March 16, 1998 - February 2, 2007

Owen was the best horse I could have ever asked for. He was always there for me even when nobody else was. He was my escape every day from all the stresses and pressures of life, and he helped me get through some very difficult times. He was not only my best friend, but my partner. We showed for 2 short years on the IHJA "A" Circuit, and I believe we both loved every minute of it. He always came through for me at the end of the day. By the end of this past season, he had helped me fulfill so many dreams and goals that I couldn't have been more grateful to him. Just before our last horse show nearly 6 months ago, he injured his eye. It had appeared to be getting better, so we showed as planned. However by the last day, in time for my last class, his eye had swollen nearly shut. I showed him in my last class with only one normal eye, and even with that against us, he managed to win the large class, one of which we had never won before. After that horse show, I aged out of that division, ending my Junior show career with fulfilling the goal of winning the class, a dream which I had had for years.

Soon after, we discovered that the injury was that he had punctured his cornea, resulting in an abscess in his eye. Every day for weeks, we had to shoot several different medications into his eye every 4 hours. During this time I was unable to ride him. As the weeks turned into months, the eye began to improve, his medication lessened, and I was able to start riding him again. We worked hard to bring him back into form, and as his eye began to improve, we were able to start jumping him over small fences again. However, as the weeks went on, the eye would go through a routine of improving, then worsening. We sent him back and forth to the clinic for a long time, and we had all kinds of specialists looking at it trying to figure out how to make it better. Last week, they finally decided to do surgery on it because they decided that the medications we'd been giving him weren't fully working. They told us it was a relatively simple procedure, and that it would make him more comfortable and hopefully get rid of the infection that kept flaring up and irritating the eye, which was keeping it from healing.

They did the surgery 2 days ago and told me he'd be home a day or two after it. The morning of the surgery, I was planning to go visit him at the clinic when they had finished the procedure. Shortly before we were supposed to leave, my mom received a call from the clinic saying that the surgery itself had gone well, but unfortunately they were having problems waking Owen up from the anesthesia. A bit later they told us that they believed he suffered a stroke due to complications from the anesthesia. They still couldn't get him up. They then told us that he had begun thrashing unconsciously, and had hit his head badly against the side of the stall. They said he was too injured, and it was inhumane to keep him alive any longer. They put him down immediately on February 2, 2007, with us on the other end of the phone line. Even so, my mom and I drove out to the clinic so I could see him one last time and say goodbye.

It was the worst day of my life, and so unfair after fighting patiently for 6 months to get him well. Especially because with the surgery, we were just trying to help him, and make him a little more comfortable. Not doing the surgery wouldn't have been a life or death situation. I regret the decision to go through with the surgery so much; if I hadn't, he would still be here with me. I miss him so much. He was my very best friend. I am just relieved to know that he is with God now, free to run through the grassy fields of Heaven. I am thankful he is now healthy and happy just as he deserved to be during his last few months on Earth.

Rest In Peace, Owen. We all love you so much, and we will never forget you. You taught me so much, and made so many of my dreams come true. You were the best friend I could have ever asked for. Thank you for everything.


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