About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Learning to say goodbye

I'm so sorry to say, that Thursday evening was my own personal Hell....and I'm still here but with the support of so many all around me. Wading through the sick darkness of new knowledge and how to get through it.

The vet appointment to review the xrays were literally black and white; bad news...No, the worst news. Lazarus's coffin bone in his bad leg, his rear right, has gone from shifting bi-laterally which we were stabilizing- to now dropped in a forward severe rotation. There is nerve damage, which has created dead cells...a dying hoof and possible dying bone in his leg. This new rotation is the most severe since the beginning. I couldn't believe it. Could not. I couldn't hear, swallow, or see for a moment.

I literally couldn't breathe.

I felt my whole body drop when I heard the vet say the word "Bad." I didn't think I would lose this battle. I thought I could throw my scraped money and all my love into Lazarus and hopefully have better results, slowly, but positive.

Nature has a different plan.

Things have stopped and shifted. We are no longer able to treat him or put him through anymore. The once hopes of me treating him so he could be rideable once again, quickly shifted to 'can he live a quality life?' and that answer is a devastating 'No.'
I have had since Thursday to attempt to wrap my head around this.
It's my brain versus my heart and as you all know, it's impossible to separate.

Where we are at now, after many discussions with vet/farrier/family is I went ahead and put new heart bar shoes on his feet, and we have Lazarus comfortable on pain meds. His mind, heart, lungs, gut is healthy...but sweet Lazarus has a dying foot/leg and it's catching up to him. It's destroying my boy and destroying my heart. I can't say that this isn't changing me. It's killing me, but I have chosen to take the couple weeks that I have with him, while he is pain free, and enjoy it as much as we can together.

I am so thankful that I still have my sweet Laz and will enjoy our last moments together. I am lucky to have my family in town ironically, and my unbelievably supportive husband and friends, and the amazing BO's too. I am lucky above all, to have had a horse like Lazarus in my life that has forever taught me that the love of a horse is simply amazing.

As for the next couple of weeks, it will be insanely unfair and difficult, but we will get through and we will be with him until his last day, and until that day, he will be so loved.

Lazarus is adjusting to his new shoes and still eating/drinking/rolling and being a loved horse. He will live the remaining days unbelievably spoiled and loved, and the day we have to put him down will be impossible but it will be for his comfort and for the intent of not having him deteriorate anymore, which is coming. I don't want my strong boy to live his life failing and feeling trapped by his dying leg. I want him to enjoy these last couple of weeks healthy (as healthy as he is now) before the worst starts showing and coming and hurting him.

I'm so sorry to report with such awful news as I know so many that have known Lazarus in life, or in this blog, were touched by him. I feel better knowing that his little Bay OTTB has experienced what love and care from an owner, can feel like. He is amazing to me.
Courageous and brave and I need to be the same for him.


  1. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you, and Laz. Remember- he will always be with you, strong, healthy, beautiful, and happy in your heart.

    Sometimes we are lucky enough to meet very, very special horses in our short times here. Our time with those horses are all too short- but they ARE always with us.

    Enjoy your time with him, and know there are quite a few people out here, thinking of you both and praying for you all.

  2. Kristen,

    I have checked your blog all day today to see what the vet said. I am so very sorry. I will keep you and Laz in my prayers. I ache for your pain. He is quite a sweet boy and I know you will do what is right for him. All your blogger friends are out here for you and Laz. He is a stong, courageous boy. Just love him up as long as you can.

  3. I am so, so sorry - he seems like a wonderful horse and you love him so. I felt the very same when I lost my wonderful mare Promise - I only had her for a year and still miss her, but it was more important to give her relief from her pain than to hold on, for her sake.

    Wishing you some moments of joy with Laz, mixed with the pain.

    I wish I were there to give you a hug.

  4. I am so sorry. I know the horrific pain that loosing a horse causes. The worst pain I have ever felt in my life was from loosing a few very special horses. My heart grieves for you.
    But I have to ask: can you get a second opinion?

  5. Oh no. This is so awful. I'm so sorry that his condition is beyond repair. You did so much for him, you've gone to levels so many would never consider. How blessed he is to be so loved, and how wonderful to have had him part of your life.

    I'm so sorry and we'll all keep you and Laz in our hearts.

  6. What a heart breaking decision, I'm so sorry. I wish that loving him would have been enough, because I know how much you do. I hope you can find some comfort in knowing how happy Laz has been with you and that you're doing what's best for him. These are going to be a very tough couple of weeks for you, but I hope you get to make some more special memories with him. Again, I am so sorry to hear this. Laz seems like a truly wonderful horse.

  7. I am so sorry to hear the bad news. You have given Laz a wonderful life and in return he has given you love.

  8. My heart is breaking for you. I can't imagine what you are going through, but I know that it must be heart-wrenching and agonizing. From everything I have read on this blog, it is very clear that you love Laz with your whole heart and I'm sure he's always known that.

    I don't want to give you false hope, but some of the barefoot experts have taken horses from twenty degree rotations to fully sound. Pete Ramey used to go to the auctions and buy all of the horses who had laminitis and were being "thrown away" by their owners because they were told there was no hope. It might be worth a shot to see if one of them could do something.

    Please know that there are many of us thinking of you and Laz. Whatever happens, know that you did absolutely everything you could for him. You've given him love, kindnes, comfort, and friendship. He is a very lucky horse.

  9. I hope the "thrown away" of my previous comment didn't come across wrong -- I worded it like that because those poor horses were sold to auction and could have wound up on a meat truck to the slaughterhouse. I certainly don't think that letting a suffering horse slip away peacefully and painlessly is throwing it away -- it's often the kindest thing we can do for them.
    Just wanted to clarify because I don't want to further upset you -- you've got more than enough on your plate now.

  10. Kristen and Laz,

    My heart is breaking for you, I can not imagine how you are feeling or what you are going through. I will think the strongest positive thoughts for you that I can muster up. I've been checking back all day to see what the vet said. He has had the best life with you, and he loves you with all his heart and soul. I hope that whatever happens, happens with as little pain as possible. I'll keep you in my thoughts, and although I don't pray much I'll try talking to the big guy for you. :)

    Love, Brooke and Denali

  11. No, no, no. I don't want to accept this. I cannot imagine the hell that you are going through right now if even I, thousands of miles away having never met you or Laz, am crying like a baby. It is not fair. It is just so not fair that you as a loving horse owner cannot win against God's will. I am so sorry. I am just so sorry. I wish that there was something I could say or do to make it better. Take advantage of the time you have left with your wonderful, sweet, loving, and very special first horse. You need to get some jewelry made with his tail hair while he is still alive (http://www.horsetailjewelry.com/catalog_pg1.html) (http://www.suzannestorms.com/_Bracelet/Bracelet.htm) (http://www.solenarodesigns.com/). Maybe treat yourself to a fancy photo shoot with the two of you. And get yourself a Photo book of all the good times the two of you had, with the picture of you in green riding him right up front (http://www.myphotoproducts.com/myhoofpics/fpb1.asp?next=fpb2.asp&resellerID=25860&promo=MHP609). Get a piece of pottery with his hair in is (http://www.claypony.com/). And make sure you get a sign you can put somewhere outside (be it at the barn or by where you live) where you can go to remeber him (https://www.ezsignsonline.com/cart/PetMemorial.aspx). Get a painting of him. Get anything and everything that you have ever wanted to get, even if you cannot afford it right now. Save as much of his essence while he is alive because even if it is too painful right now, you will always be grateful that you have it. I wish I had better words to take some of your grief away. I am so sorry. I am just so sorry.

  12. I heard the news on horse and a half and came rushing over here. I've been following your journey as a lurker. I guess I naively believed that everything would work out. You loved him so much and he seemed like such a sweetie pie and a good patient. What a reminder that life is unfair and sometimes we get things that are undeserved!

    Laz is so very lucky to have someone like you - that cares enough to visit him, to spoil him, and to make his life worth living. I think he's going to be unbelievably happy these last few weeks. I know it's going to be hard, but that's what's so wonderful about horses - you and him can be perfectly honest with eachother (which is not always possible with another human).

    I had to put down my first horse and equine soul mate almost a year ago (April 4th) and it was tramatic and sudden. 6 hours after I was notified and took her to the vet, she was dead. I completely understand if you chose not to post about this very personal journey these next few weeks, but if you chose to and need the support, know that your readers are here and we care.

  13. On The Bit passed along your blog today.. I am so sorry for what you have to go through right now. Last year my baby had to be put down after breaking her knee coming out of surgery. I know how hard it is to look at them and say "if i just cover up ur leg, you look fine.." It is hard to see now, but there is a reason for everything.
    Stay strong and enjoy these last moments together
    "To give up legs for the wings of an angel is a fitting gift for a noble friend."

  14. So, sorry sorry to hear this. I am wiping away tears. I can not imagine going through this. My horse has been lame and although the diagnosis at this arthritis, I still have a small part of me that worries it is something more serious and I just don't know it yet. I can not imagine getting such devastating news and trying to sort through the opinions, research, options.... it has to be so overwhelming.
    You have so much love and care for your sweet horse Laz, I can see that in your posts about him. He was blessed to have ended up in your hands for this trial.
    You know, honestly, sometimes, I almost wish I had never gotten a horse. The emotional weight of carrying the responsibility for being the sole owner and caretaker such a magnificent creature is so heavy, and almost too much for me to bear alone. I question if I am strong enough, and certainly wonder how I will ever be able to have children if I am such a baby about a horse! :) Then I weigh the feelings of joy and happiness I get from horse ownership, and it outweighs the struggles.
    Hang in there, I'm sending thoughts and prayers your way.

  15. I'm so sorry to hear that you got such horrible news. Enjoy every second you have left. I lost my pony to an intestinal blockage, and 4 months later, my OTTB to lymphosarcoma. I'd have given anything to have had just a few more happy days with them. It's been over a year now and I'm crying just typing this message. I can't even begin to explain the pain of losing them, but time truly does help, and the support of friends and family in invaluable. Again, I'm so sorry!

  16. I don't know you personally but I have come to know you and Lazarus through this blog. With each tear dropping, I pray for you. May you cherish each and every moment that your first boy has given you. May he enjoy his final hours with you by his side. I am so incredibly sorry. Your love and dedication to Laz has been an inspiration to those of us who follow your writing. Your journey has a purpose, Kristen. Thank you for letting me be a part of it. God bless you.

  17. I just found your blog by way of Mrs. Mom. After reading this, I had to take a couple minutes, go outside and kiss my ponies. I am so sorry to hear about your precious boy. My heart goes out to you.

  18. I am so sorry to hear about your sad news. My heart goes out to you; I will pray that you have some lovely times with Lazarus in the upcoming days. Even without horrible things like colic and laminitis, our times with these amazing animals are simply too short; to have them abbreviated even more is heart-breaking. Kiss that beautiful TB nose for me.

  19. I am sooo sorry. Hang in there and be the best mommy you can be for him. Love him and enjoy every minute. Myprayers are with you.

  20. I don't think I've ever posted a comment here before, which I regret... now my first comment has to be to tell you how sorry I am for your terrible news.
    I do think it is a so good of you to make that decision though. There are people that would let him suffer just so he'd live a bit longer. I think it is a blessing that you have this time together to say goodbye and enjoy each other as much as possible.
    Laz knows he is loved.

  21. There is no way to adequately express to you my deepest sympathies. I cannot fathom the extent to which you heart must be breaking, as mine is breaking for you. I don't think anyone knows love quite as strong as horse lovers but then again, no one knows the pain we do when we lose the ones we love so deeply. My wish for you is that you enjoy your last days together and that you know he appreciates all you have done for him: especially that you had the strength to let him go when he needed to.

  22. Wow, we are honored by all the support.
    Thank you so much.
    I know Lazarus feels the love, for sure, and I feel the support.
    It does make it easier somewhat.
    xo to all my blogger friends out there. Knowing so many of you have gone thru something similar helps ease the torture, that there is light at the end of this.