She had to say a very painful goodbye to her beautiful horse, Dazzle, 5 months ago. There is no way any video could do justice to how much she loved this horse, despite all of the pain she went through over the years with her. In August it would have been 4 years. She got Dazzle in August 2013 as a 3 year old after my old horse, Willow, suffered a tendon injury. She wanted a horse to compete but couldn’t afford to buy an older, more experienced horse. She was very lucky to be offered Dazzle at a price she could actually afford, and had huge plans for her.
She was a dream work with at the beginning – first canter with a rider in an open field and not a single issue. Dazzle learned to work correctly without much trouble and was a joy to ride. Unfortunately, they never got to compete. She tried to take her to her first show when she was 4 but she wouldn’t load. It took 3 hours to get her in the lorry once her friend who had been giving them a lift got back.
The same happened a couple of other times, and they had awful issues with her in the trailer as well. All of these they eventually overcome, but by this point she damaged the meniscus in her stifle in September 2015 which meant 3 months of box rest then a slow, careful rehab. She was almost back in full work when in March 2016 she began rearing. She rapidly got to the point where the owner couldn’t even get on and ask her to walk without her going up, and they took her to the vets for investigation after she flipped on her owner. They found she had kissing spine and she had the surgery for it last summer.
To cut a long story short, she started coming back into work well and the owner took everything super slowly, but as soon as they started canter work again she went downhill. She was retired in January after almost flipping on me again. Dazzle was the sort of horse who needed to have a job. She was unhappy as a field ornament and still suffering from multiple lameness issues. At 7 years old, she would have been miserable and doped up on pain medication for another 25+ years. In the end she did what was her responsibility as a horse owner and made the decision to end her pain. It was the most difficult decision anyone could have to make, but she knows she is no longer in pain and she can take comfort in knowing that the right decision is often the hardest one.