Yesterday was a very bad day for me. An early morning phone call from my mother conveyed the news that a horse we knew and loved had escaped from her paddock, along with two other horses, been struck by a car and killed. One of the horses survived, but Leah and a young horse did not.
We knew Leah because she belonged to our friends and former barn managers. They moved to California last year and because of Leah's advanced age were not able to take her with them. Transporting horses from one coast to the other is not an easy feat and it produces a lot of stress on the animals. Even the youngest and healthiest of horses come off the trailer at the end of their journey exhausted. As much as our friends loved Leah they knew transporting her clear across the country was not an option. For her sake they worked to find her another home. And they did. A nice back yard barn where she would be loved, cared for and well taken care of.
Leah was happy in her new home. The new owners ended up getting two more horses to keep her company, she had other animals such as goats and llamas to boss around and she was well loved.
We'll never know what caused the three horses to break through their fencing and run into the road. It was early morning, the sun hadn't risen yet and horses don't typically run off in the dark. They are flight animals however and when threatened in some manner their instinct is to run. Which they did with tragic results.
Our hearts are broken. I spent all day yesterday sobbing off and on and had a pain in my heart. The worst part, for me, was that I knew no one had called California to let Leah's human family know what had happened so I made the call. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do but I would not let them find out by word of mouth or by seeing it discussed on one of the equestrian forums.
Leah was a beautiful, sweet mare who brought a lot of joy into all of our lives. She will be sorely missed.