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Pet Tribute: River

horse loss
horse loss necklace


For as long as I could remember I have always wanted my own horse. When I was 13 my parents adopted an OTTB named Riverboat Bandit, River for short. I was so excited to finally have my own horse. I was in love with him from day one; he was my best friend. I worked so hard with him and training him to jump so we could qualify for the 2018 Downeast Medal Finals in Skowhegan, ME. After a long 14 months of training and showing we were jumping 2ft fences and had qualified to participate in the Finals. For being our first time at this event, we did very well and placed of 11th out of 28. A month later I noticed something was off about River. The vet came out and told us that he had a hole in his aorta due to so much strain on his heart from his racing career, and he was deemed a dangerous horse that I would never be able to ride again. His last month consisted of us going for long walks on the farm’s trails, grazing in the field, or just sitting around together in his stall. That whole month he just wasn’t the same happy and playful horse I always knew he was. The day came when we had to put him to rest, I kept reassuring him that everything was going to be ok and that he was going to take a nice nap and when he woke up, he wouldn’t be sick anymore and there would be field after endless field. I said my final goodbyes to him and told him to be a good boy and that I would see him again someday. After he was gone, the vet came up to me and told he was a very good boy and didn’t put up any fight and went right to sleep like he knew what was happening. River – I know you were taken way too soon, 11 years is not enough time for one life, but in the 15 months we were together I hope I made you the happiest horse in the world because I know you made me the happiest girl in the world and I will never be able to repay you for all the joy you gave me. Now I have a beautiful necklace made in your memory that I will take everywhere with me, so it feels like you are still here with me spiritually even if you can’t be with me physically. I just wanted to say one final thank you and I love you, you will never be forgotten.

So much love, Bree – NH, USA

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