Vale ‘Holly the Beautiful & Patient’

A wise person once told me that I would need to toughen up to live on the land.

And being the practical soul I am, I agreed.  However the inner, deeply emotional part of me failed to get that memo.  And for the third time in six months (first Pickles then baby Annie) I find myself struggling as my loved ones adjust once more to agaping hole left in our extended family.

Beautiful black broodmare, Holly was hit by colic over the weekend.  She is a serial colicker – we have twice managed to intervene and get her healthy again.  But yesterday we couldn’t.  Despite hours of walking her, dosing her on remedies (both vet-recoomended and ‘natural’ variety), our darling 23-year-old black mare would not recover.

Deciding to help ease her terrible pain in the only way possible was hard.  But it was undoubtedly the right thing to do.

While we have loved and cared for Holly for the past eight years, she actually belonged to my mother – so this little tragedy has hit two households.  As the initial grief ebbs a little, I know that we are so thankful for many things:

  • for having a vet who willingly diverted from her own weekend (and road trip) to inspect Holly for us, and deliver the definite news (being a vet must be SO hard sometimes)
  • for the chance to ease her pain, in being here and not away when this happened
  • for my husband girding himself to do a job that must come under ‘toughest tasks ever’
  • for having two gorgeous fillies – Chi Chi and iTunes – whose antics and sweet natures will continue to delight us and remind us of their Mama
  • for all the cuddles we got to have with her before she left us.

I will just share a few of my ‘Holly Moments’ here – so you (and I) can be reminded just how wonderful and patient and sweet she was, and how blessed we have been.

holly_4478 e

holly_4493 e

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holly_4468 e




itunes_7220 f

holly_5578 e


 Holly’s legacies: Chi Chi and iTunes…


I know one thing for sure and certain: I am NOT tough enough.

I am not sure anyone is… for as sure as there is joy and new life, grief and death must certainly balance the scales.

And that’s a fact that is IMPOSSIBLE to avoid out here. So this ache is part of it all.

We loved you Holly.  We wouldn’t have had it any other way…


14 Responses to “Vale ‘Holly the Beautiful & Patient’”

  1. Love n hugs across the kilometres. To you all. xxx
    Fleur McDonald´s last blog post ..It’s here again!

  2. Stay NOT tough enough Amanda; its what makes you and all of us simply human in the most beautiful of ways xx

  3. Not again…your poor kids BB. I know you are hurting too but the kids make me very weepy. It’s must be so tough watching them struggle with this part of living on the land. But it must also make them bigger better people too. Ok…weeping over, I’ll just think of all the love and cuddles those fillies are going to be getting. Sending big hugs….

  4. So sorry to hear this again ..
    Heartbreaking .. :,(
    Thinking of you all .. <3

  5. It’s hard to write when crying. Oh BB and family my heart goes out to you all. Hold on to all the treasured memories you have of your beautiful girl.

  6. Thoughts and prayers with both families.

  7. Very sad and well expressed, Amanda.
    Still you do have offspring from the mare and 23 years is not too bad for the life of a horse (mare).
    The suffering of Holly would have been more difficult to bear than the advice of the Vet. The correct decision, as hard as to bear, was made.
    I remember as a kid being told – and this may be not true – that the age of a horse in horse life is 4 times more than we, humans???
    So if true, Holly was 92 years of age in human terms!!!! Not a bad innings or life cycle if what the old drovers of “yore” and the horsemen of “yore” informed a young kid – aka me/moi!
    You do have wonderful photos of Holly and her foals.

  8. Reliving happy memories seems like the best way to honor a lost loved one. A fitting tribute. My condolences to you and all of those whose hearts were touched by Holly.

  9. If you can lose a dear friend and not be heartbroken, you don’t have a heart. Yes, you need to be tough in the bush, but you also need a huge heart. RIP dear Holly. To tell you honestly, she was one of the most gorgeous mares I’ve seen (just looking at your photos). Such a kind, loving face and trusting, gentle eyes too. I have shed some tears after reading of your loss, so you and the family must be devastated. My thoughts and huge hugs are with you all. xxx

  10. Definitely the downside to loving our animals. My heart aches for all of you.

    Kelly´s last blog post ..Tractor

  11. Well hell. You all have had a time of it lately, and I am so very sorry. Toughen up is a phrase that I have never understood. Never. You cannot love a thing without grieving the loss of it. Toughen up implies that you refuse to become attached so as not to grieve the loss of it. Seems kind of selfish to me.

  12. Your post touched my heart for a couple of reasons, the first being that it is always so hard to say goodbye to an equine friend. My condolences to you all. The other reason is that I have never known anyone else to have a filly named Chi Chi. But, I had one and she was a gem. Not black but sorrel …. a beautiful gift filly that became my best friend for many years as we both grew up. Ironically, we lived in Australia when she diedand I, too, cried. My Chi Chi will always be in my memory and heart, as Holly will in yours.

  13. I’m so sorry. Hugs from across the pond.
    A Novel Woman´s last blog post ..On today’s walk

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