Goodbye Sweet Princesa
1990 to 2/1/2020
Last week was difficult for me. It started by my sharing my opinions on a controversial subject, and taking the beating I halfway expected …. And it keeps on and on. And then Friday night I lost Princesa. The tenderest, most self-deprecating, most innocent 30+ year old mare I’ve had the pleasure of caretaking.
In the end, it was kinda horrible that Princesa lost her life due to blindness – a horse with the biggest, gentlest eyes I’ve ever seen on a horse. Soft, brown, concerned, sweetly accepting of and happy to get attention, those beautiful eyes. Her sponsor Niki commented how young she seemed when she came to TGC, when all evidence pointed to a mare in her mid to late 20s. I think it was the big foal eyes that gave her that look, along with a gentle and unassuming personality that viewed all in the most positive light.
She had no incisors. Hard to know what happened, or when, but she only had three left when she arrived, two loose and one actually sideways! The doc had to remove them, but assured me we were eliminating a daily misery from her life. She was missing one grinder as well, but in her 5 years here, she never lost weight. Some kind of impact or collision? Her tongue was always a little bit out because of that lack, so I had to work hard to get pics without it! I felt it made her look so much sassier than she actually was.
Read her page to recall what we knew about her upon arrival. In her time here, she was a low level mare, always a hanger-on to the different subherds. She liked the other mares, and they tolerated her but never really befriended her the way I think she hoped for. She also liked the geldings, in an old-maid aunty sorta way – and they also tolerated her. In her final year, she tried to combine the two by joining Naomi and Bear. The other horses were kinda … dismissive. If she was there, fine. If she wasn’t, also fine. I took extra time when I could to pet her and give a little grooming, because she loved it so much. She loved having the farrier work with her too. Someone to pay attention to her, it was all she wanted.
I wonder sometimes if she was really happy. She did seem a little confused sometimes, but was always attached to someone, so not technically alone. She was healthy, and at least accepted by all in the herd. She LOVED her buckets at night, and seemed especially happy when I cut her carrots into little pieces (she could and did eat them whole, but really was vocal about it when she got the tiny bits).
Her last year, she attached herself to Dilly. He’s kind of a spaz, and I could never tell if he even noticed her, until she was gone. Then, he wailed for hours. I guess his weirdness is why each morning, I found her in the corner of her stall closest to Bear. But then, when I opened her gate, she would rush out after Dilly. Because she knew shortly Bear would hook up again with Naomi? I don’t know. How I wish I could be Dr. Doolittle, understand what they wanted better, and be able to reassure them.
Princesa had a hard life, used in many difficult jobs to make money for humans. Here, she had a chance to be a horse, but couldn’t quite get her head around how to do it. I wish I’d got her 5 years earlier – I bet she would have been our grande dame, much as Daisy is now, given enough time.
Her ending was quick and painless, and she is profoundly missed, at least by me. And yeah, maybe Dilly too.