Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Year Since Saying Goodbye

It's been a year since I let Shaunti go. I say "let him go" with some conviction...or at least with a lot more than I had at the time. With a year to reflect, and year to separate my emotion from the reality of the choice I made, it is much easier to look back and see that my sweet ol'man, my Shaunti, was ready to go. I still have doubts, I still feel a sharp pang in my heart when I think of stomach still twists with a guilt that is deaf to reason; an indecision, and an insecurity deaf to the validation of friends and family...

The thought of him still hurts enough that I cant write this without shedding a few tears. Both he, and the responsibilty of him, was mine alone. It was my decision to put down a relatively healthy animal for the sake of his own emotional welfare and the safety of those around him. And as such, it is on my conscience that his death rests. There are those who knew him that disagreed with my decision. Their doubts fed, and continue to feed my own. But the opinion of those whom I trust, the advice of the best horsemen I know was unanimously in support of the decision I finally made. I must make some peace with my some point.

It's been a year since I said goodbye to a gelding who stole my heart.

I pray he rests in peace.


  1. Chelsi the plain and simple truth is that there are people who NEVER think its ok to put down a horse. Even a horse that is in obvious physical pain or condition.
    IMO these people are selfish. They don't want that on their conscious.
    Shaunti may have been physically ok, but he definitely wasn't ok in his mind. For his sake, as well as the people around him, I agree with your decision. We talked about this through e-mail and I know you didn't come to your decision lightly. You agonized over it and searched yourself over and over.
    You did the right thing for Shaunti Chels and that's what matters.

  2. Being a horse owner brings responsibility. Sometimes being responsibly stinks.

    Sometimes opinionated people stink too! (Upon the advice of the vet I had put down my superstar gelding - and people still gave me grief about it.)

    And sometimes life is just a lose-lose situation.

    Best wishes.

  3. We all have to do what we think is best for the horse and people around him. I'm sure you thought about this and made the decision you thought was best all around. Don't second guess yourself now and don't let others cloud your decision. You did what you felt you had to do for the good of everyone involved.

  4. I remember how you agonized about the decision. Don't let other people steal your confidence and peace of mind. You did what was right for Shaunti.

  5. Isn't that the bummer part of having a concience? Darned if you don't, darned if you do when it comes to decisions of life and death.

    The thing is, this is a new era for horse owners. Lots of people are having to make the decision to put to sleep horses that a few years ago no one would have ever contemplated putting to sleep. They aren't necessarily old, crippled or even emotionally damaged. But they can't afford to keep them, they have too many or they are simply done feeding and caring for horses that have no real purpose. The only other option is to dump them on the market, which of course no one who gives a crap wants to do(besides the fact that they are worth very little to haul to a sale).

    At least with Shaunti you understood his options were very limited and was not willing to take the chance that either he would come to a bad end or he would/could seriously hurt someone.

  6. It's always one of the hardest decisions to decide to let an animal free from pain and suffering while also taking them from our daily lives. But as you said you know you did the right thing. I think it will always hurt when we lose a loved animal, a member of our family, and most times a best friend. I know this is something that I think about when it comes to my own animals and know that I will be in that position at some point. But we do have the luxury of pictues, videos and ofcourse cherished memories of our beloved animals and I guess that could be seen as a comfort in it's own. My thoughts are out to you and hoping you can make it through this difficult time.

  7. He IS resting in peace...I believe you did the right thing. A healthy animal physically, doesn't mean he/she is healthy mentally. For the whole to be well, all the parts must be healthy. One without the other is incomplete. You did the right thing for him!

  8. ((HUGS))

    Part of me feels awful for having such a great day with Casey today while you were in pain.

    You did the right thing, Chelsi. I admire you for that. In some ways, you are braver and stronger than I imagine I would be.

  9. Chelsi~ I have often read your blog and happened to see this post. I didn't know anything about what happened so I went back and read your post about him. I know that the guilt is something that must be tearing you up because I know from reading some of your past posts that you love horses and value and respect them as well. So having said all of that I just wanted to say I commend you for the decision you made, it was the right decision and for these people that try to tell you different well they just don't have a horse heart or the compassion that you have..

    I'm so sorry that you have gone through this, but I am glad that you as a responsible horse owner made the right choice and probably saved someones life..

  10. Can't believe it's been a year....thinking of you today! (((((HUGS))))

  11. I don't know the story of Shaunti, but it sure sounds like you have a lot of support around these parts. Hope you got through the anniversary of your loss without too much self doubt. Just remember: it's always easy to dispense advice when you're not the one dealing with the problem. Take the critics with a grain of salt, and consider that you gave them something to feel important about for a few minutes.. =)

  12. He was the most handsome gelding and sounded like a great horse. We have a mare that we are going to try to ride this year. He has foundered, only in one hoof. Weird, I know. But true by xrays. It's just a slight rotation. But if she can't stay sound enough for the kids to ride her then we are going to make a similar decision. We just can't have her in pain and we can't have her just sitting out in a pasture doing nothing. She will be 15 in January and we have had her since she was 1. So, it will be hard, I have my fingers crossed for a sound horse!

  13. Wow. It's been a year? Is this blogging thing making time fly by even faster...or I am I just old? gah!

    I'm so sorry you're still struggling to put the past behind you and give yourself some peace, Chelsi. It was a tough decision, and one that only you can understand how difficult, and how important it was and how painful it was. All we can do is support you in your decision and tell you that, with time, peace will come.

    (((HUGS))) for you,