and allow her to grieve .
Oh how awful for you - I'm so sorry. We lost one to colic and it was desperate how quickly and unexpectedly it happened.
I don't know how much anything will help except time; her grief will play itself out and the pain will eventually lessen. It will be rough though.
Thinking of you all
If you’re at home, let her have the day off school. Give her blankets, tea, ice cream and old movies.
Show her that she can grieve and even if it is “only” an animal, her grief is valid.
I think it's the speed he went that's the worst bit. He wasn't ill just came from nowhere and we were holding him up for a couple of hours desperately hoping for a miracle but I could tell in his eyes he'd had enough. I can't stop crying and have had very little sleep so we will stay home today.
Why do we have animals and put ourselves through this.
That is so tough. My heart goes out to you both. You need to tell your daughter what happened and why the vet had to put the pony to sleep. Explain that it is all right to cry, because she is going to miss him and she loved him. Let her see you cry, too. That validates her feelings. And yes, keep her home today.
I think you then need to take your cue from your DD as to what happens next. We have animals because they give us so much more than we can give them. Death is part of life. Animals are luckier than people, because when they are so ill that they are suffering, we are allowed by law to have them PTS, which is the last loving act you can do for them. Your DD needs to learn how to deal with death, because it is something that will happen all through her life. She will always have lovely memories of her pony and hopefully another one will capture her heart.
Might sound silly but can you have horses cremated?
I've got large pot plants with ashes of cats, rats & dogs mixed in with the soil. Plus my dog had a favourite place to run so we took some of his ashes there.
The horse wasn't 'just' an animal, he was part of your family. Allow yourselves to grieve properly.
That is just awful! Poor pony, poor you and poor DD. I don't think there is much you can do. You have to grieve, try be there for each other and wait for it to get more bearable in time. Some people like to keep mementoes, e.g. hairs from the tail which can be turned into a bracelet, or ask an artist to paint a portrait from a favourite photo - would your DD find something like this helpful?
I'm so sorry. I honestly think the grief when I lost my first horse aged 15 was the worst I've ever felt, certainly the most intense anyway. (I can't say that in real life as I've lost relatives etc and people will think I'm bonkers ). His was colic too and very sudden, it's really really hard. I honestly cried my heart out for days and I still miss him many, many years later. There's nothing like the bond you have with your first horse.
I'd indulge her for a few days as others have said, let her cry as much as she wants, allow her to stay off school etc, lots of hugs and comforting TV and nice food etc. Can you get some of his mane/tail hair and have it made into a keepsake, I still have the locket with my old boy's hair my Mum had made for me?
Then in the more medium term, getting back to routine and being busy with school etc and friends as soon as she's up to it is probably best for her. I'd probably encourage her to get back to riding as soon as possible, offer some low pressure lessons or a nice hack or similar. Reassure her that she's not being disloyal - when I lost my boy I dramatically swore (and would brook no argument whatsoever) that I'd never ever ride again, because no other horse could ever match up to him (that part was mainly true but the never riding again certainly wasn't ). A few weeks after we lost him, someone on the yard "conveniently" had a really nice older arab boy coming back into work after an injury and "begged me as a favour" to help them get him fit again, so I pretty much got tricked against my will (oh the gullibility of youth!) into enjoying myself riding and throwing myself into a 'project' which did me the world of good. If something similar comes up I'd encourage her to give it a go.
Then longer term I'd be guided by her as to when/whether she wants another horse of her own. I got another horse probably about 6 months later when a nice young Irish type happened to come up for sale on the yard, it helped that he was a completely different type from my old boy so it never felt like I was 'replacing' him. I was ready by then but I wouldn't push her into it too soon...
But really for now just take a day at the time and do what you need to help her (and yourself) through this
It’s a horrific way to lose a horse and all I can suggest is that you let her grieve as much as she wants and don’t let anyone belittle it by saying “it’s just an animal”. If someone had said that to me anytime I’ve lost one I’d have thumped them, and as a child it’s way harder to take. I couldn’t look at photos of mine for a while, DH gave me a portrait for Christmas not longer after dhorse had gone and while I have it on the wall now it had to be faced away from me for months until I could cope.
Hug her, let her cry and talk as much as she wants about him (or not at all if she doesn’t want to).
Dd isn't a crier but she doesn't seem to be able to stop and I'm not looking at my best either. I'm hoping letting it all out helps.... I've lost one to arthritis before but I had time to get myself together and this was just so sudden. It's a terrible way to go and I won't forget ever just trying to hold him up, felt like a lifetime and I could see he'd had enough.
Thankfully I remembered tail so will look at jewellery and we've been and printed some recent pictures, dd wanted the lovely one from yesterday morning but I can't look at that yet. Trying to remember my cheeky boy like this
What a lovely, cheeky chap! It’s so much worse when it’s unexpected and it sounds like it was a terribly traumatic experience. Be gentle on yourselves xxx
Oh he looks like he was just amazing.
I had a part share of a cheeky wee grey at a similar age to your dd. He stole my heart. We lost him fairly suddenly to accute laminitis.
Im in my late forties now, and will never forget him, but it has gone from a painful memory to a fond one.
Take all the time you need to remember him. And be kind to yourselves. X
What a wee cracker. Looks so happy in both of those photos
Very sorry for your loss. Did he wear shoes? You could keep his shoes, there are companies that will do lovely things like turn them into hearts
I am so sorry. A gorgeous lad.
I've lost horses and been there when others have suddenly gone. It's heartbreaking. I get through it add I know I'll see them all again one day. It's an absolute ingrained belief.
We've made it through the day without any more tears so I think it's just one day at a time.... thankfully the vet thought of shoes and got them for us so I've put them away but hadn't thought more than that. Wonder if dh can make something out them.
I'm working on being brave enough to order a canvas and bracket for dd too.
My family put a set of shoes onto a wooden plaque, with my horse's name on it.
With another horse my DD had a photo book made for me with lovely little comments against each picture.
He is beautiful. I'm so sorry for you both, it's such a raw pain.
Agree with PP, be led by her. It'll be the worst grief she has ever felt and it's fine to cry, yell, whatever. It's also fine to love again - and she will. You sound lovely x
We are getting there but I'm worried about her today, feel like she's a bit flatland keeps complaining her head hurts but has agreed to go visit a local stables tomorrow to see about riding there for now. I'll get dh on to mounting the shoes later as think she'd like that, might try incorporate her favourite pictures. I'm starting to be able to look at pictures so photo book will happen eventually.
@confusednorthener if you are on FB, look up Wildfire Forge. He does beautiful work with horse shoes. Something she can cherish for years to come.
How about planting a tree or rose bush in his memory? I lost one suddenly to atypical myopathy and it's the suddenness that gets you and all the "if only I had done something different" thoughts. Lots of hugs and talking through any irrational guilt is probably the best thing you can do.
The flatness and headache is normal - she’s ‘all cried out’ poor girl - I vividly remember feeling exactly the same a few days after my beloved little cat died suddenly when I was the same age as your dd. The only cure is time and giving your heart to another animal
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