Tuesday, April 5, 2016

We said goodbye

I lost my best friend on January 14, 2016 at around 3 pm EST. Bodhi was first diagnosed with equine multi-nodular pulmonary fibrosis in November 2015. We managed his symptoms and pain well in December, but the new year brought a secondary infection, and rapid deterioration. The last week was the worst, trying everything to make him comfortable and to bring back his appetite. We thought if we could just beat the infection we could give him a few more months. More diagnostic tests however revealed that the lesions had spread far quicker then we had anticipated. He just did not have any more healthy lung tissue left.

Everyone I know has lost a horse they loved suddenly to colic or an accident, but I really hope that I never encounter EMPF again. It is an exceptionally awful disease.

I wish I had told more of his story before it was over. We have done so much I never shared: hunter paces, obstacle clinics, crazy trail rides, and dressage shows. He learned to do his Spanish walk under saddle, and his own version of downward facing dog. I always thought I had more time to pick up on this blog, that I had more of our journey to document.

I have been really struggling with his loss. I know he was special to me because I have had him since he was two, he was the first horse I started and trained on my own, and he has been with me though several life changes (marriage, graduate school, 4 moves, 4 jobs). He was more than that though. He was my buoy. He has kept me afloat though several recent traumas in my life. He is one of the reasons I am even still alive. It is hard getting up knowing he is not there to greet me, and it is painful every time my mind wanders to him (as it does every 5 seconds) and to have the repeated realization that he no longer exists. I know I have my memories, but right now they are of little comfort.

I have a garden, a husband, 2 dogs, and now 3 horses (long story) to tend to, so I have to get up-- I am just not too thrilled about it. I am hoping blogging again will re-kindle my love for horses and training. I am going to try to write regularly again if not here then somewhere.


  1. Glad to hear you want to start writing again! I hope it helps you cope with his loss. I can only imagine the pain you are feeling. Bodhi was definitely one of the special ones.

  2. I am so sorry. I definitely know how hard it is to lose your best horse. And how devastating a sudden loss can be, even when you know it's coming. I know it's not much consolation, but the pain will get easier to bear. And you can definitely still tell his story, just give yourself some time. Eventually, you'll be able to recall those memories and have them be more sweet than bitter.

    My thoughts are with you.

  3. What terrible news. I'm so sorry for your loss. He was a beautiful horse.

  4. SO sorry to hear of Bodhi's passing.

    I always looked forward to reading about you two, and missed you both when you stopped blogging. It was obvious you had an amazing connection most only dream about. Hoping you keep writing.

  5. I am so very sorry for your loss. Big hugs.

  6. I have thought of you and Bodhi so often. Ever since you posted in Nov about his being sick. I wanted to (maybe did) scream, "NO"! It just isn't fair!! I am so sorry. Things like this are haunting.

  7. I am so sorry that this happened. It's heartbreaking to lose them and also so uplifting that they are in our life.

  8. I am really very sorry to hear about Bodhi. He was too young and it is not fair that he couldn't stay with you longer. It is so hard to lose a friend like this. I don't know if you know but I lost Dusty in November and it's been very hard. They are always in our hearts and the heartbreak lessens but is never completely gone.

    Maybe this will help your in your sadness:

    Where to Bury a Horse

    If you bury him in this spot,
    the secret of which you must already have,
    he will come to you when you call;
    come to you over the far, dim pastures of death.

    And though you ride other living horses through life,
    they shall not shy at him, nor resent his coming,
    For he is yours, and he belongs there.

    People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass
    bent by his footfall,
    who hear no nicker pitched too fine for insensitive ears.
    People who may never really love a horse.

    Smile at them then, for you shall know something
    that is hidden from them
    and which is well worth the knowing
    The one place to bury a horse is in the heart of his master.

    This is one of my favorite quotes also:

    Nothing is more sacred as the bond between horse and rider...no other creature can ever become so emotionally close to a human as a horse. When a horse dies, the memory lives on because an enormous part of his owner's heart, soul, very existence dies also...but that can never be laid to rest, it is not meant to be...
    - Stephanie M Thorn

    1. I am so sorry to hear about Dusty. I love the poem and the quote. Is the poem yours? It is beautiful.

    2. No the poem is not mine. I'm not that talented. Thank you for your sentiments about Dusty.

  9. I only just now realized that you lost your good friend. I am so sorry.

    1. Thank you Kate. I am still blogging here: http://bodhitreefarms.blogspot.com/ I like that we both started tree blogs, and I now have a horse named Oak.

  10. I had never heard of that illness and i too hope I never come across it except for your mentions here. So sorry to hear of your loss, belated though I am to it.