This is Scoots (or Scooterbug, as we affectionately called her). The top pictures are pictures of her from when the barn I work at took her in as a rescue. Really, we had no business trying to save her. She was in her early twenties, was on three legs, and was severely underweight. We had NO idea if she was ever going to be able to be used for lessons, but she tugged at my boss’s heart, so we took her in. The first pictures were from when she arrived in April ‘12. The first “after” photo was the most recent, December ‘12. The photos in-between were from the end of the summer.
At first we spent hours everyday soaking her infected leg, and peeling layers of fur off her body in handfuls. Eventually we were able to start hand-walking and grazing her. After several weeks, she still had significant swelling in the leg and the vet told us to put her down. We decided that if we were going to put her down, she was going to get to enjoy being a horse for a week first, so we turned her out in a lush green pasture and let her sleep in the sun and stuff herself full. But as that week wore on, she started putting more weight on the bad leg. She started perking up. The swelling started to go down. So we decided to give her another week. It turns out, Scooty just needed to be a horse again. One week turned into two, and two into months. Scoots put the weight back on and was pasture-sound.
One day I asked my boss why no one had evaluated her under-saddle yet. She said she just hadn’t been ready, but there was no reason why I couldn’t try sitting on her. So another staff member led her and I climbed on bareback. The next week I was using her for beginner lessons. She was out of shape and quick to tire, but easy lead-line lessons were perfect for her.
Scooty went home to live with my boss’s dad for the winter. She was supposed to come back in the spring to continue teaching lessons and giving pony rides, but I guess that was just not meant to be. My boss called me earlier this afternoon to let me know that Scoots passed away earlier today unexpectedly. She was not sick, nothing went wrong. She just lay down and went to sleep and never woke up.
My heart is heavy, but I know that what we gave her was special. She got to graze on lush green grass, be stuffed full of the best grain we could give her. She was groomed for hours every day. But most of all, she got to pass out of this life knowing that she mattered and that she was loved. Rest in peace Scooterbug <3