In memory

Anira - Little Miss

Anira was my (Natalie) first pony. When we first met her at the dealers she looked terrible, she was skinny, covered in mud and had a snotty nose, but my little 13 year old mind looked past it all and saw that this could potentially be the horse I always wanted (a paint mare).

My first ride on her was a mess, she was m.e.n.t.a.l! I didn’t have any expectations, I don’t think any 13 year old girl does when they are getting their first pony, so when I got on and she just wanted to go go GO, it didn’t bother me at all. She just wanted to GALLOP around the tiny round yard I rode her in, she didn’t listen to my legs or hands at all, she just did what she wanted! So after getting off her, my responsible mum, sister and grandfather thought "she’s in love? SOLD!" (no seriously, I can never figure out what the hell they were thinking letting me get this mental little horse, the only thing that wasn’t too dangerous about her was the fact she was only 13hh).

When she arrived she was so quiet and super shit scared (she always hated floating). We pulled her off the float and walked her up to our tie-up area. Lisa and I decided we would herd all the horses out of the main paddock so we could have it for ourselves (lol, bit selfish?). We saddled up and started herding them out. Anira was an angel, perfect push-button pony, I was surprised because she had been so hot headed at the dealers. She was trotting on the buckle, she had a rocking horse canter and she was listening to everything I asked with my legs and hands..... That was the last time she ever behaved so calmly under saddle, and now that I look back, I am pretty sure she was drugged up to the hills.

Although she was a mental case, she really was a saint of a horse. She was the challenge I needed in a first horse. She would jig-jog everywhere and if I gave her her head, she would go faster and faster until she ended up galloping full pelt, she had a horrible stop and most of the time I had to turn her to get her to slow down, I could never put leg on because she thought it meant RUN, she would use any excuse in the book to pop into a trot, sneezing? That means TROT! Tripping? TROT! giving her her head? TROT! A nice pat on the neck? TROT!

After about 3 and a half years after I got Anira, we had the vet out to do a regular check up on both her and Becks. I was told she had arthritis in her hind hocks, and that I should only do light riding, nothing too strenuous on her. It broke my heart, the only things Anira enjoyed doing were FUN things like jumping, cross country, gallops up the hill, barrels and sporting games and she wasn’t up for doing them anymore according to the vet.
I took it easy on her the last year and a half she was alive. I didn’t ride often at all, I still lunged and got her out and spent time with her which was just as satisfying as getting on and going for a ride. She was a happy old horse, and that is what kept me happy.

One night I went out to feed her and Becks and I was in a hurry, so I fed them both, went in and gave her a kiss and a hug but I didn’t spend that extra minute longer with her like I usually did. And I regret it so much.

I woke up the next day to a call from Mel (the owner of the agistment property where we kept the horses) she had told me something wasn’t right with Anira and that she wasn't eating her breakfast and she would call the vet. I drove out there immediately. When I got there she was standing over her feed bucket but she wasn’t eating. I went in the yard and gave her a kiss and a hug, I didn’t know what to think because she never gave us a reason to worry. I tried to get her to eat, but she wouldn’t, I tried to get her to drink some water and she wouldn’t, I tried getting her to take a few steps and she just wouldn’t budge. It wasn’t like her; she wasn't the type of horse to sook about anything. I called Lisa and asked her to come out because I didn’t think she was going to be ok.
The vet came out and after doing an internal, came to the conclusion that Anira's bowel had ruptured. She said there was the option of surgury that MIGHT fix it but most likely not, and then the other option.

Lisa arrived almost straight away after the vet told me and I was in hysterics. I knew what I had to do and the decision wasn’t hard, it was just hard coming to terms with the fact I would have to say goodbye to my beautiful little Anira. Lisa and I cried together and I told the vet my decision.

Her death was so quiet and kind of beautiful. She wouldn’t move all morning but a few minutes before her injection she laid down. I sat down on my knees and so did Lisa. I had her head sitting in my knees and I was so lucky that I got the chance to tell her I loved her, and give her so many kisses and hugs and tell her everything would be ok. She went peacefully, and I will forever be grateful for that.

Those 5 years of my teenage life were the best because I had a crazy horse that taught me so much and was always there for me, always in a good mood and always happy to have hugs and kisses. I hope I made the last few years of her life just as comfortable and happy as she made those 5 years of my life.
I love and miss my little paint mare every day.

Rare occasion - Anira behaving :p


Still to come...

In memory of Beckham
In memory of Wombat