My great loss


This past August my childhood dream came true.  I got a horse.  Well, my amazingly sweet fiance got me a horse as a surprise for my 30th birthday.  I’ve literally dreamed of having a horse since before I could even say the word “horse,” and had been seriously looking for a couple of months.  I met Sequoia the week before he became mine, thinking I was trying out a lesson horse for my instructor.  The following week when I went to the barn there he was in the stall, and my fiance announced that he was mine.  Shock and surreal don’t begin to cover the overflow of joy I felt.  I cried with joy.  Such a sweet and precious gift.  Sequoia was a 3 year old Appaloosa gelding – cute and goofy and beautiful all in one.  Everyone commented that he was the sweetest horse they’d ever met.  He would follow me around the paddock like a puppy dog, and played with the sheep he lived with.  He was so quiet and level-headed and he trusted me enough to do whatever I asked of him, even though he was just a baby.  Sequoia was my refuge.

A month ago Chris (my fiance) came into my office and told me he had some bad news.  My dad had just called.  He had found Sequoia on the  wrong side of the fence with a very badly broken leg.  There was no sign of struggle or escape – no sign or evidence of anything going wrong.  There was nothing they could do for him. The vet was on his way.  As you can imagine, I was in hysterics.  My father didn’t allow me to see him – he thought it would be too traumatizing for me.  I understood, but the feeling of hopelessness was so intense.  To just sit there knowing Sequoia’s body was out in the cold and dark.

It has been a very hard past month, and I go through periods of grief and blame and anger.  The weekends are especially hard because that’s when I would spend the most time with him.  I enjoyed his company as much on the ground as on his back.  I know it was no one’s fault, and horses are a contradiction of strength and fragility.  We had professional pasture management consultants inspect the fence before we brought him home, and after we lost him, and they say the paddock was 100% safe.  It is hard for me to even look at the field now and just see the sheep – not my beautiful boy.

I’m sorry to bring you such a sad story today, but I just wanted to do it for Sequoia’s sake.  I hadn’t even managed to post about him coming into my life before he died.  He was my first horse and I had him for less than two months.  It’s hard not knowing what went wrong and therefore not knowing what to fix.  It’s hard because I feel like I failed to keep him safe.  I was looking forward to growing with him and all the years we potentially had together.

Remember during the holiday season (and always), to keep your loved ones (both furry and humans) – close.  To be grateful for their health and happiness, and always remember that our time, while a gift,  is not guaranteed, and that all we can do is live in the moment and try to enjoy every precious second.

Thanks to all of you who read this.



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