In Loving Memory of Andy
30+ year old Morgan gelding
16 hands – dark red
Another horse like Trilby who was worth his weight in gold. So calm, so forward, so strong. Andy had a history of being hard to keep – but I did’t find that at all – again, hard to keep weight off him. In addition, two farriers had told me they see signs of past founder in his feet. He had bonded to Orion and took Ori on his first trail ride, showing him the sights and keeping him calm. Andy had worked as a pony horse (with Mike riding and ponying the Lyons kids); as a riding horse (for Michelle Hughes), and as a general good guy. With past founder and a tendency to gain weight; and arthritis as well as two episodes of colic this past year we have to keep an eye on him. He more than repaid the attention he received. Interestingly, his friend Ori saved his life on two colic episodes – calling and calling to me hours before we would have found Andy, saving him many hours of debilitating pain.
IT IS MY SAD DUTY TO REPORT that on Tuesday June 24, 2003, ANDY, a former resident of PBRC, passed away. It was a sudden bout with colic, and a back injury caused possibly when he went down, or during efforts to get up, and resulting in partial paralysis of his hind legs. With the help of neighbor Bruce Yoho and his tractor, we were able to get Andy on his feet for a last meal and drink of water, and lots of massage and attention, with his herd around him, but over two hours resulted in no improvement in his ability to move his hind legs. He went down again, and due to the nature of the problem, and his extreme age (approximately 35 years old) making his recovery prospects dim, we made the difficult decision to let him go. After losing Joey earlier this month, I’d been watching Andy and Malika carefully, as my next oldest and frailest residents. I swear Andy seemed fine when I left the property on Monday morning. Now I’m hovering over Malika, afraid to lose her too, as she’s been eating oddly for about a month now, after dental work a couple of months ago to remove one of her last few molars due to infection.
Andy was a kind and steady gelding who believed in doing his job quickly and efficiently, and then being ‘left alone’. He spent all his time with Orion, who is deeply attached to him and suffering a great deal with his passing. He was dumped here at the Golden Carrot by a woman who also, years later, dumped Navigator on me. Her total lack of concern for Andy’s ongoing welfare has always been a source of wonder to me, as Andy is the kind of horse many people would cherish – lots of good training and miles, easy to make him go and stop, steady as a rock to handle on the ground, and he was big enough to carry anyone. In years past he had foundered, he hated to have his eyes treated which they needed due to a tendency to run and attract flies, and tended to get gassy on alfalfa which he loved, but was otherwise a very easy keeper and tolerant of anything. In the nature of the enterprise, I will be presented with this loss more and more. As my old friends reach the end of their time, all I can do is try to ease their passing. Sometimes I wonder if it makes sense to work so hard to keep them healthy and happy – they then last so long, and I come to love them so much, that the pain of their deaths seems unbearable. But I believe with all my heart that after a lifetime of service, they deserve some comfort and some ease. I will continue to provide it as long as I can.
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