Yesterday, as the sun shone overhead and a warm breeze blew, we said goodbye to Bailey. While she might not have been at SAFE for very long, she was well fed, well cared for, and well loved during her time with us. You’d be hard pressed to find a sweeter mare, and even with the visible pain she was in due to the rotation in her front hooves, she never lost her sunny disposition.


Since her rescue, Bailey had struggled with comfort while walking. X‑rays showed rotation in both her front feet causing discomfort and pressure on her coffin bones. We had been managing her pain by wearing comfort orthotic boots and a daily dose of Equioxx, but at the end of May she experienced a severe laminitic flare-up. The pain was so intense that she refused to move around her paddock, and her heart rate and respiration skyrocketed. Thanks to the attentive eyes of our barn staff, we quickly called our vets out for an emergency visit. They recommended switching her medication to the stronger Bute, which only marginally improved her comfort. Even upping the dosage from 2 to 3 grams a day, she was still head-bobbing and lame at the walk, in the boots. And although her vitals slightly stabilized following the flare, they remain concerningly high.


In light of this, we needed to make the selfless decision to prioritize her comfort. We were committed to giving her the most beautiful last week possible, where she was showered with love from all those around her (and some who took special trips out to see her).

Our wish is always that a horse like Bailey could have fully recovered and found a forever home, but whether a horse is with us for a day or years, they are always special and deeply loved by us. Bailey had endured so much pain, and we are grateful that as her caregivers, SAFE could give her the peace and dignity she deserved. Laminitis, along with colic, is one of the most horrific and painful experiences for our beloved equine friends. As stewards of these amazing animals, it is our responsibility to let them go peacefully when there are no longer possibilities for a pain-free life. We can be comforted knowing that since her rescue, Bailey had known nothing but love, kindness and respect.