The blog I never ever thought I'd be writing....

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The blog I never ever thought id be writing….

So, my last blog was 99% positive about Rocky and what was happening in his life, I’m sorry to say this one is far from that…

I’m going to keep this brief, and basic, to enable me to type! Here goes….

After a few weeks of shear joyousness at being back together with my best friend in the whole world, things started to deteriorate, and rapidly. I had a call from the yard to say Rocky was struggling to walk out his stable, so in a mad panic I dropped everything to go see, and well, to be honest he looked normal (?) so assumed he was a bit stiff, I had been following a very strict rehab programme, and had been in constant contact with my excellent vet – sorry Janette (!)- with anything remotely “odd” or “exciting developments” I had felt, however the old Rocky had been returning, was this unseen by me or did I not want to see this? I really couldn’t say, but his attitude had returned to him being naughty and ridden work was definitely taking rapid steps backwards, but I really didn’t want to be seeing or feeling these things, so had weekly visits from Sorcha to ensure his back was ok and obviously Janette to see what was happening, with alterations to his rehab programme as deemed necessary….

Things went from bad to worse one afternoon while doing some gentle exercise in the school, something we had been doing ok for ages, suddenly the spooking and high alert rocky was back and boy, did he mean it, I do believe I would have had a 10/10 for a few “well sat’s!!” and then to top it off, when I asked for a very quiet trot, something he had been finding harder but not impossible, the sudden stop – stand vertical- toys out the pram- returned, well my heart sank. This is exactly what I never wanted to feel ever again, but here I was faced with the same symptoms from day 1, I was heartbroken. Something I’d also noticed was the, now more often, collapsing of the hock, as if it suddenly went numb (?) even when not working, just walking to and from the field, but again, I think I was opting to think this was unrelated.

A swift call to Janette (again!!) followed after the ridden incident, and she agreed to come see him – again!- we had organised to do a ridden assessment, however once she had done flexions and seen him move, we had to accept that our efforts had been in vein, the joints hadn’t reacted the way we hoped they would and effectively we had used all our ammunition on the problem. He was in pain again and it was bad. We discussed the subject in depth and after a LOT of thought over the next few days, and so many tears I should have drowned, I agreed the kindest thing to do was let Rocky go to sleep, permanently. I never imagined id ever have to make this decision, not for the kindest loving horse I ever met, a horse who even after owning horses for 35 years I never had such a connection with, a horse who had been slowly trying to tell me our best efforts just hadn’t been enough so he had to behave the only way he knew he could tell me, a horse who for a few weeks was absolutely hoof perfect and the happiest he had ever felt, no not MY ROCKY.

On Wednesday 28th June 2017 Rocky went to sleep, peacefully and without any fuss, “a perfectly behaved boy right to the end”, quoted from the vet.

The only consolation I can take from this whole sorry episode is that I tried my very best, as did my vet and physio, an amazing team effort, but sometimes our best simply isn’t good enough…

I miss him every moment of every hour I’m awake and I know there was nothing else I could do, but that doesn’t take away the pain of the emptiness left behind.

RIP my beautiful boy, I’m so sorry.


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  1. Debbie

    I'm not a horsy person at all but your blog really got to me. We try our very best to understand our animals and to give them the best life we think they wish for. We love them and they become our family and in some cases much much more if that's possible. It is the hardest thing when after trying everything in our power to make things right we have to accept we cannot help them anymore. We have no children we have cats who are our boys. Yes they are animals but so much more to us. Rocky was a soul mate almost I feel to you, and he knew you were trying everything you could to make things ok but we can't totally understand because of language barriers if that makes sense. He showed you he wasn't right, and thankfully you listened. You might not read this but I felt I had to say something your a very special person and rocky knew that. Know he is at peace and out of all pain.

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  2. Penelope Eighan

    So sad to hear. Thinking of you. Px

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  3. Sally pickworth

    Such a beautiful boy, who's mum couldn't have tried harder than to make him well again. Thinking of you all at this very sad time xx

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