A sad day for us all today, as we had decided to have Archie and Timone put down. Logistically, we normally do this (if planned) on a Friday morning, as the yard is shut so it's nice and peaceful, and Sally is free to assist the vet with it, as it can be a difficult thing for the staff to deal with.
We had always planned to put Timone down in the Spring - he was never going to make a fully sound recovery to work from his athritis, and the treatment we gave him over the winter was to ensure he was comfortable and could have a few months retirement and time out at grass. The weather was so good this week, that we took advantage and gave him a few days out at grass with no rug on with Ben and Fuzby. He had a whale of a time, galloping about, bucking and generally enjoying himself, so we knew the time was right to put him to sleep this week, rather than delay it and risk him becoming lamer and uncomfortable again.
Archie had reached the grand old age of 35 years. Whilst most of you know him now as the old retired pony who we use as a companion, he was one of the best riding school ponies we had, and taught hundreds of kids to ride. He used to make us all laugh with his ability to poo (and stop for it) every 2 minutes, his timing of having a pee every time it was his turn to canter, and his dislike for coloured ponies, leading to him chasing poor Gemima round in lessons! Archie has had a great 4 years retired, but had grown a sarcoid (a cancerous wart) between his front legs. It had become bigger over the winter, and we didn't think it was fair to give him treatment for it that is often quite painful, so we felt the best thing to do was to put him to sleep before his health started to fail. He always behaved like a mini-stallion, so he'd have hated having to slow down if he had gotten stiffer and older.
On a brighter note, Aria is returning today from being backed and has already been ridden twice by Hannah who describes her as "strong and forward" - like mother, like daughter then! Belinda always liked to go forward!
Sally is also away to a horse sale in Ireland on Monday/Tues/Wed in search of a couple of jumping horses and perhaps a cob, so fingers crossed there are some suitable ponies over there! We'll keep you updated.