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He was one of the Greats... - Printable Version

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He was one of the Greats... - Nanno - 07-27-2018

I lost my good friend Jet last night. We've been so worried all summer about fire, but it was during the rain that tragedy struck--literally. We had a tremendous lightning storm around dinner time and when it was over, Jet was gone. The tree he was under had been hit and he was gone in an instant. My only consolation is that he did not suffer even the tiniest bit. He fell exactly as he'd been standing without even time to kick out or flail his legs. I have a long and wonderful history with that horse. Jet was 16 years old last month. I helped his mother bring him into the world--a gangly rambunctious little colt with a bold, adventuresome attitude. He grew into a fantastic all-around horse who did a little of everything and excelled at much of it. 

Jet and I had a wonderful "last hoorah" the night before he died. I took him to Salida for the "Gambler's Choice" obstacle challenge. Jet won first place in the jackpot. I drove home at a snail's pace through thick fog in the wee hours of the morning and Jet, as always, was so quiet and patient in the trailer over those winding mountain passes. Little could I know that less than 24 hours later he would be gone. 

My nephews and niece came to watch the competition and they got to ride Jet around the warm-up arena. He was so good with kids.    
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This is me and Jet's last photo together. 
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This may be the hardest loss I've ever experienced because it was so unexpected. Last night was really tough. My neighbor buried Jet first thing this morning. I was worried that scavengers might bother Jet's body before we could get it underground, but Skokie stood near him all night. The only trauma to Jet was the ear that Skokie had pulled on, trying revive his friend.  

Y'all hug your critters tonight. You just don't know what might happen tomorrow.


RE: He was one of the Greats... - Jimr - 07-27-2018

(07-27-2018, 03:49 PM)Nanno Wrote: I lost my good friend Jet last night. We've been so worried all summer about fire, but it was during the rain that tragedy struck--literally. We had a tremendous lightning storm around dinner time and when it was over, Jet was gone. The tree he was under had been hit and he was gone in an instant. My only consolation is that he did not suffer even the tiniest bit. He fell exactly as he'd been standing without even time to kick out or flail his legs. I have a long and wonderful history with that horse. Jet was 16 years old last month. I helped his mother bring him into the world--a gangly rambunctious little colt with a bold, adventuresome attitude. He grew into a fantastic all-around horse who did a little of everything and excelled at much of it. 

Jet and I had a wonderful "last hoorah" the night before he died. I took him to Salida for the "Gambler's Choice" obstacle challenge. Jet won first place in the jackpot. I drove home at a snail's pace through thick fog in the wee hours of the morning and Jet, as always, was so quiet and patient in the trailer over those winding mountain passes. Little could I know that less than 24 hours later he would be gone. 

My nephews and niece came to watch the competition and they got to ride Jet around the warm-up arena. He was so good with kids.    




This is me and Jet's last photo together. 


This may be the hardest loss I've ever experienced because it was so unexpected. Last night was really tough. My neighbor buried Jet first thing this morning. I was worried that scavengers might bother Jet's body before we could get it underground, but Skokie stood near him all night. The only trauma to Jet was the ear that Skokie had pulled on, trying revive his friend.  

Y'all hug your critters tonight. You just don't know what might happen tomorrow.

That is sad news Nan! Sorry for your loss, but glad you did get a last ride with him and there was no suffering.


RE: He was one of the Greats... - Charlie Horse - 07-27-2018

Oh wow.  Thursday afternoon I had to put down Sagan, a 30 year old TB/QH mix that had belonged to my late friend Cactus Dan.  He was 30 and with a little help from the vet and some donations from Dan's old friends for his expensive vitamins and supliments, I got him through last year's mild winter.  Lately he'd been losing weight and muscle to the point he had a hard time getting up off of the ground.  So the time had come and he spent his last hours out in the pasture, normally off limits to the horses due to the drought.  I had the vet put him down and buried him in the horse field.  At least it was his time and not something so random...

A lightning strike!  Wow, such bad luck for you guys.  I worry about the horses when there is nearby lightning but I never really expect it to happen!  Just when you thought some nice rain was going to make all the critters happy, too.  I saw some lightning across the valley yesterday and was pondering the odds of Sagan getting struck an hour before he was going to be put down.  I probably need to start wearing a tinfoil hat or something...

You know, I remember someone did a PBS nature series about some wild horses in Colorado and if I recall, half the herd got zapped by lightning all at once.

I hope you can cheer yourself up a little with the thought of perhaps providing a new home for a hopeful young colt.  Looking for the next one is the one thing that really helps me out when I lose one.


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RE: He was one of the Greats... - Sanhestar - 07-27-2018

this is such an unexpected tragedy. One can prepare with illness or age but the accidental deaths are hard to bear.

Take care!


RE: He was one of the Greats... - Taffy - 07-27-2018

Oh, Nan. What a tragic and unexpected loss. May the memories of the good times you two had together help you through this tough time. Hugs.


RE: He was one of the Greats... - Saph - 07-28-2018

I am so sorry Nan...you gave him such a good life. Sending you hugs, and may the memories be a blessing to you.


RE: He was one of the Greats... - Nanno - 07-28-2018

Thanks you guys. Herb, I'm sorry about Sagan. You did the right thing. He had a lot of good years.  

The loss of Jet is a tough one to take. He was at the top of his game. Our favorite activities these last few years have been obstacle course competitions and cattle sorting. Jet was awesome at the obstacle challenges. He was a bold horse since the day he was born, so "spookums" in an arena rarely bothered him. He would walk on, over, or through most anything. I'll never forget the obstacle challenge a few years back when the high-point obstacle was a mattress that the horse had to go over. Very few horses would even approach it, let alone put their feet on it. One horse walked over it once but wouldn't approach it a second time. Jet never even blinked at it. We were allowed to go over each obstacle up to two times to collect the points. Jet crossed that thing at a run--jumped right into the middle of it and pretty much bounced off the other end, then turned around and did it again for 50 more points. Last year was the first time he ever encountered a water box. It's a box filled with water with a plywood board floating in it. The board had holes in it, so when the horse stepped on the floating board, water shot up through the holes. Jet stepped boldly into the box--so boldly the water shot right up into his face! He stepped back in surprise, but when I asked him to go forward again, he did not hesitate and walked right on through. It was never scary for him again, and when we encountered that same obstacle at the course the other night, he jogged right over it two times and won us 120 points. He was fun for speed obstacle courses not only because he didn't hesitate, but also because he could turn the speed on and off so quickly. He could race to an obstacle at top speed, then slow right down to a walk and calmly execute a gate or a back-through or a side-pass. I even enjoyed riding some of these competitions bareback.

Cow sorting was Jet's other favorite activity. He was very bold with the cattle and always seemed to know exactly which one you wanted to cut out. I sometimes let friends and relatives ride Jet at team sorting because if they didn't know what they were doing, Jet helped them out. I would tell people, "Point Jet at the cow you want then hang onto your saddle because he'll take it from there." 

I'll probably post photos and stories about Jet here for a while. I haven't posted many horse pictures to this forum because, after all, it is a goat forum, but I find it therapeutic to tell stories and post pictures of the animals I've lost. It helps me grieve without sinking into an unhealthy depression, and it helps me focus on celebrating the time we shared rather than wallow in the feeling that I've been cheated out of something I was never entitled to in the first place. Because yes, Jet's death was untimely. There was not one thing wrong with him, and by all rights he should have had many more years to run and play and teach young riders the thrill of being up on a horse. But nothing in life is guaranteed. I'm thankful his death was painless and instantaneous, but right now that's all I feel thankful for. It doesn't seem fair that the horse that never got sick or injured, and who still took such thrill in life should die at only sixteen. Just last week Phil and I ran to the window to watch as he and Skokie went nuts in the pasture--Jet was rearing, bucking, bolting, kicking, skidding to a halt, then flinging himself down in the mud to roll. He was celebrating the first rain in months and he was black with caked mud, which flung off in every direction when he performed his explosive airs above ground. Skokie usually joined in the fun with Jet, but Jet was always the initiator, and they didn't stop until Jet decided to quit.

Jet and I winning the Colorado Obstacle Challenge Series event jackpot race last summer.  
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RE: He was one of the Greats... - goatzrule - 07-29-2018

Oh no, I'm so sorry Nan! The lightning worries me so much. The other night there was lighting but no rain. The lighting hit a tree about a 1/8 mile away from the goats but nothing bad happened.


RE: He was one of the Greats... - Nanno - 07-29-2018

A few memories from the night Jet was born. He was two weeks overdue and I was a wreck, so I slung a hammock in the spare stall and slept in the barn with my new baby goat, Cuzco. Sometime around 1:00 in the morning, my mare, Easter, came bursting in from the pasture, stuck her nose through the stall bars and screamed at me. I had been sound asleep and the blast scared me to death. Then I heard the sound of rushing water. Easter was in active labor, and she'd come racing in from the pasture to fetch me for the event! That was a wonderful feeling. Most horses hide their labor so they can avoid human company. But not my gal Easter. 

I went into her stall just as the little hooves began to appear. Shortly after, the nose came, and with it a terrific shock when I tore open the sac and saw a bluish-purple tongue sticking out at me! I was sure the foal was in trouble. I ran to the house and called the farm manager down the road and fetched a bucket of hot water. When I got back out to Easter's side a few minutes later, it was obvious she hadn't pushed at all while I was gone. The foal had made no progress. It was not until I came back to her side that she started pushing again. The farm manager, Jo-Anne, showed up shortly after and reassured me that all was well with the colt. Blue tongues are quite normal, and this little guy was alive and kicking. Jo-Anne and I pulled Jet into the world a little before 2:00 a.m. on June 24th. He was a large, strong, healthy colt and was already too tall to walk under his mother. 

My first photo of Jet, still wet and wondering what to think of this big, new world he'd just entered.  
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Me and Jet's first photo together. 
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His glossy black coat inspired the name Jet, along with the fact that, once I showed up on the scene, Easter pushed him out in one massive contraction that shot him straight into the wall. It was a good thing Jo-Anne and I were standing there to cushion his entrance.  
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Easter was extremely proud of her new colt and not the least bit nervous about sharing him with people. 
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Jet needed a little help finding the teat at first. In fact, it took several hours before he really and truly "got it". I had to milk his mom out and feed him from a tablespoon a few times to help him gather his strength for another try.  
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Phil and Jet hit it off right from the start. But Phil said Jet was so soft it made his teeth hurt, so he didn't pet the foal much those first few days. I, on the other hand, had a hard time keeping my hands off him. 
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RE: He was one of the Greats... - Taffy - 08-01-2018

What breed was Jet that he went from black to gray in color? Foals are so adorable!

I'd love to see some photos of you two cattle sorting.