For over 30 years I have owned horses but the last 5 months have been the worst.

For over 30 years I have owned horses. For a good part of that time I have trained them as a profession. In that time I have not experienced the death of a horse often. My first horse, pony actually, was 16 when I got her. She died at 32 and it was not unexpected at her age.

Then I got off pretty easy until the last five months. Two years ago we did have a foal die. It was hard with such a young promising life but again I realized that with the number of horses I have owned, trained and loved I should be prepared for things like this.

But the last five months have been crushing. In December my first horse, Bay, who again was 30 years old (so it was not sudden and unexpected) had to be put down.

And then in February, Roxy. I know I didn’t own her but we did have a special relationship. It was sudden and shocking.

Roxy and Stacy Westfall Equine Affaire

And now Vaquero. I walked into the vet clinic guessing I would not have a show horse anymore but also thinking he would easily be a pasture pet for the rest of his life. Now his stall is empty. Roxy wasn’t here with me when she died. She had been at Greg’s house for a couple of years so although I was shocked there was no empty stall.

There is an empty stall now.

Misty and Bay were old and it was expected and both were at my moms

house. Roxy was shocking and her stall was at Greg’s.

If I didn’t already have horses, like Popcorn, that I have a relationship with I don’t think I would even go to the barn.

I know many of you out there know what I am talking about. I know others have felt this loss and had to look at the empty stall. That also tells me that you understand how hard the last 5 months have been. Thank you for supporting me and putting up with my sad blog posts:(

Thank you Maria for sharing this:

I’ll lend you for a little while my grandest foal, He said.
for you to love while he’s alive and mourn when he is dead.
It may be one or twenty years, or days or months, you see,
but will you, till I take him back, take care of him for me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you, and should his stay be brief,
you’ll have treasured memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
but there are lessons taught on earth I want this foal to learn.
I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes, with trust, I’ve chosen you.
Now will you give him total love, not think the labor vain,
nor hate me when I come here to take him back again?
I know you’ll give him tenderness and love will bloom each day,
and for the happiness you’ve known, forever grateful stay
But should I come and call for him much sooner than you’d planned,
you’ll brave the bitter grief that comes, and someday, understand.

159 Comments

  1. Lina on July 8, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Hi stacy

    I want to share with you a poem that has been very comforting to me. It´s also a reminder that we must cherish and learn from the friends we have in our lives right now.
    The poem is really about people but I think it also applies to our animals.

    When somone comes into yor life…

    People come into your path for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
    When you know which one it is, you will know what to do with that person.
    When someone is in your life for a REASON it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

    They have come to assist you through a dificulty…
    To provide you with guidance and support…
    To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually…
    They may seem like they are a godsend, and they are.
    They are there for the reason you need them to be.

    Then without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
    Sometimes they die…
    Sometimes they walk away…
    Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand….
    What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled…
    Their work is done.
    The prayer you sent up has now been answered and now it is time to move on.

    Some people come into your life for a SEASON.
    Because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
    They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
    They may teach you something you have never done.
    They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
    Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

    LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons.
    Things you must build upon to have a solid emotional foundation.
    Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
    It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant.

    Thank you for being a part of my life…
    Whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime

    Regards Lina

  2. David Hatten on July 3, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Staci

    My heart goes out to you for the loss of both of your precious horses. For many of us, animals are a part of our family and the loss of one of them hurts just like losing a family member.

    As you go through this period of grief, focus on the great memories you have of them and then look forward to the next horse that God will give you to love. There is another horse out there that needs the love that only you will be able to give them. God is preparing you and the horse for each other. Even though this new one will not replace the other two he will be so unique in his own way and he will consume your heart just as the others did.

    Mourn…be strong. God’s horse is waiting for you.

    David Hatten

  3. Maureen Johnson on July 2, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    i am so very sorry for the loss of such an amazing natural and connected partnership. I’ve experienced such loss and know the depth ………………..

  4. Priscilla Brown on June 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    It saddens me to read of your loss and opens old wounds of my own. The special love and bond one can have with their companion, their buddy and yes an ear when you are sad. So sorry for your loss. Great videos of Vaquero playing with his buddies in the mud, great memories you will always have of him. My tears and prayers are with you.

  5. Jody Brittain on May 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Very beautiful poem! Send hugs, and prayers your way.

  6. Helen Chamberlain on May 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    While reading these blogs of all the incredible horses that we have been blessed with… I spend everyday being thankful for the horses that are in my barn !! Vaquero was truely special !! When they are gone we think that that hurt will never stop… but thankfully… the love never ends !! Life renews !!

  7. Erin/IAm on May 12, 2012 at 8:17 am

    The poem is beautiful…thanks for sharing that.
    My heart goes out to you and your family. I was once told that when we leave here, our human connects come to greet us, but are usually ‘run over’ by our animal connects…Always makes me giggle picturing us horsie folk passing on with a stampede parade of 4-leggeds who went before us…horses, cats, dogs…ya know we’ve got/had them all!:) Our human angels better make lots of room for our brood of critter greeters, huh?

    Every now & then, a warm snort will cross your cheek or hand, or you’ll feel a ‘lean’ on your shoulder…They are there.:)

    Sendin’ the Love to All…All Ways & Always!

  8. abbey good on May 12, 2012 at 6:31 am

    so sorry for your loss.. 🙁 your so lucky you still have popcorn and a stable full of horses. I recently lost my horse too, and i miss him so much. The problem is, my stable is empty now. No sweet horses like popcorn to cuddle with. Always be thankful for every single horse you have, and i know you are, and seeing how much you love them all just makes me so happy. <3

  9. Connie on May 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I am very sorry to hear of your loss. I have lost three of my babies this year. One expected and two shocks. The emptiness is horrible even though I have others. It
    will get better. We will move on. And someday if we are the people our pets think we are we will be together with them again. If you do not already know the poem search “Rainbow Bridge”.

  10. janelittledeer on May 10, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Very sad. I feel your pain. May you have comfort in the knowledge that everlasting life is just begining now for your beloved horse! He will send you “signs” from the other side! Be open to them! You will know in your heart when you experience these signs. Love lives on forever. One day we will be together again…in a perfect forever after! Blessings and healing energy! <3

  11. Theresa Carey on May 9, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    That poem is the most comforting thing I have ever heard. I keep re-reading it, and cry every time. But, it is a healing cry, thinking of not only your loss, but, my own from the past. Thanks for sharing. I hope you heal quickly and continue to enrich the lives of horses and people without hesitating to love completely (and risk losing again). Praying for you, and those effected by this loss.

  12. lindakaplan on May 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    On losing those we love – We’ve all been there or will be if we are fortunate to live long enough. Living is hard .Losing a loving friend and companion, harder. Stay strong.

  13. Wendy Stommel on May 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Stacy,,, I know how you feel!! When I had to put my mare down 20 years ago,, it broke my heart!! I stopped riding all together and stopped going to the barn. I now wish that I stayed involved with horses!!! Over the past 2 years I became involved with Freemdom Hill Horse rescue and now Lilly Pond Foal Rescue in Maryland. I adopted 2 horses from Freedom Hill and 1 from Lilly Pond Foal Rescue! I know one day I will have to face that type of heart ache again! However life and horses do go on!! You are an amazing rider and your horses need you!! My mom always says Everything happens for a reason!! We may not know why at the time and we may never know!! I walked away 20 years ago and I now wish I had forced myself to ride again back then!! Trust me when I say “stay involved”!! Your other horses need you and you need to continue to ride!!! Your other buddies crossed the rainbow bridge and are now running and playing in green pastures, pain free!!! You are a huge inspiration to me and I am sure many others!!! Be strong and as they say,, when you fall off that horse get right back up and ride!!!! Many thoughts and prayers are with you!!! Wendy

  14. mirjam bauer on May 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Dear Stacey,
    My friends and I just had the privilege in seeing you in Ohio at the horse Expo. When my friend called me today to share the news about Vaquero, I was shocked. I watched the video on your blog and cried my eyes out, not only for you but for myself. This past March, on my birthday I had to put down one of my horses. He was 26 with health issues so it was no surprise but he also was my baby. I swear you can never prepare yourself for such a moment. My heart goes out to you!! I am so sorry for your loss and wish you all the strength in the world.

  15. Vickie on May 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Like so many others have said so well, my heart goes out to you. You and your horses have been such an inspiration to me and if you even get one tiny bit of the easing of your pain from all these posts it will be just the tip of the iceberg of what you have given us. Losing a horse leaves a very large hole in one’s life that only time can start to close…. take care, Stacy, and know that you have many many people wishing the best for you.

    • Stacy on May 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      They do help. Really, they do. Thank you everyone.

  16. Lisa and Boomse (MI Percheron in training) on May 9, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Those of us horse (animal) people know all too well, Gretchen Jackson, Barbaro’s owner said it well, “grief is the price of love”. You were blessed to have horses like this in your life and indeed what you showed to the world with Vaquero and Roxy (and Popcorn) are the hoofprints they have left on our hearts too. I do thank the media age and my DVD collection, since you and their beauty will live on. It is a bit heart wrenching what songs you happened to have picked for their standout bridleless performances. A divine hand, perhaps?

  17. Missie on May 9, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I’m so sorry Stacey. It’s the burden we take on ourselves when we care for a being with a live expectancy less than ours.

  18. Bonnie Kalmar on May 9, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I am so sorry for all of this! I had a bad year like this when I was 15 – I lost my first horse, my mother, & my dog in a span of 5 months. It was so painful. It’s true that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger… but geez, it’s not very much fun going through the process. The beauty of this is that there are horses that are waiting to be great, and if there is any horsewoman who can do it, it’s YOU, Stacey Westfall! Not all people have your gift! When you finally fill that empty stall, it will be with a great one because YOU are a great one. Good luck going through the grief process and post all the sappy blogs you would like. We are hear to listen!

  19. Dee on May 9, 2012 at 8:26 am

    So sorry you are going through this. I have lost two horses unexpectedly in the last couple of years. It’s amazing how huge a hole a horse can leave behind. I’ve lost many, many dogs and cats over the years, but although well loved, the loss can’t compare with that of a horse…

  20. Andy on May 9, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Stacy I too have had the heavy heart of an empty stall all too often. I have buried 4 of my old friends, and that empty stall is gut wrenching. My stall bothered me so much, it was the first stall upon entering the barn, that I took it down and parked the lawn mower there.

    I couldn’t keep looking for that sweet face and welcoming nicker…. so I tore it down.

    My heart goes out to you and your recent loss… you have suffered so much loss of late. But you must know you did all you could, and you gave him the diginty and respect he deserved in the end.

    Hugs to you and yours.

  21. Tracy Chapman on May 9, 2012 at 7:56 am

    My heart is breaking with you Stacy. It has been hard reading your blog this past week and a bit but I can only imagine how much pain you are feeling in real life…..The horses you have had and lost are richer for having you in their lives as a teacher, carer and passenger. It is clear they were loved, respected, cared for and safe….I can only guess that their last moments – although sad – were delivered with kindness and love. I have loved and lost too many animals in this life of 45years…Each one of them has not been easy to let go but I am the richer for having them there for their time, no matter how short and they have all died peacefully and respectfully with all the love I could muster. It is lovely to see such honest and pure emotion….You write as you ride – with grace, honesty and beauty. You know that your raw emotions will come to pass but it will NEVER take away the time you shared with your horses and you are a richer person for that….We all are…..

  22. Breeanna Markowitz on May 9, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Stacy you are my role model and my idol of the horse world. I met you for the first time at equine affair this past month and I was so excited and still am every time I look at my poster of Roxy on my wall that you signed. “Ride with faith” every time i go into the arena, and even every time I get on one of my two horses i think of that and that’s exactly what i do. I know what it’s like to go through the loss of a horse, i lost what i considered my first horse (she wasn’t my first but the first i had to work in order to pay for and the horse i learned everything on) a year and 3 months ago. I lost her Feb 23 due to colic. it was a heartbreaking experience and a lady at my barn who recently brought home a rescue (long story) told my best friend’s mom who’s house i boarded at that if i lost Barbie she would give me Carmella. All i kept thinking was i don’t care if Barbie can never show again, i don’t care if she can never be ridden again, all i want is to be able to go in the barn and her to be there for me when i’m having a bad day. the next morning my dad and i decided it was best for her to put her down. i ended up getting that horse, she was 8 and never taught to do anything but walk (and even that was difficult) i have had her a year and almost 2 months now and she has come a long long way. she’s taught me so much because i trained her myself (unlike barbie). i now have an english horse that i got for christmas who was off the track. he’s the most loving and caring horse i have probably ever seen. Good does come from tragic things, though i lost the horse who i thought would be the only horse i would ever love my entire life, i gained 2 amazing horses who surprise me more and more every single day. I still think of barbie every day, and I don’t think that will ever change, but I remember the good times and I see a little of her in my two horses and that keeps me going.

  23. Heather on May 9, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Did varaque have to be put down? I am so sorry for the last 5 months. Best wishes to you and your family. I know how much you loved your horses and am so sorry…:(

  24. nldperformance on May 9, 2012 at 12:48 am

    So sorry for your loss! Its been a tough year for everyone! It can only get better from here!

  25. Anne Goddard on May 9, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Blessings to you and angels guide your path. . .so very sorry you have lost your beloved horses. . .

  26. Vicky on May 8, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Stacy, I am so sorry to hear this sad news. It has been a very hard few months for you I know. Take the time you need to heal. You know that even though it hurts when they leave, if you hadn’t had them in your life there would have been a larger empty spot in your heart. The loss we feel when they are taken away just shows how much love was there when they were here. Hugs to you!! He is in a better place now where he can run with his friends and be free of pain. We will all meet him, Roxy and Bay some day. .

  27. Angie on May 8, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    How heartbreaking! Last year I lost my 14-year-old equine friend after a 4-month battle with an infection. It was my first experience losing a horse. I felt so helpless. I had done everything I could, but it wasn’t enough. Thankfully I had another horse that I could focus my attention on. Some days it really helped just to have another horse to throw my arms around. At least you have Popcorn to help you through your saddness. My heart goes out to you.

  28. Mary on May 8, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Glad to hear your heart has not hardened. Sorry to hear about all of the loss. The great thing about going to the barn is there is always someone who will listen.

  29. Gwen on May 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    My heart aches for you. I can’t even imagine having so many horrible losses in such a short time. Even the pain of losing them one at a time has been enough for me to consider giving up them all together at least once. I pray that the pain will lighten for you over time, and that you can go years without losing another partner and friend.

    I am a firm believer that God intends for us to learn from every person and every experience He brings into our lives, including those with our horses. May you always remember what you learned from them and the joy they brought to you before the pain.

    As you struggle on those difficult days, remember also how many others have also learned from you and your amazing horses. I had the pleasure of taking my 10 year old daughter to see you at Equine Affaire. To be honest, I had to drag her away from the barrel racers to attend your session but I really wanted to see you. In then end she was the one laughing the hardest at your stories and hanging on your every word. You changed a life that day, you really did. You have inspired her so much, that when she was given an assignment at school this week to do a report on a famous Ohioan, she chose you. Know that you make a difference. You really do. To her, it wasn’t your amazing ride on Roxy, or your stellar reputation, that captivated her – it was the fact that you were a normal everyday kid like her who made her dreams come true. So, thank you. Thank you for not giving up and making that painful trip past his empty stall so that you can continue not only to teach us but to inspire us to dream bigger and work harder. We feel your pain and pray your load lightens soon. 🙁

    • Stacy on May 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      From a kid who is living her dream, thank you for this reminder. Say ‘hi’ to your daughter for me…I used to barrel race too!

  30. Jan Eiler on May 8, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Stacy, I am so sorry for your losses. It seems most everything has already been said in the notes before. I too, have lost some of my best “friends”, some of them were older, my golden mare was 20, and some were younger, however it always hurt. My father-in-law told me “It is better to have a death outside the home than in the home”. He was a farmer for many years and always had animals on the farm, he started farming with horses, and he had a dairy herd. Although I still felt bad and hurt inside, it made me stop and thank the Lord that my family was safe. In that way, I could find some peace. Friends, i.e. horses, dogs come and go through our lives, but family is forever. I know you grieve your losses, but thank the Lord you have your beautiful family with you and give your boys hugs. Family love will help you through this. My prayers are with you and yours!

    • Stacy on May 10, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      My husband kept saying that too. It is true, I don’t even want to imagine losing a child.

  31. Marilyn Coussoule on May 8, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    So so sorry for your loss, Stacy. You and your horse friends have been such a wonderful inspiration, it’s hard to see such tragedy. I hope your memories and the love of the horse community helps some. We all cry with you.

  32. Bonnie Daines on May 8, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    To live in the hearts of those we love is not to die. … God Bless

  33. sweetlillena on May 8, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    We all mourn with you for these great horses. Thanks for sharing them with us. This post was moving to me as an equine veterinarian and horse owner. I remember a quote from Pete Kyle’s website-“Savor the memories”.

  34. Nancy Mcmillan on May 8, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    So sorry for your losses. It is hard to lose a partner, someone who listened to you when nobody else would, the ones that fulfilled your dreams or promised a bright future. They were there for you and made your day brighter. Although you are griveing now, just ask yourself, would your life be better if your paths had never crossed. You know the answer. Keep that thought close, it will help you to remember all the good things.

  35. helen mausecz victoria australia on May 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I have had to give 3 of my horses the “green dream” and each time they looked deep into my eyes with such love and the question “do you love me enough to let me go ” the answer had to be yes because otherwise I would be wanting them to stay because of me and that would be purely selfish.I still shed tears over them the most recent was my old man Raf AND AT 38 I guess you could say his time had comeand even though the decision is hard when they look at you with such trust and love and ask that question with their eyes how can the answer be no .Heaven has a fabulous herdno two ways about it ! .The prayer of St Francis is Lord help me to accept the things I cannot change……..Courage to change yhe things I can and wisdom to know the the difference .Stacey you certainly had this courage for trying and the wisdom to make the right decision ,from many miles away you are in my thoughts and prayers in this time of grief

  36. Amy O'Connor on May 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    My heart breaks for you Stacy. Loss is never truly expected, only known. Thank you for sharing your beautiful horses and your wonderful talent with us for so many years. I wish it could have been longer for Vaquero, but he had a lovely life with you and will be forever remembered in the hearts of many. God Bless You.

  37. Dawn Pohl on May 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Stacy, sorry for your loss. I truly understand the sadness. When we lost Whizard Jac I was not able to go to the barn for a year. I was so lucky to have a sweet partner (my husband) to go take care of things out there. But not a day goes by that I don’t miss him. He is buried by my studio so I nod to him each day when I head out there to work/play. Dawn

    • Helen Chamberlain on May 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      Dawn, while reading these blogs of all the special horses that we have been blessed with… I spend everyday being thankful for the mare that is in my barn !! My Whizard Jac mare that I bought from you !! Beautiful Lil Whiz… love her so much it scares me !! Vaquero was truely special… like Whizard Jac !! When they are gone we think that that hurt will never stop… but thankfully… the love never ends !! Life renews !!

  38. Jan Bradbury on May 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Not much left to say; others have said it so well, so many different ways. It just seems important for you to know our hearts ache with your loss, reminded of so many of our own. The price is high, and it doesn’t seem fair they age so much faster than we do, let alone to lose them so early or in their prime. It is the price we willingly pay over and over, for the wonder, pleasure and love that God packs into a horse for us. God is good, and He will see you through, Stacy.

  39. Karen on May 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I’m so so sad to hear what has happened. I watched you at Equine Affaire with him. I have been following your posts and when I read yesterday’s, I cried with you. I pray God give you the strength to endure. Grieving is important. It surely gives me a different perspective as I go out to my barn… God Bless.. Your fellow mounted shooting friend, Karen

  40. Micayla on May 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I believe that with the bad, a greater good is coming. Sometimes we have to lose the most important things in our life in order to re-evalute things. But with God’s grace, a greater love & good always comes out of dark times. I will be praying for courage and faith for you, Stacey. You have encouraged me without words to start training a mustang cross mare that was becoming dangerous because I wanted what you & Roxy had. Chica is no registered horse but she has more heart than 1,000’s of horses I’ve met. She helped me heal when I lost my papa just several months back and it’s amazing to have people tell me that they didn’t expect a 16 yr old girl that could tip the scales at 90lbs soaking wet have such a bond with a horse. Thank you for encouraging me to try working with Chica. I hope that brighter things are coming for you. <3

  41. twodoglady on May 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    The poem leaves a message…….to continue to love, to go forward, to look back with enjoyment and also sorrow. You Stacey are made of flexible willow, you will remember and you will hurt for a time be it long or short. You will face the empty stall, you will at some point put another in that stall. You will carry on the legacy of Roxy and Vaquero…….because even though these friends are gone you will not be sad because they are over, you will smile because they happened to you and you have the skill, ability and talent to begin again. That is what life is…….this is the season for mouring, but this too shall pass and you will feel whole again. As you have told us all, Smile, because it happened. I will pray for courage and strength, for comfort and steadfast faith, that soon you will be able to move forward.

  42. Ralf Schulz on May 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    stacy we love you! thanks for your help and inspiration!!Don`t give up!!god bless you!!!

  43. Jackie Turnbull on May 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    My heart breaks for you Stacy over the loss you have suffered this year of your 2 great horses. Having trained horses most of my life and make my living with them as you do, I understand the emptiness that is left in the stall and your heart. The Lord blessed you with talent and wonderful horses to express your God given gift with and he will continue to do so. I know you know this and will take the time to morn and find solace in knowing what a blessing you have had and will have again in the future. Thank you for sharing your experience and thus helping others who will ride down that path.

  44. MyDorena on May 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Someone used to tell me that whenever any being, human or animal, dies, they all get to the same heaven. They are all free to go wherever they please and when you die, those who have been special to you and to whom you have been special, they’ll willingly come to you and stay with you forever.

    So, don’t look back at the empty stalls but look forward to seeing them all again one day

  45. Annie Conn on May 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I am so sorry for your losses, Stacy. We horse people know actually what you mean and are so touched by your honestly through these tough times. We all know there are no words that can really help. But death is a transformation we all know you will transform this in to something beautiful. You and your horses are in my thoughts.

  46. Elaine Gray on May 8, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    So sorry for your loss Stacy. Such a hard decision to make but you found the courage to do the right thing by him. My thoughts are with you. Elaine Gray, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. x

  47. Jeanette Rodriguez on May 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss Stacey. I have been there. Vaquero will Never be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  48. Tina Karlen on May 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Stacy, I am so sorry for your losses, and yes, I have walked that mile in your shoes, and it is never easy. You are so right about the empty stall being the hardest thing to face, and how the other horses that need and love you can help to get past the pain.

    I wanted to share this, even if it makes me cry every time I read it.

    and he looked deep into my eyes
    and he said YOU have always been the center of my universe, I have loved YOU always.

    I pressed my head into his and assured him that I was here as I had always been here.

    and he looked deep into my heart
    and he asked me “How much do you love me?”
    and I stroked his face smoothing closed his eyes and I replied
    “With all my heart”

    and then, he looked deep into my soul
    and he asked me
    “Do you love me enough to let me go?”
    And I held him close and replied softly…………….. YES.

  49. Linda Mason on May 8, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    As devastated as I was to hear the news, and as I sit here crying…. I cannot imagine the pain you are feeling. I’m praying for you, for you to have peace. Over the rainbow…. we’ll meet again.

  50. Holli on May 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Our old show gelding coliced and had to be put down a little over a month ago. It was devastating. I refrained from telling my non-horse friends how difficult the loss has been, because, honestly, they wouldn’t understand.

    It is reassuring to know that I am not the only one that mourns the loss of our horses so deeply and truly.

    I will share with you what my dad said when we had to put our gelding down. “If you never have something, you never lose anything.”

    • Stacy on May 8, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      I’m adding that to my collection of quotes.

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