Your horse will always be a massive part of your life, and unfortunately that sad day will come where you will have to make that very hard decision. There is not a lot that can prepare you for the loss of your best friend/beloved horse, but we have given you a few tips that will help you along the way.
Everyone grieves differently, but you never know how you will grieve after losing your horse. It will take time but eventually you will cherish every moment you had with your horse.
A few ways that may help when you have lost your horse:
You can design or buy some jewellery that has your horses tail in or buy a piece of jewellery that you can engrave their name on, click here for Tail End Jewellery who create carefully handmade jewellery with your own horse's hair.
You can keep your horse’s ashes in an urn so that they can always be with you.
You can create a memory book so that you can have all the pictures of you and your horse.
You could hold a ceremony for your horse so that you can get closure. You can hear other people’s stories about your horse, and it gives you a chance to share your lovely adventures with others.
You could also consider burying your horse on your property, this could be somewhere that your horse loved to go.
If burying them is not an option, you can plant flowers so that every time they blossom you can see them. Or you can plant a tree so that you can watch it grow.
There are five stages to the grieving process, although this doesn’t apply to everyone. Some of these you may experience, and some not, and not always in the below order. However, be sure to know that however you grieve and whatever you do to get over the loss of your horse is completely acceptable.
Denial – this can come in the form of saying and feeling ‘this isn’t/can’t be happening’. Being in denial is a common emotional defence mechanism.
Anger – this is where the pain begins, and you start getting angry/annoyed at your friends and family, or you could start feeling anger towards yourself. You may also feel resentment towards the vet for not being able to save your horse. Rationally we know the person isn’t to blame.
Bargaining – these are thoughts such as ‘what if’ and ‘if only we sought medical attention sooner’. This is a normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability in order to regain control.
Depression – this one is the most common when associated with the grieving process. You may be worried or regretful about what happened.
Acceptance – is the final stage, however accepting a loss does not mean forgetting about your horse and the memories you shared. You may start to feel like your life is becoming easier to handle and you start to become more proactive.
Click here for more information on coping with the loss of a pet.
The loss of any animal is hard, and we would always suggest speaking to someone about what you are going through so that you don’t have to do it on your own.