She began to experience signs of colic early Saturday morning 7-14-18, when she went down in her stall and refused to get back up. We immediately called the vet and after several minutes she was finally able to get up on her own. The vet gave her a few different types of medication, and for a short time it looked like she was going to make it.
Unfortunately, when we went to check on her about an hour later, she was sweating and in discomfort again. Because of her advanced age and compromised immune system, we had to make the incredibly difficult, but compassionate, decision to help end her pain.
We rescued Aurora about three years ago. Her owner was very ill and she was left alone in a large paddock without much food. When she came to Hanaeleh she was not only very emaciated, but also quite despondent. She missed her person and did not have much of a will to live.
After several weeks of love and care at Hanaeleh, however, she began to perk up and became the horse that everyone loved to groom. Some horses attract us through their goofiness (Quixote), some because of their personality (Tamahome), and some because of their spirit (Ulysses). Aurora’s special gift was her gentle grace, her ability to calm people and help boost their self-esteem.
Aurora was the first horse who participated in our EAC program, and she has helped a number of people work through their issues. She worked with children, veterans, teachers and women, and even when she was challenging people, she was never unsafe or aggressive.
I don’t know exactly why Aurora colicced last Saturday morning, but I believe that she had been holding on for our sakes for a long time. She has been especially picky with her food, to the point that we offered her multiple buckets of various types of grain in order to get her to eat – and she was actually eating all of her food. I think, however, she was unable to continue in this world any longer. I do not think it is a coincidence that she went down only a short time after her favorite volunteer Misa was with her. I do not think it is a coincidence that she went down while Katie was there. In fact, I think she wanted to make sure she held on until she could say goodbye to all of us. And then she did.
Aurora was surrounded by many of us at the end. Even though we had to wait for the vet to return, and even though it was a million degrees, all of the board members there that day stayed and waited so we could all be there to say a final goodbye. Aurora was petted and loved until the end, and her final moments on the earth were surrounded by love and caring words.
We are very thankful for the time we were allowed to spend with Aurora, and the special lessons she was able to teach us and others. She will be remembered by so many people for all of the love and compassion she gave to everyone while she was at Hanaeleh.