By Plaid Horse Intern Olivia Ferro (Age 13)
The most difficult thing about the horse world, unarguably speaking, is losing a pony or horse that is near to you. When a horse passes, it is very hard to deal with grief, but it is more possible than it seems.
If your horse is sold, it is much easier because you know the horse is helping another person become a better rider. One of the best ways to deal with grief is talking about it. When I lost my short stirrup pony Rowfantina Maze or “Mazey”, I was devastated. I often talked to my parents and friends about how special she was and still is to me, and this helped me get through a lot of tough times.
Another great way to deal with a loss is knowing if your horse became diseased or passed of old age, it is not your fault. For a long time after Mazey passed, I thought I could have been there or done something to prevent it from happening, but now I know that no matter what happened, I could not have done anything. She was old and she became sick from a virus known as peritonitis.
One thing I did after Mazey passed on is that I found a picture of Mazey in a frame and I put it on my dresser, I surrounded it with small white horse figurines. Whenever I am feeling down about anything I look at it and think about all of the good times we have had together, this always makes me smile. Treasuring memories always helps when a horse is lost; it can help you remember how much that horse or pony has truly taught you throughout your relationship. Mazey was also buried at our farm.
For my first Christmas without Mazey I put a wreath on the fence by where she was buried and I now visit there often when I need a place to think. Knowing that your horse or pony is still near you is always helpful. Soon after Mazey passed on, I was given a small leather, pink and blue bracelet with a brass snap that had her name carved in it. I attached her bridle tag to it and vowed that I would never take it off. This way I knew that she would always be with me wherever I went. After a few years, the bracelet fell apart. I got a new one and put the bridle tag on the new bracelet. It is also good to have something to carry with you so you know that you have something to remember them by.
I know that nobody could ever forget a pony that is near to you, but it is nice to have something special. Pictures are also one of the best way to treasure memories. Pictures help seal the moments with your horse or pony. If it is a picture of you riding your horse, or you kissing or hugging your horse, or pictures of you smiling with your horse, or even just of your horse or pony in his or her paddock, they are all worth looking back on. Every moment with your horse is precious, no matter what. That is all you need to remember to get through the pain of losing a loved horse.