Laz is in heaven.
If there is a heaven, he is surely in it, swishing his tail and mowing down plush Spring grasses that hopefully tickle his fat shiny Blood Bay belly.
I hope he has full function of all four legs and is able to reach his sides with his neck and mouth to itch them. Something he didn't have for many years of his post racing, arthritic life.
Laz, you were the best boy.
You had innate kindness and wisdom in you. You would spook in place. One of my favorite traits. You would stop, analyze and then we would take our time to consider what it was. Such a smart and alert boy. Curious and brave, we enjoyed most of our time just field hacking or when lucky with time and soundness, to enjoy a long trail ride. You were a water baby who loved puddles and splashing in the river and even tried to roll with me which was hysterical.
You were never a naughty bad boy. EVER. If anything seemed naughty it was because I was being a dumb human and missed your communication.
You gave me your trust and you fought very very hard and willingly as I tried my best to learn about your hooves and brought in countless professionals and tried my hand at trimming, booting, casting, dim, glue on shoes and more. For years, fumbling around and trying and trying and trying. You always gave me silly lips of play and encouragement, and sighs of relief or tiny kicks of "try again."
Until the day you said, "enough."
I'm so so glad, I decided to come back to the barn that evening. I was there to hear you and see you asking to go. I'm not entirely sure if it was only hoof related or not, but it doesn't matter. Whatever it was, it was enough and I know you never gave me that sign before. You were laying down with a face I have never seen before. I knew immediately it was time. My hands were shaking as I called the vet. At that point, it was so completely decisive as to what you needed.
On June 8th 2021 around 9:30 pm, as you were laying down by the barn with your two herd mates watching over you and knowing what was to come somehow, we were able to sedate you and hold your head and pet your face, cheeks, and eyes and neck and withers, and send you into a fast and peaceful death.
It was honorable and peaceful. The sun was setting into a pink and lavender sky, the birds were quietly chirping slow evening calls and there was no other sounds as you heaved your last breaths....which ironically sounded exactly like when we would canter on the trails and you would blissfully exhale. I felt your soul leave your body. I felt the change. It was a whoosh. Your eyes changed.
I hope it was easy and surrounded in love for you. You only deserved the most honorable death as such a gorgeous beast. You had myself, the barn owner and the vet--three caring females all around you. All who knew you and cared for you. I stayed with you alone for a while...until almost dark. I stepped away, and your buddy, Pito, whom you have been with the last 10 years, came immediately to stand over you. Thank you, Pito, it made walking away a lot easier.
Laz, you were the very best horse.
A Breyer who came true for a horse obsessed girl who was finally able to rescue a horse as an adult. You carried all my love with such honor like a Royal Calvary horse. You taught me so much more than riding. You literally taught me how to be a Mom, an advocate and a care giver. You were so gentle and silly, and smart. You took care of me while riding pregnant, and you always gently nuzzled Stone from inside my stomach to his 6 years of petting, brushing and riding you.
I know nothing about your life in your 7 racing years, but when you were brought to place I was summer riding at, along with 40 other Thoroughbreds...you struck me with your kind eye. There was just something about you, I didn't know but you seemed sensible and wise and kind. You looked like 7000 other Bay horses, yet you didn't. I am so glad I took a chance on you. Even when the vet check failed and he said "he's got a lot of old injuries and arthritis" I was like "blah blah blah, he's going to be mine!!!!!" I wanted a horse who could pop over X's and play on the trails with. We did pop over a few X's but soon our fate turned into something different and it was ok to let go of any goals outside of "I get to enjoy MY HORSE." I really cherished our time together, Laz, whether it was riding you, grooming you, smelling you, bringing you treats, helping out at the barn or just watching you enjoy your mostly retired life with a 24/7 turnout and open Kentucky style barn stalls. You never said "No" when I wanted a quick hack especially in the last few years. I like to think we took care of each other in many ways. I know you especially helped my heart and mind for years.
Losing you is intense. It still feels unreal even though, I guess I've been preparing for it for over a decade. I almost lost you to laminitis, after only owning you 10 months. We fought hard my boy. My friend, my horse, my pet, my riding partner. My passion and hobby, my time in the car even....all my free time went to you. I'm honestly a little lost currently as to where my horse love will go, but I will give it time. I am finding I wake thinking about your hooves, or plotting out my week for when I can sneak to the barn...but then, I remember. That's a bad and odd feeling. It's a new role, to have had a great horse and to have lost him. I haven't even cleared my things from the barn yet...my car still smells like you.
I'm forever grateful you came into my life, and in your last day made the decision for me. You were exactly the first horse I needed. I hope you knew how loved you were and are. I think you did, Bubba.
You were a gift. Thank you.