As many of you who follow our Facebook page and have read our previous blogs will know, Jess is the inspiration and the drive behind Centaur Equine Massage Training. Quite frankly if it wasn’t for Jess our training school would not exist. She is the reason I trained as an equine massage practitioner and therefore the reason that Centaur Equine Massage Training came about. She is my one in a million, my true heart horse and a special soul that I got to spend almost 20 years of my life with.
For those that do follow our Facebook page you will have seen various posts about Jess’s health and the fact that back in August last year (2019) Jess began suffering with neurological seizures. During these seizures Jess’s brain would “shut off” and she would lose control of her body. To begin with there were months between each seizure and as Jess was unaware of what was happening, we decided to keep battling through.
Unfortunately, over the past few months Jess’s seizures were becoming more regular, happening approximately every month. After many discussions with numerous vets from the amazing Corner House Equine Clinic, it was decided that whilst the seizures were happening monthly and with no lasting affect on Jess when she came round we would continue with her care as it was. We would allow Jess to enjoy the summer sunshine and the lush grass before letting her go to sleep prior to the arrival of winter 2020.
During this time, I also enlisted the services of the fantastic Jess Equine Vet Acupuncture. These sessions were so valuable, and I could see huge improvements after Jess’s visits.
As the weather changed and the grass began to grow Jess started to look like her old self with the weight slowly building back up, a shine to her coat and the twinkle back in her eye. As amazing as this was it was making my decision very difficult to stick to. As much as I didn’t want to let her struggle through another winter, how could I make the decision to take her life away from her when she looked so happy? What right did I have to make that decision for her, even though in my heart I knew that it was the right thing to do?
Over the last month Jess’s seizures started to become more frequent, one every 8 days. The first of these was pretty horrific and made me realise that I really was planning on doing what was right for Jess even though she bounced back just like she always did, but still the argument in my head continued. Could she have 1 more day in the field eating grass with the sun on her back? Could she have one more day where she just galloped up the field for the pure joy of it?
The second of the almost weekly seizures wasn’t too bad at all. Her brain stopped functioning but not to the point where she collapsed, so this gave me a little hope again.
The third of the almost weekly seizures happened on the 15th of April (almost a week ago now, which I still can’t believe). Jess was grazing at 8.30am and laid down to have a little snooze in the sun at approximately 8.45. I arrived at the yard 30 minutes later and Jess had had a seizure and gone to sleep for the final time.
As hard as it was to find her like this, I knew that she hadn’t suffered. She had done exactly what I was hoping for her and enjoyed the nicer weather and the grass in her belly and then gone to sleep before next winter arrives. As well as all that she had been selfless to the very end and not made me make that terrible decision which was causing me so much heart ache and pain.
Jess will continue to be the driving force behind Centaur Equine Massage Training and every student who trains with us will take a little bit of Jess’s legacy out there with them as they help the horses that they treat to find comfort.