Goodbye to Medina
Passed away August 10, 2015
On August 10, 2015, our Medina’s life was cut far too short.
Medina was a lovely bay Thoroughbred mare, approximately 15 when she came in. She’d had the misfortune to be owned by a sorry excuse for a human being (who later neglected Saki as well). He used her to teach his children to ride; he played polo on her, and when her knee was hurt, he turned his back on her, not paying his board, or letting her out of her stall for even a minute. A concerned party took her for hand walks, and asked if I could find room for her here at TGC. This party begged me not to discuss this owner’s wretched behavior, hoping to convince him to donate towards Medina’s transport or care. When that didn’t work, she still hoped he would release Medina’s medical records. No, not that either. So screw him. He had the financial wherewithal to care for her properly, to transport her to a better situation, to donate something toward her care, and certainly nothing stopped him from releasing her records, except that I believe those records would show that, but for his abandonment of this beautiful mare, she could have been helped to at least be a little more sound. He chose to behave despicably.
But Medina didn’t give a crap about this man, and his assessment of her. She knew she was worth the world. She came here to TGC, took a good look around, and promptly joined the dominant subherd. What we call the Mean Team here.
A part of me wonders how she and Star would have been if Medina had the use of her leg. It might have been interesting...mares don’t fight like the boys do, so I’m not sure how they would have decided who was lead mare, or if they would have had rival herds, but as it was, Medina became second in command to Star’s lead mare status. This 3-legged mare stepped in almost at the very top of our herd, and her strong personality more than made up for her physical infirmity. No one, not even Star, questioned our girl.
I have posted videos of this extraordinary mare on our Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/TheGoldenCarrot) running out with the big dogs - horses like Star, Dominic, Laddie - basically sound, two of them OTTBs, with running in their blood. And Medina kept up. She couldn’t win, or lead, but she was always with them. With a leg that wouldn’t bend. And when the long run ended, she would rear, and buck, and leap all four feet off the ground kicking out as she did, for the sheer joy of running with her friends, showing them she still had it.
She was part of the subherd of Star, Dominic, and Daisy, with semi regular members Jasper and Laddie. She adored Dominic, and he loved an admirer, but focused on Star and Daisy. Jasper loved Daisy and Medina. Star and Laddie ignored everyone. But these 4-6 horses were always together. And when Star got her girl crushes on someone, or went to check out a new arrival, it was Medina who maintained the Mean Team herd.
Medina was a little aloof with people. It took her a long time to begin to look actively for a cookie or carrot. She was super well trained and always gracious. I would go into her stall most nights to give her legs and shoulders Absorbine rubs, and once she realized what was going on, she would go back to eating while I did that. She was surprised at chiropractic, but there was no doubt it was helpful to her. I can’t say she loved me, but she appreciated me and what I meant - goodies, treatment, pain relief. No, this is another horse who, given a choice, preferred her own kind. But my respect for her knows no bounds. She’s the standard I strive for. Strong, determined, focused. I think I’m grateful she focused on her equine friends. If she had loved me as I loved her ... how would I ever do what became necessary?
During her stay here, I drove our farriers crazy looking for ways to help support Medina’s injury. Because that knee would not bend, she dragged her foot almost all the time. Causing the foot to wear away - that had to be protected before the hoof capsule was completely gone. We tried Equicasts; even had a small partial shoe on the one foot; and eventually found a sort of epoxy glue like substance that created a ‘foot’ to provide support. It worked pretty well for that last year of her life, but the knee was huge, and completely fused now, and little by little her “good” knee was breaking down, carrying the load intended for two. A couple of months ago, as I was rubbing her knee, I looked at the “good” one and realized how damaged it was. It was a “good” knee only by comparison with her bad one. I let her benefactor know that her time was winding down - with difficulties like this, I didn’t know if I could have her face a wet winter, with all the slipperiness to navigate.
Above is the bum knee she came in with. It just got more and more fused, and bigger, in her years here.
Above is her "good" knee in her last months. This courageous heroic mare ran on these legs. Of her own free will and determination.
On the morning of the 10th, sometime between leaving her stall at 7AM and me finding her at 10, she apparently had a fall and badly wrenched her stifle. I heard someone whose voice I didn’t recognize calling and calling, and was so surprised to find it was her, slowly limping along, with Daisy at her side, calling for Star and Dom. From being 3 legged, Medina went to 1 legged. With one knee completely fused, another hurting trying to do the job of two, and now a blown stifle, our beautiful girl was done. It’s a measure of her heart, grit and determination that she would still have kept struggling along, one legged. But I couldn’t allow that. It was time to do my job.
Medina was my heroine. This year I had a bad injury in February which still limits my strength and causes me continuous pain. But I am human. I can sit down, lay down, take pain pills, and slowly my injury is healing. But Medina’s could only get worse, causing her difficulty with every step, constant pain, and making her barely able to live the life she wanted. But she kept on, she gutted thru the pain, and played her part in her chosen herd with such conviction that no one doubted her, and her right to be there. She threw it in their faces - screw you guys, I’m as good as you with one hoof tied behind my back! And they believed. Because she really was.