Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nellie: A Tribute to a Good Friend

Last night we lost an old friend. Nellie was born 28 years ago on a cold, rainy April night. Dangerous knew her mother Molly was about to deliver, so he moved her to a stall at the large animal hospital. Every few hours, Dangerous drove to the clinic to check Molly's progress. For those of you who know horses, you understand how difficult it is to witness an actual birth. According to Dangerous, mares don't like company when delivering their foals, and will try to time the birth when no one is around. After a long sleepless night, Dangerous found a new palomino filly standing on wobbly legs next to her mom early that stormy April morning.

Newborn Nellie and Molly

Dangerous tells me that Nellie was the prettiest horse he ever owned. Even in death, the vet who came last night commented about what good shape she was in at 28, and how pretty she was. I didn't know Nellie until she was probably 22, but even then most everyone who met us on the trail would ask Dangerous about the tall, pretty horse he was riding. Besides being beautiful, Nellie could really travel.

Nellie was a tough old girl who survived a variety of illnesses and injuries during her long life. She suffered from chronic laminitis that affected her most every spring. Nellie was a bit of a pig when it came to tender, green grass, and once she was turned out to graze, she never seemed to get her fill. Her all too noticeable founder crest was a physical testament to her hearty appetite.

Nellie Enjoying the Spring Grass

Well, last night Nellie's luck finally ran out. She couldn't get up after lying down for a nap. Dangerous found her struggling to get to her feet, and knew it was time to call the vet. With the vet's help, she peacefully passed away in the pasture where she spent most of her life. We miss you old girl!


Becca Hatch said...

RIP, Nellie. I remember when she was born, and how excited we all were about the new baby. She had a good life, thanks to you.

Bluester said...

i remember when Jack rode upside down underneath the old girl when his saddle slipped all the way around. Nellie took it all in stride and was careful not to step on Jack's nose. She had a swell life. It's always hard when they leave. Best, Fremont

Jay Banta said...

Taking care of things at the end is part of what we sign on for when we gain such a creatures but it is never easy. I'll bet few horse knew greater trail riding adventures!