Welcome to Fern Valley

Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Some thoughts

So I have  been  thinking about this  post  for  a while. First let me  say it is not about a  horse of  mine, just about horses in  general  and 1 in  particular that I know of . I had  started to write about the  tough  decisions facing  horse owners  when our  critters  become old ,ill or injured. But honestly I have  written  about that before. The  long  and short of my  philosophy is simple.  we  are  to be  good  stewards  of  our  animals , and that includes  caring  for them  through  their  lives. Providing  boundaries, and healthy  environment , and yes  at the  end ,quite simply  loving  them  enough  to let  them go. 
Is it easy? nope, and it doesn't  get  any  easier. My sister  commented about all of  the  difficult  decisions I have  faced over  the years, and  sharing those insights  might  be of  help to others. Maybe but each of us  face  those  issues  with our own  set of  feelings, I am  no  better  , stronger or  wiser  than any other in   similar  situation. It is hard, and as I said  doesn't  get easier. 
The  comment  " I am  not  ready " has  come up from  time to time  with  folk  facing  that tough  call. Not to be  cold, but it is not about you  being ready , it is about the  animal. After all  at the  end of their  lives  we need to realize as hard as it is  we will  get past it, they won't
I was  going  to talk  about a  few  cases  in my  horse  career that might  show  some insight , but  really  as long ago or as  recently as  they  are, they are  scars I am  not sure I want to reopen. I think  this poem ,written  a few years  ago(it is in my first book)  states my  feelings  clearly  enough. 

Give me a horse

Give me a  horse
With good heart and mind
Yes give me a horse
And I’ll find the time

Give me the knowledge
To manage his care
To teach and to train
In a manner that’s fair

Give me the space
And days in the sun
To first learn to walk,
 Then learn to run

Give me the push
To do what I need
 To earn both our keep
And pay for his feed

Give me the courage,
When he’s done his best
When his time is done
To put him to rest

Leave me the horse
In my mind and heart
The joy and the memories
Right from the start

Yes give me a horse
And I‘ll do the rest
As he does for me
I’ll give him my best

 A  bit of  a downer  post I guess, but its  been on my  mind . 
Stay  safe  my  friends


BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

I couldn't agree more Sherry. Nothing makes me angrier than people letting an animal suffer because 'they' are not ready. Grow up, grow a set and stop being selfish!!

Anonymous said...

Not really a downer in a way - death is a part of life, as is aging. All of life, even its end, is to be celebrated - and it's wonderful that we can be there for our good steeds at the end and make sure that they don't suffer and have as good an end as we can give them. Love your poem - captures the spirit exactly.

aurora said...

I think this post is beautiful. I love your poem! Saying goodbye is part of life, one of the very hardest...we wouldn't have felt joy in our lives otherwise.

Leah said...

Thank you ~ we just faced this decision on 10/28 with our 26 year young grey mare (appy) ~ you are correct it isn't easy.

Shirley said...

Making that decision is part of good stewardship, as you said. I will always be sad for the times I've had to do that, especially the most recent one- and her grandma- two that were so near and dear to me- but it's our duty to do what is in their best interests, even if we don't want to let go.
One of my favorite of your poems.

Prairie Ridge Performance Horses said...

Sherry, This is a very 'close to my heart' subject. I also have a BIG problem with the people that have the "I'm not ready" thing going on, NONE of us is ever 'ready', but when the time comes, be it old age, injury, or whatever, then we need to 'ante up', 'cowboy up', ( whatever phrase you use) and make the right choice!!
It is not right that an animal should have to suffer, just because 'we' cannot do this.

This is one of my favourite poems, of yours.

Prairie Ridge Performance Horses said...

This problem is not solely for horse owners, it involves ANYONE that holds the care of any ANIMAL DEAR TO THEIR HEART

And as I work in Long Term Care, with Humans, DON'T get me started on that!!!

greymare said...

I love this poem and it helped me get through some of those cases you mentioned you didn't want to open. I thank you for that although I was ready and I agree that all animals that we love and cherish deserve this dignity. Someone at work had to make the decision today to put her dog down so if it is okay I would like to give her your poem.

kden said...

Not a downer at all, it's reality we probably all face if we've ever had an animal. Loved the poem.

Unknown said...

As I keep trying to heal Sassy, and wondering if I am doing the right thing, these words hit me harder than you will ever know.

Sherry Sikstrom said...

Oh Cindy! I did not intend to hurt or upset you , I know how hard you have worked on Sassy, she is in good weight and you are managing her pain,I know you will do the right thing for her if it can no longer be managed

Sherry Sikstrom said...

Thanks all I was unsure what to say, but I knew I wanted to say it.

Unknown said...

You did not hurt me or upset, but just verbalized the thoughts I already have. I watch her and wonder if she is happy and pain free. I watch my poor old guy Danny who seems to have more and more trouble with mobility, and I watch my old dog Butch who struggles with lupus and the side effects of the medication for that. All these things with these animals weigh's heavy on my mind and I know that soon I am going to have to make the decision's, and then follow through with it.

It sucks, especially since more money could probably help Sassy, or even Butch, but it is money I don't have and eventually I am going to have to draw the line.

Thank you for this post. It is a good one, and the timing is just right.

GoLightly said...

Nothing you write could ever be a "downer", girl. Thank you for your honest, clear-eyed view of what needs to be done, if we are to own ANY animal.

" Not to be cold, but it is not about you being ready, it is about the animal."

50+ Horses said...

A very timely Post. We've had to make this decision in the past and just a few days ago the conversation has risen with a horse we rescued last year. The time is coming - once again. :(

4RRanch said...

I really didn't need to cry this early this morning. What a wonderful and touching poem.