My Boy Wolfie!

Wolfie’s real name was Winter Wolf, he was a Black 16.2hh Hanoverian Warmblood. He had a small white star on his head. He was 20 years old when he died!

I didn’t have Wolfie for very long or not long enough anyway. I got him on the 4th August 2010, he was at our stables and no one was riding him so I took him and basically started full baiting him, but in my heart he was mine. I knew he had a history of COPD (Asthma) but he was healthy at this stage and was like a normal horse. So in August I started working with him, when I started riding him I could only jump about 40cm but by January 2011 I had jumped him a meter, it felt like I had missed out on a whole section, it was amazing. He had already taught me so much.

On the 3rd of February 2011, I took him to inter-schools and entered two 60cm classes, where we got a first place for both our classes. A week later he started coughing and his COPD was back, we immediately started him on pumps and called the vet out, he had a infection so we put him on to antibiotics. I walked him around and around and around every day hoping it would help and in a month or two he would be better, but that was not the case. Everyone said that the best thing we could do was to permanently put him out in a paddock so we did this, he was out the whole of winter, he had 2 blankets on every night and he had a very thick winter coat, he looked like a teddy bear. He had gained weight and looked beautiful, but by July 2011 he had been on 7 courses of antibiotics, 2 courses of cortisone, he was on 2 pumps morning and evening and most afternoons. We then found a powder that was really expensive but we decided to try it, and it worked, he wasn’t wheezing hardly, but he was still coughing. I was still walking him every day!

My instructor told us to maybe start thinking about putting him down. I was devastated I couldn’t believe I had to even consider it, but it was true, what life did he have. I gave it a lot of thought and decided against it, I decided to wait until summer and see how he goes. He still wanted to trot, canter and jump, which meant he still had spirit to live. In October he was better and I started jumping him again, it was the most amazing month of our life together, I couldn’t believe it! We jumped 1.10m. He hated the water tray and I got him jumping that as well. Then the one morning he started acting up, he wouldn’t jump, he was refusing everything, things he had jumped before without having an issue, and just a few days later he started coughing again and it was back, the COPD had started again. Yet he had never stopped his medication. So we went back to just walking him every day, but soon the medication wasn’t helping anymore and he started needing his pump in the afternoons when he came back from paddock or after I had walked him. In December we got our visas to move to New Zealand and now we had to make the decision of putting him down or retiring him. But he was basically retired, he wasn’t working, but he was still just as sick, and no one in their right mind would take a horse and pay for the medication he was on and how would I know if they would look after him. So I decided to put him down, he was going on the 4th January 2012 to be put down.

Every day till then I spent as much time as I could with him, whether it was on an outride, sitting with him in his paddock, walking him on a halter or riding him but just walking. He hated water and would never go in the dam, so on New Years day I decided to take him into the dam and to my amazement he went in, then turned around and got out, he was wheezing so I took him back to his stable but I had tried getting him into the dam for the whole year and now 3 days before he was leaving he went in, I couldn’t believe it.

On the 3rd of January 2012, I went to say goodbye. He looked terrible and I knew I was doing the right thing, saying goodbye and walking away and not turning around and running back when that’s all I wanted do, was the hardest thing! On the 4th January 2012, at 10.56 am I heard he was in peace!

I still miss him every day and wish he was with me! He was the most amazing horse! He had such a personality, he was never naughty or freaky, and I trusted him with my life. Putting him down was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do. He used to turn around in circles in his stable when I tried to put the bridle on, and I could see he thought it was funny. He taught me nearly everything I know and the kindest thing I could ever give him was peace!

The 15 months that he was mine were amazing and I will NEVER forget him. He is now young, healthy and running free in heaven with God! RIP Wolfie! You are forever in my heart and memories! I love you! ♥♥♥
Malissa Kruger

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