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My Horse

Sarah M, Georgia, USA
February 2001

This is a hard thing for me to do but this event was important so here goes:

When I was about 9 my parents bought me a horse. It was a small white pony named Spirit (What a coincidence). Spirit taught me how to ride. I took her to many horse shows and won lots of blue ribbons on her. She was an excellent horse.

Well two years ago my parents decided to buy me a new horse, because Spirit was getting too small for me. So they found a huge Black mare named Feather for me. As time went on, I slowly began to pay less and less attention to Spirit.

One day, a couple months ago, as I was passing by her stall, I noticed that she looked kinda sick. I went in and was petting her. I could tell that something was wrong with her, but there were no obvious marks or signs to prove my theory. I called the vet and when he came out, he ran some tests on Spirits blood and checked her out. He took her blood to the veterinary hospital and they tested it for Equine Encephalitis (ms?). This disease is very contagious and it is fatal.

The Department of Agriculture comes out and has to put down the animal that has it, before it can be spread and the whole barn has to go down in quarantine.

As it turned out, Spirit had contracted the disease, most likely at a horse show a few weeks prior to the diagnosis. I felt terrible. Now that my old pony was dying was when I really realized what I had missed. Feather is a great horse and I've moved on a lot, but Spirit was my first horse and I'll never love another horse like her.

So a few days later the DA (Department of Agriculture) came out and told me that I had approximately 2 days to say goodbye and prepare a burial. It was shocking, I had 2 more days with my little pony! My father dug a hole in Spirit's pasture and some of my friends made me a collage of photos of her.

After the two days the DA came back out, only this time they had the injection (I don't' remember what it's called). They also quarantined our barn and drew blood from all the other horses to make sure that they didn't have it.

I lead Spirit to the hole and she just looked in. They injected her, her knees buckled and she fell to the ground. I sat down quickly by her head and laid it in my lap. I didn't know how long she had until the drug took effect. It wasn't long. She looked up at me and closed her eyes. She was gone. I broke down in tears.

That night, I was cleaning her stall out, bawling my eyes out, when I heard something in the pasture. I walked out of the barn and looked out. There, standing at the bottom of the hill, was Spirit. She looked like she did when I first got her. She was so beautiful. Suddenly, she whinnied and took off at a gallop. She galloped halfway up the field and stopped, looked at me and REARED all the way up. She looked like a white Stallion. She looked so happy. Spirit took off again when her hooves touched the ground. She looked like she was floating. Slowly, she disappeared.

After I witnessed that, I didn't cry anymore. I have now moved on with Feather and she and I are doing great. Spirit is there with Feather guiding her, I just know it. It was so wonderful that she came back for one last gallop. I'll always miss her. Thanks for reading my story. I hope you enjoyed it.

Sarah M, Georgia, USA
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