Oct 15, 2009

Losing a friend... sometimes its for the best

When i was a kid i used to own a cute spotted pony called 'Polka'. He was my first pony so you can imagine the bond i developed with him. I loved the bones of that pony so much. He helped me through crap times at school and losing family members. I remember he was always scared of everything, so much that he'd shy away in the middle of me jumping or cantering and then i'd be off... but he'd always come back to get me and wait for me to get back on again.

I remember he was always ill with colic (sort of bad tummy for horses) which can be fatal because of the delicate set up of their internal systems. And one day my dad picked me up from school and told me Polka had colic again. At the time all i could think of was the expense of vet bills i hardly gave any thought to losing him.... i was so blase about it all that when i walked into his stable i was too upset and shocked to speak.

Polka was lying in the straw, to ill and weak to even lift his head to whicker a friendly hello. Sweat marks stained his pretty coat and he looked so skinny and withdrawn. The pain must have been intense. My friend cradled his head in her lap and tears stained her face as she looked up at me. I knew then that this was not the same as last time... my heart felt like it had fallen out of my chest, i couldn't swallow for the lump in my throat. My dad hugged me and then helped me get Polka to stand. It was best if he walked to maybe dislodge the blockage, but the poor thing was so exhausted it took three of us girls and my dad to hold up this heavy pony. He fell over three times on the cobbles even so.

The vet came and diagnosed a twisted gut. Basically the blood supply to the stomach was cut off and he needed surgery to twist it back. The operation cost almost £2000...more than my friend was worth. My dad looked at my sad face and nodded to the vet. We loaded my Polka into a borrowed trailer and took him to the surgery. All the way there my friends told me stories of what we would do when Polka was better, where we would go riding, camping taking the ponies with us, the competitions we would enter and win.... i almost felt positive and happy all would be ok.

He died later on the operating table after the vet did all they could. I kept a lock of his mane and his horseshoe...and i wrote everything down i could remember so i wouldn't forget. Ironically, when i look back, the way i actually got over him was to force myself not to think of him at all and just forget. I let his memory fade until all i can see now in my mind's eye is a pretty white spotted pony in the snow, just like the picture above. I seem to have dissociated all emotion from the memory. It means nothing.

I'm not sure if it helped or not that i chose to let Polka go. His illness was so far advanced that he would get colic every 6 months if the vet hadn't put him to sleep, and every time he would be in pain and every time i would get hurt. It was the hardest decision i ever made as a child and even now i look back... it was for the best.



That was a touching story about your horse. I am sorry that you had to go through that but at least you can look back at it now and know it was for the best. I had some horrible things happen with my pets that I won't ever forget. But those situations only make us stronger and help us help others get through the same circumstances.


OD - Very true. they do make us stronger. but theres something about your pets that make u extra sensitive. probably because they never hurt anyone... :(


So sorry about your horse.. he was BEAUTIFUL.. but, I'm partial to the appaloosa colors. I too lost my best friend to colic. I had him 21 years. I understand the pain. I sould like to make something out of the mane for you if you like... ... IF you want to, my address is: mcmurf2@hotmail.com... just something small but nice....t

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