This will be by far, the hardest post I will ever have to write but I feel I should share her story.
As far back as I can remember, I liked horses. I had My Little Pony’s and if you remember from my Eyebrow Post there is a photograph of me with horse face paint. I had also begged my parents for horse riding lessons for years after riding a horse at an adventure park. Which somehow ended up working and I started getting lessons once or twice a month when I was 8 or 9 years old.
7-year-old Hannah rocking red shoes
So let me take you back 11 years, to the 1st of April 2006.
My Mum took me to a stable about 10 minutes from our house. I’d never been there before and she said that her friend, Hayley had a pony that I was going to see and ride that day. As you can imagine 10-year-old Hannah was excited to be getting extra horse riding lessons.
So after grooming, fussing, cuddling and riding this little dark bay, 12hh, rising 4-year-old pony, I was over the moon with my day.
My Mum asked if I liked her, which my obvious answer was yes as she was as cute as a basket full of kittens.
Which to my recollection, led my Mum to reply “Good, because she is yours”
In disbelief, I was not having any of it, thinking my mum was being mean pulling a horrible April Fool’s joke but it turned out to be true. My Mum had bought me a pony (technically my Granddad lent her the money but she did pay him back, so shout out to you Granddad)
I could not believe it, I had my very own pony and a cute one too! I immediately told my best friend and horse riding buddy at the time and she could not believe it either.
This started my long journey of horse ownership and one of my strongest bonds and you’ll be happy to know 11 years later she was still with me.
So, fast forward to many days, months and years after this incredible day and I still love her to bits and can’t think of anything I’ve ever wanted more.
After many cuddles, fights, rides, shows, falls and a baby, this pony had done it all and I was lucky to be there for the majority of it.
However, it got to the stage where short 10-year-old Hannah had grown up to be tall 13-year-old Hannah and sadly outgrown little Monday (yes her name is the same as the day of the week but trust me it’s pronounced differently).
At this point, I had no control over what happened as legally she was owned by my Mum. So, Monday was put on loan initially to another little girl and eventually when she outgrew her, we sold her.
She bounced around between homes of people I knew so she always stayed local and I often would go see her. She had her foal, who is basically a clone of her, I’m not sure how she managed to produce an almost replica of herself but she did and she made her way into everyone’s hearts.
She eventually got sold on and I lost touch with her which was awful, I tried my best to get the contact details for the new owners but without much luck. Until I decided to put a post on Facebook simply asking if anyone knew or had her. Which within a few days someone had messaged me saying they were the current owners.
What are the odds, I managed to find her through a simple Facebook post, I was over the moon until I was told: “She has been lame for 6 months, we’re thinking of putting her down”.
I was not having any of that, I fired questions at the owner asking what the vet had said, what they have done to look into it, what’s the diagnosis and they clearly did not care enough about her to actually find out what was wrong.
So I bought her back and as soon as she got off that lorry I thought “wow she’s small, has she always been this small?” but I also thought that she didn’t look as bad as described. However, after she galloped around her field with her old field mates it soon became clear that she did, in fact, have a bad leg.
So I went straight to work on getting my vets out and getting professional opinions which the first vets were not too helpful. However, I ended up taking a friends advice on getting a new vet to examine her, I also took her advice on what vet to get out and I don’t think I’ve met a more caring vet.
Not once did he suggest giving up on her and tried everything he could to help her live a long and happy life. So 3 and half years after she returned home and having many vet visits, she had her most recent checkup after going lame in the field.
Sadly it didn’t look like good news and after a lot of thinking and discussions with my vet, Lee, we decided the best thing to do would be to euthanise her. I was hoping he would turn around like he always did and say she wasn’t ready yet and she had plenty of life in her but at this point, you could see she was tired.
Despite her constantly running around in the field and playing with the other ponies, she was tired. Her knee bone was deteriorating and it wasn’t fair on her or me to let her get worse. With that, I took some time off work to spend it with her and awaited that dreaded day.
I barely slept the night before, being ill as well wasn’t helpful but I couldn’t let myself drift off, I was just torturing myself, constantly thinking about what was going to happen.
I reached the stables and went to the pen we were planning on euthanising her in and put down a large quantity of straw. My vet, Lee was already there as he was seeing other horses that day and I made my way around the yard doing the odd jobs I had to do. I made her two big feeds up, one that she was going to have when she came in from the field with her medication in and another for when we were up in the pen.
I went to the field and called her down to the gate and she came cantering over, which hurt to see as she clearly still loved her life despite being a bit wonky.
I took her into a stable and gave her her first feed and took her rugs off. I began grooming her to make her look all shiny and clean as she has always been a princess pony despite also being a mud monster. Lee had finished seeing the other horses and asked if I was ready. I felt a lump instantly in my throat and my stomach knotted, I said I just need to cut some of her tail hair as a keepsake and by that, I meant I took the majority of her tail.
I got her other feed and started to walk up to the pen, I had friends from the stables come with to support me as well. A part of me still wished Lee was going to change his diagnosis and say she still had a bit of time despite knowing this was the best thing for her.
I took her into the pen and started to let her nibble on her food. We positioned her in the middle of the straw and Lee started to arrange the injections. He firstly injected her with sedation and we waited for her to get sleepy. She was still happily munching away on her food which consisted of all the treats in the world, apples, carrots, mints etc.
She started to slow down her eating as the sedation kicked in, however, she still was determined to eat all her treats. Lee then explained how he was now going to give her the lethal injection and that once he had, he would take hold of her lead rope so he could guide her down.
The injection went in and I stepped back, already crying from the minute he told me he was going to start administering the final injection. He grabbed her and within seconds she was gone and falling to the floor. At this point it wasn’t just me that had tears in my eyes and I was asked if I wanted to give her a cuddle. I wrapped my arms around her neck and I could feel her fur starting to get wet from my tears. My friends and Lee left me to be alone with her and I instantly felt like I had made the wrong choice.
I sat with her for over an hour as I had to wait for someone to collect her body, he was late but I didn’t mind as I didn’t want her to be taken away. Others came and said goodbye to her and we laughed about how she was always grumpy looking despite probably being the happiest pony that ever lived and it was her way or no way and we spoke about how loved she is.
Everyone has said I’ve made the best decision for her instead of trying to make it through winter or risking her going lame again but I still have this feeling of guilt that she would have fought longer despite her showing signs of being ready. However, I just wish I could have done more for her.
I owe this pony my life as I would be a completely different person if she never walked into it. I would have never forgiven myself if I didn’t go looking for her and I hope I made her extra 3 and a half years of life enjoyable, filled with treats and cuddles. Despite having another horse, no one or nothing will compare to your first pony and although she was a little shit at times, she was definitely the best pony I could have gotten.
As I write this I have tears down my face and I’m sure I will every time I think of her and this day but I would like to thank everyone who was there for me and her from beginning to end.
Thank you, Monday Rumours for being my first and best wish come true.
I love you with all my heart, sleep tight grumpy pony.