June 1, 2003 - May 18, 2008

I can't believe I am writing this. This is so hard for me. On May 18, 2008, I lost my best friend, my child, my other half. And to this day, NOTHING has been the same. I feel like there is this huge hole in my heart. Losing her has left me feeling so empty, so alone. She stole my heart. And she still has it. I would give anything to see her face and kiss her head one more time. To spend one more day by her side. She was the most amazing thing to ever happen to me and I can't believe I'm going through life without her. She was my rock. I only needed her, I never needed anyone else. I miss her so much words can't even describe.

Katie was a 4 year-old appendix quarter horse who stole my heart the moment I saw her. It was exactly 8 days after she turned two when I signed the papers and handed the breeders the check for her. But I had been working with her for many months. It was June 9, 2006, and I was the happiest girl in the world. I broke her and trained her and we showed in the Hunter ring and never got below a reserve champion. She was the most amazing 4 year-old you were ever going to meet. People actually asked me how old she was and when I told them they wouldn't believe me. She was the most perfect, well-mannered horse I had ever met in my 10 year riding career.

Then in August 2007, we had a very serious internal injury. She had bone chips floating around in both hocks. She didn't even want to move. She was going to go to New Bolten, but we chose Manor Equine. They did an amazing job with her and handled her with extreme care. They treated her as if she were worth a million bucks, but in my eyes she was. There was no price on life. I would've done whatever needed to be done. She had the surgery and healed perfectly. So over the winter we re-trained and got back in the ring mid-April. We had 2 shows under our belt and then the day of our 3rd show, tragedy struck.

May 18, 2008 - Katie went into a colic she would never come out of. I arrived at the barn at 5:15 a.m. to see Katie rolling around in the small paddock where she stayed before shows. I got her up off the ground and washed her off and brought her into the barn. She was in crossties and she was trying to lay down and roll. I knew it was serious when I saw her. My trainer then arrived and called the vet and got his answering service because he wasn't awake at this hour. She left, along with all of my friends and their horses to the show, them all telling me she was going to be okay. I was at the farm alone with my horse dying right in front of my eyes. It hurt so bad to see her in this much pain. I looked into her eyes and I could see how much it hurt. She was looking right at me, this killed me. Seven o'clock rolled around and I called my trainer at the show and I was crying hysterically. My horse had fallen down, she was bleeding from all little nicks and scrapes and she wasn't getting up. I sat down in the mud with her. She had her head resting in my lap and I whispered to her, "Katie, I promise I won't let anything happen to you. We're going to make it through this, you're a tough girl, I know it.

The vet shows up to see this sight. He does all his tests and tells me the prognosis is not good. She twisted up her intestines. And we could either do surgery for eight thousand dollars or euthanize her. At this point she couldn't even get up. We were going to do the surgery even though the survival rate was 25% and I would never be able to ride her again. But he tested her abdominal fluid, which is supposed to be light yellow, and it came out dark yellow. Which automatically disqualifies her for the surgery. I was in the barn cleaning up my stuff, I didn't know at this point she was disqualified. My dad walks into the barn with tears rolling down his face. I was like, "Dad, what's wrong?" He said, "Sarah, I think we're going to have to put Katie down.". I fell to the ground and started bawling my eyes out, screaming, "No! We can't! No!". He picked me up and just held me in his arms telling me we had to. I ran out to her paddock and sat with her in the mud. My tears were falling off my face to her face. I didn't want to let her go. Just then I hear my trainer's truck and I see everyone from the show pulling up the driveway. My mom had called my trainer and told her. They all crowded around me telling me I can't watch her be put down. They took me to the barn and one of the ladys came in crying. I was like, "What''s wrong, is she okay?". And she told me she was in heaven now. I turned to my trainer and just started crying. My friend went back and got my horse's halter for me and a piece of her tail. I still have both in my room to this day. I never got to kiss that face again.

It's been 6 months since she died. And on November 18, 2008, it will be 7 months. That is exactly 1 day before my Sweet 16th birthday. I miss her so much. It hurts.

Katie,You meant everything to me. You have changed my life for the better. No one will ever forget you. Especially me. No one will understand the bond we had. You were always there to listen and when I just needed you there. You were definitely my rock.

You'll always be my girl, my everything. No horse will ever be able to replace you. You were my first horse, my first love. You're my guardian angel. "Don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly." I love you with all of my heart.

Love always,
Mommy (Sarah)

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