photo by Jessica Farren

photo by Jessica Farren

Strength and beauty. Two words that perfectly describe Shay. In the four years that we have known her, we’ve seen her battle back from neglect to become a vibrantly, beautiful mare. She’s lived a happy life in the company of her best friend Marta under the wonderful care of her foster family, Eileen and Andy Carrol. We could see that Shay had foundered at some point in her past because of the rotation in the coffin bone of both her front hooves.  Keeping her sound and comfortable meant that she had to be fed a low-carb diet and be kept from grazing on the lush green grass of her farm. Over the years she was seen regularly by our vets to ensure that she remained pain-free. The Carrols created a dry lot area where Shay could be turned out without her hated grazing muzzle, and they kept her stall deeply bedded so she could always have a soft spot to stand if she needed it. Our vets warned that a sudden bout of laminitis could quickly devolve into a life-threatening situation for Shay, so Eileen and Andy always kept a close eye on her, watching her carefully for any signs of pain or discomfort.

At the start of the year, Shay began struggling with soundness. Her comfort was maintained with medication for a while, but in time, even increasing her medication was not holding off the pain. Sadly it was time to let her go. At age 25, there was no reason for this lovely mare to suffer another moment’s discomfort. Better to say goodbye on a relatively good day than risk another bad day.

Shay’s passing yesterday was quiet and peaceful. Two close friends were there to see her off…Eileen, who comforted and loved her to the very end, and her pasture mate Marta who stood near her and said goodbye in the way only mares know how. Shay left this life believing that she had found her perfect forever home with people who thought the world of her.

Marta is being joined by a new SAFE horse, Aubrey, who will be arriving at Eileen’s farm today. We are very hopeful that the two will get along and become friends.