Posted on May 29, 2014
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
Patches was a kids’ pony for over 20 years. She was patient and kind to the little girls that rode her and she always kept them safe. If she felt them off balance on top of her, she would stop to let them straighten up. When the last granddaughter outgrew her, Patches had no more little girls to love and care for her. We asked if we could have her so that she would have little girls to love and adore her for the rest of her life. Patches was a ball of fire with our other horses. She would boss them around and tell them what to do, and if they didn’t listen fast enough she would back that little butt of hers up and threaten to kick them with her special Patches high-pitched squeal. Patches had tender moments as well when we would find her in a corner with our other horse, Monty, and they would groom each other so gently. Monty and Patches loved each other and it was such a joy to watch their romance blossom. Patches had two best friends, Rascalina and Ruby, and she loved each the same. Patches and her girl friends were either under the shade trees together or standing quietly in a light breeze enjoying the sunshine on a warm and lazy afternoon. No matter how much Patches loved her girlfriends, it was each lady for herself when it came to carrots; she loved them and wanted them all to herselfPatches was strong-minded and opinionated yet soft, loving, and kind all at the same time.
Patches was about to turn 26 and a few days ago when we went to feed her breakfast early in the morning, she wouldn’t get up and would not eat and she was shaking with pain. We gave her an injection for the pain and then got her to stand up and loaded her onto the horse trailer right away to go to the equine hospital. Once there, the ultrasound revealed that she had a blockage in her small intestines and needed surgery right away to save her life. As she was taken into to surgery we whispered in her ear that they would make her feel better and that we loved her so much.
When they opened Patches up they found that a tumor had twisted itself around her small intestines and cut off the circulation. Too many feet of intestine had been destroyed and it was impossible to save her. Patches passed away on the operating table, while we cried inconsolably for the perfect little pony that we loved with all our hearts. Patches was beautiful, strong, and kind. We are so grateful that we got to know and love her and she left a huge hole in our barnyard and in our hearts forever.
25 years is a great life for a horse. Patches went on adventures, won prizes at horse shows, explored the trails, and had many girls who adored her. At The Gentle Barn, she got to be taken for walks, be groomed every day, graze lazily on fresh spring grasses on the trails, and have friends and family. I guess at the end, when our beloved furry family leaves us as they do, the most we can ask for is that they knew that they were loved and cared for, and that we have no regrets. Then all we are left with is missing them, which never goes away, it just becomes part of us, and part of loving them.
Thank you Patches for touching so many hearts and for being our most precious pony!