Eve: The End of an Era

Last Tuesday, Eve had her farrier appointment. Since she started showing signs of being neurologic Christmas Eve 2021, I was a little nervous about how the session would go. She had been doing really well walking. But that Tuesday, almost overnight it seems she took a turn for the worse. Our farrier couldn’t do her back right hind because all of her weight was on it. Even doing her front feet, we had to lean her up against a wall because she was so unbalanced. We had scheduled her next farrier appointment, but deep down I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

I decided to give her a week to see if she would bounce back. I bought her $200 CBD oil, kept putting her Back on Track sheet on, gave her Cosequin ASU – just kept on what we were doing. None of it helped. It was really hard to face the fact that this was it. I can’t fix this. I can’t do anything to help her. She was putting all of her weight on her back right. When she would graze with her head down, she would rotate her body to constantly stabilize herself. She would walk and hyperextend her back left leg when she walked, and in the mud she would slide and she’d have to catch herself which was painful. She stopped rolling because she wouldn’t be able to get back up. In the stall, she’d lean against the walls. There wasn’t anything anyone could do to fix that, and it was painful to watch it.

I had scheduled Eve to get put down on Thursday. At first, they said they could do it first thing the next morning, and I was like I definitely need more time than that. I spent the first couple nights on some CBD like substance sitting outside Eve’s stall on the cold freezing nights just crying. One of the barn cats had pity on me and would sit on my lap and cuddle while I cried. It was just so sad dude. This is my horse. My best friend for 14 years. She’s seen me have mental breakdowns, hungover af, been there during my worst times, my best times. We went on so many adventures together, and I could barely remember a time where she wasn’t in my life. And now all of a sudden, it’s over.

The days leading up to the 17th, I would just go to the barn and hug Eve and sob hysterically. It wasn’t productive, and I didn’t want our last days to just be me crying next to her. That’s pathetic. I wanted to do something, make some last memories together. I started taking her on walks out of the barn and just let her go where she wanted to go. And she took me all around – to the neighbors house trespassing, on the trail behind her field, in the field next to hers with the pond, around the racetrack, around another field, in the barn to say hi to her friends. She just wanted to explore. We had always explored. When we used to trail ride together, it was always an adventure. She was the absolute worst trail horse, but she tolerated it, and we had so many fun times doing it.

On our last night together, I took her out and just set her loose. Who gives a shit right? She’s gonna die anyway. She just grazed. It was really dark, but thankfully the days leading up to her death were sunny and warm. It was gorgeous weather. I just sat on the ground and watched her eat crying sometimes, petting her sometimes. I noticed wherever I sat, she would come graze next to me. She’d even lift her head up really quick and look around like she was on high alert. I was like girl, calm down, I can tell you right now you ain’t gonna die today. I know that for a fact lol. I didn’t have a plan for how long we were going to be out there for. I just wanted to watch her because I knew I wouldn’t ever see her like that again. I also knew now was the time to tell her everything I had wanted to tell her, but my mind was blank. I didn’t really have anything to tell her. Like I love you dude, I’m gonna miss you. She already knew that. She knows what she’s done for me, and how much I appreciate her. I didn’t really have to say anything.

She stopped grazing after a half hour and started walking briskly away. I had to run to catch up. She just wanted to explore the other field again – I don’t know why she was so obsessed about that field. I guess because it gave her a closer look at the park across the street where kids would play soccer and stuff. She liked to watch those games. I wandered with her and then we wandered back into the barn. She stopped and said hi to all her friends and then we made it back to her stall. Closing that stall door was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done because I knew it was the last time I would ever close it with her in it. I just half closed it and just stood there watching her with her head out the window. I had been giving her alfalfa all week because she’s gonna die so what does it matter now? But she didn’t want it at first. She just wanted to look out the window. It’s almost like she knew what was coming because the vibes I was so obviously giving off. She was doing the same as me – just taking it all in one last time.

That night I literally just drove around to all of the barns Eve had lived at before and tried to remember the drama, the fun, the tears, the excitement. I drove by the barn she first lived at when we got her – literally just a field and stream – and she was so happy there. I drove by Whispering Meadows and gave that place the finger because f*** that barn and management. I drove by TMF and the barn we had previously stayed at. Just trying to remember all the good times we had that we wouldn’t have again. Nothing depressing there.

The morning of – I wasn’t sober. I still had the CBD like substance in me to calm me down. I don’t want people to think I was sober and strong about this. I am weak af. I have known for years this was going to be the worst day of my life for a long time. I needed to be calm and collected for Eve. I couldn’t be a hot mess. I got to the barn to find her still in her stall. I got to the barn at like 8:45am. The vet was coming between 9-9:30am. I let her out, so she could be with her friends one last time and not upset in a stall. She cantered right on out there when I let her out, so excited. I ran back in the barn to microwave 2 stud muffins, then I ran back to give them to her. Then I just waited in the field with her. I pet her for a bit. I had a small panic attack. I was like dude what am I going to do without you?? I don’t know what I’m going to do. And then I kind of knocked myself out of it like no, no we good. I’ll be fine. You’ll be fine. We can do this. The vet came, and I put Eve’s halter on and walked her in. I told her it was going to be ok. She kept stopping as we walked out of the field, like she didn’t want to go. I almost wanted to postpone her appointment if she wasn’t ready. She stopped and turned around and looked at her friends. I let her take her time. Maybe she was just looking at them one last time too. She stopped twice and after the second time of looking back, she walked forward and out of the field.

We let her graze for a bit, while our vet explained how it would work. Eve was sedated, and I held her head. She went down easy. She didn’t fight it. She kind of just accepted it. It makes me so sad to think about though because every time the vet has come, it’s been to make Eve feel better, to fix her. And killing them is a pretty warped way of fixing them. Obviously it’s what we had to do. If Eve couldn’t get her hooves done, then she was opening herself up to so many problems. If she had fallen over the next farrier visit and broken a pelvis, it would’ve been way more traumatic than getting euthanized.

But still, leading her to her death just felt like I betrayed her. Even though, I know she knew what was happening because people were giving her more treats, more hugs. People were crying around her. She knew what was going to happen. That still doesn’t make it any easier.

The weather that week had been sunny and warm, but ironically the day Eve died was cold and rainy. I sat down next to her head, and her body was there. I guess I was in shock. It still felt like she was there. I was just there on the ground with her waiting for the crematorium people to come pick her up. It didn’t seem like the end. It just seemed like a “oh Eve is going to the crematorium but then she’ll be back and we’ll be back at the barn.” You know? Like it obviously is illogical, but it just didn’t feel like it was over. I just kept stroking her head. I was on Instagram on my phone, my ass was soaked through my underwear, but I stayed there for a bit. I didn’t want to leave. I just pet her face and her upper lip. She would molest the hell out of your hand for treats with that lip, and now it’s just….lifeless. Like, she’s never going to nudge my hand again looking for treats. I had to take her halter off too. When she went down, she of course went down on the side where you take the halter off. I was like god dammit Eve. Still making things difficult. I stayed petting her once he halter was off but eventually I got up in the car to wait because it finally occurred to me that Eve was there but she wasn’t there anymore. Like I don’t have to keep petting a dead horse…even if it was really comforting.

The guy came by, picked Eve up and explained what was going to happen. It still didn’t feel real. Like the guy hauled Eve away in a dump trailer, and I’m like see you later, Princess. Like no, I won’t. I got in my truck and pulled forward because if you pull forward you can see all the horses sticking their heads out of the barn. Eve’s head was always there. I had pulled forward all week and just watched her in the stall because I knew eventually she wouldn’t be there anymore.

Well, I can certainly tell you how depressing and gut wrenching it is to just have that thought. And it is even more depressing and gut wrenching to actually live the moment where that thought is a reality.

It is so, so rough dude. It is brutal. It’s only day 2 without Eve, and it’s brutal. The barn was always my go-to place. I felt so safe and calm there. It was my second home. It had always been. Wherever Eve lived was my second home. And then just like that it’s not anymore. I don’t have a horse anymore. That sucks to say. I’m afraid of change quite honestly, and here I am in the most abrupt change of my life. I had a week to prepare, but it didn’t matter. I mean, technically I had 14 years to prepare, and that still wasn’t enough. I feel like we were a team, and now I’m just alone. I hate to feel that, and I know it’s not true because of all the love and support our friends/family and Instagram community have shown us, but I still feel it.

After work on Friday, I didn’t have to see Eve for the first time in 14 years. I didn’t have to go to the barn, and I had a bit of an anxiety attack. Like what am I supposed to do? My steady routine that was nonstop for SO LONG is now just over. I have to figure out what to do with myself, but it’s so hard to move forward and reorganize your life when you are so incredibly sad. I’ve never truly felt this kind of sadness before. It’s just such a major, major loss in my life. I loved her so much despite all the times I called her a bitch ass hoe when she was being a sassy cow.

This is just the beginning, so obviously it’s going to suck hard. I’m hoping it gets better. My appetite is shot, I’m depressed af and crying more often than not. I keep driving by her barn. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like everything is peaceful and I’ve come to terms with it because I haven’t. All I can do is take it day by day and get used to the pain I guess. Not much else I can do.