Rescue Journal

this is one of the hardest things i have to write

Carol  ·  Sep. 20, 2008

because this will be one of the hardest things i ever have to do. we are going to be losing spritely soon. she is starting to lose her foot and hoof. the vets told us this would be the final outcome and are amazed that we have managed her so well for the past 2 and a half years, but we are not going to be able to fight against this very last thing and it makes me so utterly sad. when the vet was done with her, she laid down in the riding ring, had a big roll and then true to spritely's zest for life, she sprung up and exploded out the gate. how do you kill a perfectly fine horse who runs like the wind and owns the world? and we have to do it before her entire hoof falls off because she will be in unbearable agony if that happens.

i don't know how many of you read the blog back in that horrible december of 2006...when spritely was down and the vets were coming at 10 to euthanize. and all night and early morning i cried and i begged for her to please try to walk 8 am on the day she would have died, spritely stood up and walked out of the barn and started a brand new day. that is when i started to believe in miracles again.

we have had our hard days sometimes since that day she didn't die. but spritely's heart is as big and strong as they get and she has continued to have her life, her way.
but miracles are not forever, and my head has always known this day will come. i am not any stronger today than i was in dec. 2006. i am sitting here crying because i don't want her foot to fall off. i want to see her coppery glint from my window every day, i want to yell at her to stop freaking running and quit pretending to bite carl's butt, and for chrissakes get into the RIGHT stall tonight and don't you dare steal gideon's apples along the way.

i want to stand at the fence and say to mo who is standing near and watching her god, isn't she beautiful? and hear her wholeheartedly echo the same.

i want spritely sprocket spirit train running thru my fields and barging in my barn and trampling on my heart everyday.

ahh spritely, we will try to do this well for you.

the vet said maybe a month, maybe a couple of weeks, it all depends on how fast it continues pulling away. i am asking for volunteers to help us keep watch between 2 pm when renee heads off and 6 pm when i get home. i'd like her checked halfway thru until we settle on a date to help her pass away.

let me know when you are available. thx.



Sigh...we can send people to the moon but we are still stumped when it comes to horse and cow limbs. When I was younger it always shocked me that they would shoot horses who broke their legs...if it wasn't life threatening for humans why on earth was it life threatening to horses?!! But age brings reality and one realizes that such large animals simply can't get into wheelchairs and have their legs in casts for a few weeks like us. It's heartbreaking and I have such great respect for you, Carol, for juggling all those calculations in your head as to which course of action will be best for which animal. It's incredible the amount of thought and care that goes into each decision you make for the animals and I know you have Spritely's very best interests at heart and you will do whatever needs to be done.
But, secretly...I'm hoping for another miracle too.


Well yesterday I was standing at the fence watching Spritely & out of my mouth come " gosh she is beautiful " and I had not read the Blog ( no puter at home yet) so carol knows what I am thinking...scary.

This is very diffucult to deal with because she is so good & it is extremley sad to think of her having to cross over because we know what is coming, however no one wants the end to be a crisis & she cannot have the very end be painful, but my Dog !! how in the world do you say good-bye when she is roaring around like a youngster on fall morning . I will still pray for a miracle.


she is not a good candidate and it is not an option for a bunch of reasons...from spritely's point of view...

the entire leg is so badly compromised from long standing disease that they wouldn't be able to save enough of it to create a decent stump for the prosthetic leg to attach.

her circulation in that leg is so bad, the stump would probably never heal.

and spritely's personality type would not be happy just slowly toddering or standing around in a field...she likes to rock and roll and be really physically dozy sparkles could deal with an artificial leg quite well, but not our spritely, spritely.

from a practical point of view...we don't have the 25-35 thousand dollars to cover the cost of the surgery.
we don't have the staff, the skill or the equipment to remove her prosthetic every day to give her stump care.

i did have a long discussion with the vet about this when her leg blew up a month ago...but we would just be putting her thru a very difficult time with little chance of success or survival...we would just be grasping at straws.

Barbara DeMott

There is a horse who got a prosthetic leg at Best Friends in the States on their website. would that be possible?

Eva Stock

I have dreaded this time since I started volunteering at Saints almost 3 years ago. She is so beautiful and strong as was our Jeanette. God love you for taking her in and caring for her so perfectly Carol. I remember thinking that the animals were mainly seniors so we would deal with alot of death. I remember when spritely came it seemed so impossible to think such a healthy looking and acting horse could be life threatened. and now reality hits. I am so sorry Carol. I will be down to do the bunnies at about 11:30. Eva
I will chart on Spritely as well and Oka.

Vi Morse

Hi Carol,
OMG not our Spritely. I so love that horse. I am going to try to get out to see her as soon as I can. She is so beautiful inside and out. However I don't want to see her in pain. Bless your heart Carol for giving her last years the best care possible. I have sponsored her until the end of the year. When she has to go just keep the money and I will pick another animal to sponsor. This is so sad, I am crying as I write this. Give her lots of hugs from me. Vi


It's all about quality of life not quantity Carol and that is exactly what you have done. When it's time Spritely will leave this world knowing having been loved and secure. I'm glad you found each other for the end of her journey.


it is really hard when you love someone so much since 2006 you have given him a really good life do not beat your5self up over this it is truly hard if not for you where would he have been when he goes it will be knowing that he was loved a lot . i believe every animal has a soul and they know who loved them and took care of them you could have not done anymore


it is really hard when you love someone so much since 2006 you have given him a really good life do not beat your5self up over this it is truly hard if not for you where would he have been when he goes it will be knowing that he was loved a lot . i believe every animal has a soul and they know who loved them and took care of them you could have not done anymore


Spritely has been a miracle since the day she arrived, and there will never be another horse like her.
Carol, I know you would do anything possible to alter Spritely's destiny, you would get her a prosthetic leg or build her a specialized barn, but even a heart as big as hers and adoration as deep as yours can't make the impossible possible.
Spritely will know, every day for the remainder of her life, just like she has since she arrived at S.A.I.N.T.S., that she is respected for her strength, loved and admired for her grace and beauty. Horses are such intelligent creatures, they know just where they fit in the world. For several years Spritely has been the queen of all she has surveyed, and she will leave the world as a true friend to many humans, but to nobody more than you and Mo, Carol.
You will be desolate when she leaves you, Carol, but continue to enjoy her while she is here.


Between Lana and myself we should be able to give our beautiful girl at least 2 checks between 2 & 6 we will talk more tomorrow about it.