It is the nature of animals to break our hearts.
They just don't live long enough.They can be tough, but also incredibly fragile. One tiny thing can take them away from you.
Just ask any girl who has walked their colicky horse for hours, waiting for the vet to arrive. Or the girl who is forced to put down her horse, who survived a horrible accident, only to be severely injured tripping over a stick.
It is almost guaranteed that the one time you let someone else ride your horse they will come back lame.
I don't think I'll ever truly recover from the losses of some of these near and dear animals. Sonora, whose jumping talent went awry the moment she took herself off for a gallop, only to be struck and killed by a hit and run driver. (Who hits and runs a horse?) Or Strider, who made it through years of neglect and abuse, only to die a month after being adopted by a wonderful family, of a stroke that left him paralyzed.
Sometimes I dream I am with them. I beg their forgiveness, that I didn't do more, that I couldn't prevent what happened to them. All the 'if onlys' fill my mind. If Only the fence had been higher. If Only we had rescued Strider sooner. If only it hadn't been so hot that day. I feel the weight of their loss on my conscious, on my heart. Was there something I could have done to make their lives better? Longer?
Owning a horse, any animal, is such a dire responsibility. We have such power and control over their fates. We are the ones that, much of the time, have to decide at that last moment whether we will let them suffer on as we try to save them, or if we will let them go, with bleeding hearts.
"It's not fair," we shriek. "Why does this always happen to me?"
It's just the way it is. It is the nature of life. Animals will always break your heart.