Posted by: David | October 31, 2008

Rest In Peace Justice

My wife’s Arabian cross pony, Justice, has appeared before in these pages. Well today she spent her last few hours in the sunny pasture, feeling fairly well we suppose. She looked content anyway, and she’s not been doing so well lately. She was a little over 30 years old and had not one but two abscesses in her back hooves along with Cushing’s disease. In the old days they probably just called it old age, but nowadays every condition is more specifically identified and labeled. She’s been spending too much time lying down, she has been deteriorating and with winter closing in the hard decision had been made to have the vet come and put her to sleep.

A couple of weeks ago, after getting over two hoof abscesses.

We’ve had Justice for 24 years, most of her life. Today was the day for the vet appointment. My wife’s brother knows how to run an excavator, and gave us the better part of his day digging an immense hole and staying around through the hard part to complete the burial. The vet and her assistant completed their duties and were gone within 30 minutes.

The excavator heads for the southwest corner of the pasture.

We managed to find a nice spot and were able to dig about 7 feet down without hitting any water. The hole took about a half hour to dig, after which we had some lunch and waited for the vet to show up. That waiting was a little hard.

My daughter’s horse, Buddy, soon to be on his own, was allowed to witness the procedure, which the vet performed with amazingly gentle skill. Buddy spent a couple of hours calling afterward, and will probably race around the pasture a little bit tomorrow, in search of his lost companion. He did calm down a bit after being let into his stall, getting his dinner and an herbal calming preparation.

My wife and I spent a good part of the morning this Halloween day clearing nasty thorny rose brambles from the electric fence line in preparation to turn on the fence in case Buddy needs extra containment. Maybe he’ll like being on his own once he gets used to it. He used to waste an awful lot of energy chasing Justice away from this or that pile of hay, bossy and dominant is he.

By 5:00 we were back inside figuring out what to make for dinner. We made a yummy quiche and ate most of it up. Saved the last piece for you Internet! You will love it!

It has “Seriously Sharp” cheddar, mozzarella, mushrooms, bacon bits, garlic and 8 eggs.

Also I scooped out 2 pumpkins and roasted the seeds. A favorite Halloween treat! It was a long day this Halloween. I sure am ready for bed now.

MMMmmmmm. Punkin seeds!

Goodbye October 2008, no offense, but you kinda sucked.



  1. I’m so sorry, David. Thanks for sharing such a touching remembrance.

    Thanks B&G, Justice was a pretty good horse and gave us almost no trouble in her long life, but I must be honest, I have always been opposed to keeping horses. Mostly for economic reasons. But this isn’t the place to rant on that topic …In conclusion, I often find myself thinking (sometimes out loud) “What the hell is it with women and horses?!?!”

  2. My heart goes out to you both. I spoke with your wife that day and I know how difficult this was for her. So sorry.

    Thanks lakecrazy, she’s actually more relieved now than anything. The now solitary horse, Buddy, is taking it better than expected, with the help of some herbal calming concoction. This first Sunday morning of Daylight Savings Time, he’s doing a little whinnying and calling in front of the barn.

  3. I’m so sorry David. I have no doubt that Justice lived a great life and knew that you were doing what was best for her.
    She was beautiful. So sorry.

    Thanks talea. 🙂

  4. I’m sorry to hear about Justice’s passing. Please accept my deepest condolences. Poor Buddy 😦

    Thank you Jessica. Nice of you to stop by. Buddy is having a little trouble this morning, but hopefully he’ll get over it. Grieving can be a lengthy process, maybe for horses too, but let’s hope not.

  5. I cannot believe you had Justice for 24 years — a lot of life has passed in front of those horsey eyes. We were thinking of you all day.

    Thanks Carol. That’s a nice way of looking at it. Guess one gets even more attached to pets that have longer lifespans.

  6. I must admit that, “What the hell is it with women and horses?!?!” has crossed my mind and lips more than once. I’ve dated many horse ladies. And I must say that should be the first question when searching for a lady friend.

    We have a friend who’s getting back into it after years of leading a normal life and she is, how can I put this delicately on your site? Nucking Futs now.

    We got together with her last week and once she and my girlfriend (who doesn’t ride now but was quite accomplished) started I was glad there was beer (and two brothers who told funny stories about getting whacked by their mother. She wouldn’t hit one of them on the hands because he’s ‘the piano player’ so the other one got it on the hands. Good thing, I reminded him, he’s only ‘the carpenter’) to keep me company.

    Maybe THAT’s the answer to Freud’s question “what does a woman want”? An Effing Horse! Nah, what a dopey question anyway, no? But there’s gotta be something to that woman + horse equation …

    Any who … it boils down to an economic complaint. Horses are meant for the rich folks. The best I can do is a kind of resigned sarcasm … I KNOW! Let’s get some elephants after the horses are gone?!?! Most of the time it just pisses me off.

    You were indeed fortunate to find beer and genuinely entertaining conversation while the ladies exchanged their sweaty horse tales. An abusive mother with carpenter and a piano player sons, huh? Sounds like the missing Truffaut film. Way more interesting than horse manure …

  7. What does the veterinarian have to do (if it is not too painful to explain) ?

    And what do you do with punkin seeds? Can you eat them? Or give them to the birds.

    My father had a horse and because of a broken leg it had to be hung up on straps in its barn, I don’t remember for how long. Since animals can’t understand purpose, this kind of treatment is like torture.

    The veterinarian first gave Justice an injection of something to relax her, but not too much. When we walked her down to where the hole had been dug, the vet administered intravenously 3 very large syringes of something (we didn’t ask what she was using) very potent. She knew when and where to put her hand and push to help Justice fall a little more gracefully, and knelt to place her palm over the pony’s eye, then listened with her stethoscope. It was over so quickly and peacefully. Your story of your father’s horse is interesting … why did they go to such extraordinary measures to save this horse? Breeding stock maybe? Agree with you on the torture aspect …

    We do eat the pumpkin seeds. They are delicious when roasted and lightly salted! The pumpkins themselves are generally ornamental. It is an early November tradition (along with voting) to scoop the seeds from the nearly frozen pumpkins, separate them from the fibrous masses of pumpkin guts, rinse, rinse, rinse and spread them on the roasting pans, sprinkling with salt, and watching them carefully in the hot oven. When done properly they crackle a little as they cool down.

  8. Oh, may your beautiful horse rest in peace, and I hope Buddy is coping well!

    Thanks Romi. My wife placed a couple flakes of hay and some white orchid flowers in the grave with her. Buddy is doing OK. He’s a people horse. A little human attention seems to make up for a lot of missing equine attention. And now he can do some reflection on how inadequate a partner he was to his stable mate …

  9. I’m so sorry about Justice. It’s so difficult to lose an animal. My niece was a fantastic rider when she was younger and won many horse shows. Her great Aunt finally bought her a horse which she took to boarding school with her. Her horse died there of colic. She was so upset but she got through it and became Captain of her Equestrian Team in college but she never was able to get another horse.

    That quiche looks so good but I’ll bet it’s not weight watcher friendly. I love roasted pumpkin seeds.

    Thanks Joan. Justice lived with us for well over 20 of her 30+ years.

    Sorry about your toothache!

    Yeah, the quiche had lotsa butter and cheese and bacon … but hooray for punkin seeds! When we have good pumpkin years I’m in seeds till xmas. 😀

  10. aww .. im so sorry, MrDavid ..
    though im lovin’ that last line. it did suck.

    Thanks Red. Let’s hope. Hope seems to be the operational word these days. 🙂

  11. It was an expensive horse, a race-horse and very pretty. And there would have been an insurance.

    I have had intermittent connection for some days. I wonder whether it is my internet supplier who is in trouble, or whether it is WordPress who is going to change their dashboard now, one of these days. If it were my supplier ? A little sample of the immediate future ?

    Justice was a rescue case. We got her when she was about 6 years old. Not a race horse, not insured.

    Sorry about your connection. I hope it’s better now. And I hope you’re wrong about WordPress changing the dashboard again.

  12. Well Dave, I don’t know what to say about Justice except that I’m so sorry for you guys and my heart goes out to you. I know all too well what you’re going through. The aging of animals rips us up: the grieving, the mourning. Ugh. Words aren’t big enough to describe the feelings, or how much it sucks.

    I’m so glad you had land enough to keep her with you, and a brother-in-law who can run an excavator. That part is very, very sweet.

    Thank you Wendy. Justice had a pretty good life with us.

    Yeah, bro-in-law hung out for the entire time, from digging to burial. He done real good! The surviving horse is now adjusted to his solitude it seems, and has apparently slowed down on his bad habit of “cribbing“. Interesting, hmm?

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