It is with more sadness than I can say that we share the passing of our beloved Gwen. Our hearts are breaking as she has been with us for 12 years. The first of many Tennessee Walking Horses we have rescued and the first pregnant mare too.
In 2007, Audrey of Saving Horses Inc in San Diego, found Gwen standing in an evacuation site of the Witch Creek firestorm, underweight and looking in poor health. She contacted me and we worked together to bring her to our place, having to buy her from the owner just so she could receive the proper care she needed for a mare in foal. She foaled on 3-12-08 and the picture above was taken when Quinn was about a week old.
Through the years Gwen has been the "go to" horse for people to ride, especially children whom she adored. Because of her good nature even someone who had never been on a horse could ride her. Out on trails, camping, re-enactment rides, you name it and she was up to the challenge.
In 2017 for our Help A Horse Day clean up at the ranch, dozen's of attendees of all ages got the chance to put their hand print on Gwen showing touches of love all over her body.
She stood patiently in the barn while everyone took a turn and then patiently outside for a wonderful bath to remove all the paint.
She was the center of attention and loved it.
The vet papers we got upon her rescue said she was 18 years old and she has been with us since 2007 making her 30 years old. Since we moved to Snowflake she has been a wonderful companion horse to our other oldsters and a teacher to our youngsters.
A few years ago after a difficult bout of pigeon fever and subsequent colic we decided to retire her from riding. I cannot tell you how many times I wished to just get up on her bareback and love on her with great big hugs while she walked around the pasture....I just wanted to feel that closeness again.
This past summer she got a ulceration in her right eye and was so patient for many months of ointments and drops going in her eye several times a day. This past fall she did awesome for surgery to tuck her lower eyelid so the eyelashes would not rub against her eye. So many thanks to all the people that helped giving her the eye treatments. We had a great team of volunteers and they all told me she stood so good for her treatments.
Through continued treatment and keeping her eye covered with a custom made fly mask with fabric on the inside to keep the sun out of her eye and we didn't want to risk her eye getting poked by something, you can see that it was slowly starting to heal.
The lack of sight on that side did make it difficult for her to maneuver around at times. We needed to make sure everyone spoke as we approached her so she would know we were near and sometimes she would startle if approached from her blind side.
During these past cold days and nights we kept her bundled in the barn and most recently kept her in a stall as a companion to another horse needing some extra care. We could see she was slowing down and perhaps because of her sight deficit she just didn't want to do much. She loved being groomed, talked to and always wanted to snuggle.
I simply cannot express how much this beautiful, sometimes feisty but always gentle mare touched so many lives over the years. She had character, grace, and so much love to share with people.
Yesterday we gently laid her to rest near a big tree in the front yard.
We can see her grave from our great room and front porch and I know as we look towards the mountains thoughts of her will always come to mind. Today there is a huge hole in mine and Lary's hearts and so many tears have been shed. Her passing is truly an end of an era. Our old grand dam is running in God's green pastures forever more.
RIP - Run In Paradise Gwen.....forever loved, forever in our hearts.