The precious Prince of Sweetness

by Barbara
(Cincinnati, OH)

Amir Halam & me, 2001

Amir Halam & me, 2001

He wasn't the horse I wanted, but he was the horse I needed. My first horse, a spirited "red" Arabian gelding, was named "Amir Halam" on the papers he had at age 10 when I got him for only $550. It's Arabic for "Prince of Sweetness".

I had him 21 years, since November 17, 1990, and I never appreciated him enough. He did anything asked of him. He started countless others on their way to horseback riding and increased self-confidence, as I gave lessons on him, first free to anyone who expressed an interest, then cheaply, as I earned a little much-needed income. Only one a day, no more than 3 or so per week. And occasionally the thrill (to me & the students) of a local horse show.

Then in early November, 2011, when he was over 31 years old, he started coming in from pasture very muddy, with mud even forced into his ears. It wasn't like him to even lie down, so I was concerned. Then he started leaving part of his grain. I was even more concerned. But still he gave rides and lessons, with most of his characteristic speed and spirit... and was ALWAYS a perfect gentleman, kind yet proudly aloof. He wasn't even the slightest but thin, even at that age.

Then on Friday afternoon, November 25, 2011, after he came trotting up to me energetically when called for a lesson, he put his nose down to the ground at my feet and started "folding up".
Four hours of agony -- rolling sometimes, walking sometimes, enduring various "colic" trestments -- later, the vet finally put him to sleep. By then he was in v-fib. We couldn't afford an autopsy, or get him to a large-animal hospital, so we'll never know what exactly killed him. I feel so guilty.

And I want to know -- since the "denial" stage of my grief just ended this week, after 6 1/2 months -- !! -- will the other stages last a very long time, too? I only started crying over him TODAY. I just couldn't believe he was gone, until now.

heartbroken Barbara

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Jun 08, 2012
not the pet I wanted but what I needed
by: Doreen U.K. England

Dear Barbara
I addressed your grief earlier but now I address your pain over your pet horse.
You say he was not the pet you wanted but the pet you needed.
My experience is that I applaud people who like pets but I never did till one day my daughter Maria was talked into having birds by her brother Christopher. I ended up looking after them and I loved it. We had 9 Cockatiels then 4 babies came along and my son nursed them. It was lovely watching how the parents looked after their young. We had a nesting box and the father bird was responsible for feeding and he would sit with the babies in the nesting box and put the food down their throats then the mother would take over. Sadly though the father started plucking the babies feathers and we learned that the father would now kill these birds so we had to isolate them. Sadly we watched the father grieve over his mate leaving with the babies and he took another bird to mate with to get over his grief. As birds grieve also and they get depressed.
To cut a long story short. Your Amir Halam was your pride and joy and he loved the moments he had with you as you did with him and I with my birds. Hold onto these memories.
My first experience at losing a bird was so painfull I cried and cried and I am a mature woman in years. My husband was a carpenter so he made a box for the bird and we gave him a good resting place. Then 2 lovebirds and we had to separate them from the cockatiels as they were aggressive. Ben one of the lovebirds developed an infection in his eye and it broke my heart to see him try to climb up the cage and couldn't. I picked Ben up and talked to him and he died in my hands as I held him. I broke my heart again as I did whenever a bird escaped out of the cage and into the outside atmosphere.
I now have given the birds to another home where the owner has an outdoor and indoor aviary. I miss my darling birds. My birds are happy in their new home and that is all that matters. This is my experience and these pets brought such joy and happiness into my life I wanted it to last forever. But the memories will last forever just like yours will for your Amir Halam.

Jun 07, 2012
The precious Prince of Sweetness
by: Doreen England

No two people grieve the same way or to timing. Grief is expressed when we least expect it. Sometimes a trigger could set us off. Grief is something we all experience when we suffer a loss.
The first stage is disbelief and numbness rather like being frozen and then thawing out is the stage when one feels the full impact of sorrow, pain, and crying etc.
No one knows how long grief will last and what intensity or degree or depth of suffering one will experience. You will learn as you go on. Just don't become so busy that you don't feel anything as you just postpone the grief and it will catch up with you and you will feel the intensity worse. The Pain of Grief is so unbearable that one wants it to be over quite quickly but it doesn't work like this. Through the grief comes healing and this takes place gradually so you will heal also in stages. So you are getting better with each grief/healing.
I hope this helps.

Jun 07, 2012
Don't feel guilty
by: Sandy

Dear Barbara,
So sad to read about your Amir Halam . It is indeed astonishing that in spite of his ill health he used to train and give rides. He was indeed a beautiful ,courageous horse and his looks were royal. We really feel guilty of not knowing about what was the cause of death of our pet. I only wished they could speak. I lost my pet cat who was only an year old, about 11 weeks ago and still have not come to terms with it . Like you I too carried the guilt of not providing timely medical treatment to my fur baby Poochie and I still cry reminiscing about her. May your horse RIP . Take care.

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