We had Tianamen put to sleep yesterday. He was 28 years old and tired. His teeth were failing him, his back hurt and he struggled with his hind legs. As sad as it was to see him go, it is nice to know he is finally resting.
Having any animal put to sleep is always a hard choice, but I feel it is our responsibility towards the animal in our care. People often say “Oh how can you do that?” and “How can you even watch?” but it is also our responsibility to be there till the very end. Not just in good times, but also in bad… As a thank you for the service / love / generosity / memories etc that they have given you throughout their life.
With euthanasia, I know where the horse has ended up. I am not forever worrying where the horse has ended up. Unfortunately it has happened too often where a horse is found a ‘home’ and later on, found starving to death or mistreated. Sometimes death is a better option for the animal. I know I would not want to starve to death or wait out my days suffering and in pain, confined to a small box!
Tianamen was one of the old stalwarts. He was from the same era as Cannon, Woody, Maspadu and all those other riding school horses that have passed on. I remember watching him 17 years ago and he was a handful. Maxine, his rider and trainer then, was patient and brave!
In his old age, he mellowed and taught many people how to ride. Tianamen was a great riding school horse and one we will miss with all our hearts. Now he can enjoy the rest he so deserves.