My whirlwind romance with my big red man ended a year ago today. I still don't really have words to capture him and I can't bring him back. Here's a pictorial journey of our last months together.
|After the first vet visit.|
Cuna spent the first two weeks after the initial incident with some dear friends while his barn got worked on. It introduced me to what life without a show barn could look like for him and gave me some mental space to make better choices. I still believed he could get better and that if I did the right things, I could help him.
|taking time to breathe|
Shortly thereafter, I took a rare me trip and realized that I needed to quit pushing the recovery and get Cuna out of the situation he was in. It was time to dial everything back and let him be a horse.
|someone was happy|
I have rarely regretted a decision less. Cuna loved his stall, but he was always pissy and weird in a barn situation. His whole demeanor changed with this move--he played with his buddies, enjoyed his time, and almost completely gave up flipping his nose at bugs.
|beautiful and broken|
I carefully monitored lameness levels on detailed calendars and gave him the best of everything. An early winter vet visit helped us out for a while, but I could read the writing on the wall.
|he didn't love that garland|
We tried to live like it wasn't. I saw him nearly every day. His feed, feet, and comfort levels were carefully managed. Cuna's barn (a private situation with one other person) was a sort of haven for us. I didn't offer to share it with other people very often. That time was just for him and I.
January came and I knew it was time. Even through tears, I could appreciate what Cuna had brought to me in terms of the little bay horse. I posted this shot on the internet, only labeled "Courage" and I made the last appointment we'd ever need.
But I didn't have words and Ellie wrote the post that told the blog world one of their own was no more while Lindsey and I trekked through impenetrable fog.
Even now, I don't know what to say.
|I'll see you again, red man|