Sunday, September 13, 2009

Time to Say Goodbye

As many horse owners know, having to put our trusty steads down is one of the hardest decisions we make as horse owners. Saturday was a doosie for the Back in the Saddle founders. "Handsome Jack", was a rescue horse I adopted the day after mothers day this year. He came to the rescue where I saw him with a body score of 1 and a tired look on his face. I knew Jack had to come home with me, whether he would ever be a great ride or not. He had been left to die in a pasture with his mate, Pike,the least I could do was take him home and try to make it up to him.He needed me- I knew that.
So he came home and he got custom mash made by his little girl, and lots of love and attention. He was 25 year old and quite large. When my vet came out two weeks ago to winterize my herd she said the words I knew I needed to hear. "Jamie, you did a great job rehabbing him- he really looks great. But I have to tell you that I think this winter is going to be really hard on him and the more weight he gains the more uncomfortable his hind end gets". So there it is. I had to say goodbye to my Handsome Jack Saturday morning. Thank god for Deb, she held him when it was time while I sat and cried on the front deck. This is his last picture:
Good Bye Handsome Jack, we will miss you!

In honor of Jack and those oldies but goodies like him, Back in the Saddle is starting a low cost euthanasia clinic. We hope to allow other horse owners of seniors and uncomfortable horses allow their beloveds to pass quietly and with peace. When I called to get an estimate on putting Jack down I was shocked. It was going to cost around $300 for vet and rendering fees. I know how tight my budget is right now and am thankful that I was able to afford it. But that left us thinking, what if we could not afford it? What happens to all the elderly arthritic horses who's owners are not able to afford their peaceful passing?

We are almost there, Janice Pemental has already taken care of the rendering and place to hold our clinic, so now all we need is a vet to donate their time. If you have questions or want to help, please email me at or click here. We are asking for donations for this program, we would like to be able to cover any cost the owners can not.

Our first clinic will be held in Livermore, where we will be able to reach many horse owners in need of some assistance. Back in the Saddle wants to help all horse owners, and we feel that this another way to do so. Please help us help them!


  1. God bless you Deb for knowing when it is time. It's hard to do but as my daughter learned for the first time last September, losing her first pony, you have to think of the horses and not your own grief. They always let you know when it's time but you have to be able to hear it. RIP Handsome Jack! At least you had love when you left and a full belly!

  2. RIP- Handsome Jack

    Know now that you will no longer feel the pain, your body made you suffer through.

    May the horses all rest assured, those around them wish only for better days for us all.

    RIP- Pi & Dooley.

    The two we put down in July.