Wednesday, September 7, 2016

They always break your heart

I had to say goodbye to another original horse a couple weeks ago. Jazz and Grady were my first two horses and they will always hold that special heart horse spot for me.

I sold Jazz a couple years ago to a really nice family that had a young girl wanting to do 4-H. Jazz had been leased for a couple years before that since I was in school and riding Jetta, not having time for Jazz especially since she needed a more laid back kind of life in her old age.

I started the blog after I started undergrad, so I haven't written a ton about Jazz, but she fueled my love of Appendix QH's after Grady sparked that love. She literally did everything. We did hunters, we evented, we ran barrels and poles, we did dressage, we did western and english pleasure, we did trail, we rode on the beach and trails. She ponied all my babies, she helped me pass my Level 2 in Parelli, we rode bareback and bridleless, I ground drove her (never actually got a cart though), I taught countless beginner lessons on her. She was the horse that got me into dressage in the first place.

She was never a cuddly horse, didn't particularly enjoy being groomed and when I first got her, I really didn't like her. My trainer was the one that convinced my parents to get her for me as my show horse since Grady didn't quite have it in him to be the competitive all-around horse that I wanted. But I was so lucky to have her.

All about those carrots

Grady, Jazz and Tux all together
Her owners messaged me a couple days before I left for my trip saying that they were planning on putting her down the coming week. She'd been lame for a while and it kept getting worse and worse. The vet and chiropractor had no answers and she was on a double dose of pain meds, but still hurting. They thought maybe she had bone cancer. Luckily I was able to drive up and say goodbye. It was hard, saying goodbye is never easy, even when she hadn't been "my" horse for years. I think the worst part was knowing she was in pain and that I couldn't fix it, even after all she'd done for me.

She was still not cuddly, though she ate her 5 pounds of carrots with gusto. We spent a little over an hour with her, just giving her carrots, scritches and kisses. She still looked pretty good, though supposedly she'd been steadily losing weight. I could have spent all day just sitting in the pasture with her, so it was hard to leave her to make the 2-hour drive back home. I kissed her and held her head in my arms, even though she has always disliked that, she at least tolerated it for me. I asked her to give Grady a nuzzle from me, they always were the two horses that seemed best suited together. One of the hardest things after putting Grady down was bringing Jazz home from a lessor and turning her out in the pasture and watching her whinny and trot around looking for Grady. He was the constant in both of our lives.

Horses always break your heart. Even after 13 years of Jazz being in my life, it's still not long enough. I'm really glad she's not in pain any more, but that doesn't make saying goodbye any easier.


"Treats, not kisses, go here"


  1. :'( Never ease to lose them, but glad her owners took good care of her right up to the end.

  2. I'm sorry for your loss :( sounds like she had a pretty incredible life though!

  3. What a super horse and wonderful memories! Thoughts are with you as we all know how very hard it is to say goodbye.

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss but glad you had so many years together and that you were able to say goodbye.

  5. A lovely tribute to a fine mare. Looks like you two made the most of your time together. So sorry for your loss.

  6. Aw, sorry to hear this. I always loved reading your stories about her.

  7. So sorry for your loss. She was such a pretty, striking horse.