George’s horses – A tribute to Jackie

For the story so far please read Georges’ horses – Part One

One of the horses to arrive from George was Jackie. A lovely black TB mare. Jackie was aged but in good condition and, a horse with the most beautiful nature.

Soon after Jackie’s arrival we took in a filly, Rosie straight from the slaughter yard, where she had waited for two weeks for slaughter. Luckily, her fate changed and Rosie came to us.  See Rosie’s story at The secret hidden in the Rose.

Rosie needed love. lots of love. She needed someone to give her confidence and a feeling of safety, someone to heal her soul.

And in the paddock was Jackie. Jackie immediately adopted Rosie. She would share her food bucket, gently encouraged Rosie to mutually groom, watched over Rosie.

With more horses arriving I knew I had to rehome Jackie  as she was in good health and with an ideal temperament.  But I could not deprive Rosie of her surrogate mother and guide.

So I put Jackie up for adoption, with the proviso that Jackie and Rosie be homed together. A friend was looking for a safe riding horse (gentle occasional riding!) and Jackie fitted the bill. She was happy to adopt Rosie as well. This was an experienced, loving and caring home  and so, as hard as it was to part with them both, we were so glad that such a great home was offered.

The years passed.  Rosie has matured and able to live with other horses happily. Jackie looked after the young horses, always the mentor, always the guide, always giving comfort and confidence. Then she became the companion of an aged standard bred, and just recently all moved to a property even closer to us. Jackie never was ridden again, she just had a life of leisure.

So every day I could see Jackie  as I drove past, peacefully grazing with Johnny, her friend. I knew, however, that her health was starting to fail. I was always updated though and she was receiving every care. Jackie would rally but clearly age was catching up.

A few weeks ago Johnny peacefully passed. Jackie grieved and her health faltered. She had a new companion, was moved close to the house, fed, rugged, tested and loved….but we all knew it was just a matter of time.

Jackie last photo

Last night, comfortable and pain free, Jackie passed, to be with Johnny and to meet back up with George, Twinkie, Call Me Misty, My Misty, Rachael (the Filly), and all her other friends.

Bless you Jackie and thank you to Nat who loved and cared for Jackie in her final years.

Jackie will be buried at her home. Nat has chosen a lovely spot that overlooks our property.

Vale Jackie

A not-so-special sheep

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.
– His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Snowy Autumn Leaf was not unique. He was no different to any other sheep.

What was different was that his life, though cut short, was a life of love, freedom, caring and affection.

That was not to be the case. Snowy was bred for profit, to be slaughtered, but he got lucky.

And we reaped the reward.

Follow the link and meet Snowy.






In memory of *Henry

For Honey trust

We first heard of Henry  on a post on a Facebook group; With an old injury, untreated and left, his owner had decided that she would sell him through the sale yards. A fellow agistee was horrified at the thought of this lovely pony, crippled through no fault of his own, being sold through the sales, and more than likely being herded onto a truck and sent to the knackery.

She appealed for someone to purchase the gelding direct from the owner to save him from this fate. We were at capacity at the time but called and advised that, failing all else, we would pay the asking price, and then work out a solution.

Another person put up their hand and it was arranged that Henry would be floated to the saleyards the following day to be sold direct to his new carer. There were concerns raised re his physical condition but it was decided to give him a go and he went to his new home. A number of people , including Honey’s Pledge, donated towards the purchase price.

There were updates on Henry, how, with chiropractic treatment , he could again be ridden, and this was shown by photographs. What was concerning though was that it did not appear that he had actually received a diagnosis by a vet, including tests such as x rays.

Time passed and there were no updates on Henry. It then became known that he had deteriorated and the current owner  was considering having him euthanized.  It was agreed that he could be collected and transported to enable assessment by a specialist vet and so I made the journey to float him to our place.

Sometimes you can have a connection with an animal you have never met…and Henry was one of these. I was so thrilled to meet him. He travelled well on the float trip, and eagerly trotted down the drive to his new paddock.

Here, predictably, Shiloh, our smallest pony, arrived to meet him. We call Shiloh ‘Miss Meet and Greet, as she always crosses the property, ignoring fences, to meet a new horse.

Henry settled quickly. I found him a rug for the cool nights and started him on twice a day supplementary feeds and some herbs. He was also on pain relief as the float trip would have put additional strain on his body.

It was soon clear there was something seriously wrong with Henry. He was unable to lie down, unable to roll, and would often shift his weight continually. We had a sudden heat wave and so a trip to the vets was postponed until the weather had cooled. We made the most of this week with lots of food and hugs.

After one week we made the trip to our equine vets. This is a specialist practice with state of the art facilities.

I unloaded Henry and the vet made her initial examination. All immediately loved Henry and his soft eye.

The first step was x rays. These were done while I waited outside.

The vet viewed the images and then asked me to go to the office. I knew then what I was about to be told.

She showed me the x rays. Henry’s joints were fused with overgrowths of bone. Their advice was that there was no alternative but to euthanize.

In tears I agreed.  Henry was given strong pain relief, and I took him home. We arranged that I would give him  pain relief for a few days and then call the vet.

I was hoping for a week, but within three days it was clear the call needed to be made. The vet arranged to come in the afternoon. I spent the day grooming Henry, feeding him treats and just sitting quietly with him under his favourite tree.

When the vet arrived we stood together for a final few minutes. Henry was given a sedative and then the IV barbiturate. His going was gentle and swift.

In line with our practice I left Henry resting where he had fallen so the other horses could see him and say their own farewells.

Two days later the excavator arrived and we buried Henry under ‘his’ tree. We laid flowers and sang a blessing.

The vet later confirmed that his was the worst case of joint fusion the practice has ever seen. A horse in his condition should have had diagnosis by a vet before any other treatment was commenced and should never, ever, ever have been ridden.

Farewell our lovely man. It was a privilege to meet you, and an honour to send you on your final journey.

* Henry is not the name this horse was known by.