“Life is not fair.”

07 May

I read a quote once that went something like this:  “Life is not fair. Once you accept that- you will appreciate the good times when they are here.”

I will remember Vaquero like this:

This is a picture of his neck x-ray. If you follow the line that runs through the bones –that is his spinal column. If you look from the right side of the photo and move left you will see a bony finger that sticks into the spinal column. It is a bony, arthritic growth that sometimes happens in horses and is considered a growth defect. Not caused by injury, etc. just the way he grew.






A couple of years ago we decided to geld Vaquero. We made that decision for HIM.  As a stallion he spent his life alone and couldn’t be turned out with friends (he drove them crazy).  So we gelded him even though we knew he would go on and win.  And he did go on and win. He was shown three times bridleless and was undefeated. And by gelding him we lost the money we could have made. And I never regretted it because he got to play with his friends like in this video:


This decision was even harder than that one but again we know it was for HIS best.

Vaquero May 18, 2005 to May 7, 2012



Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Life


256 responses to ““Life is not fair.”

  1. gracekobilan

    May 7, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I’m so sorry. Praying for you and your family.
    ~ Grace

    • Margaret W

      May 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      I am very sorry for your loss, and yes remember him just as you did on the video on him playing with his friends, Thanks for sharing the x-rays, from a veterinary standpoint its so interesting and informative. It will take alot of time to heal the big whole you have in your heart for him.

    • Lynn Isbell

      May 9, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      so very sorry for your loss, but thank you for doing what was best for him. He’s now running and playing with Roxy at the rainbow bridge

  2. Gwen Confalone

    May 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I weep with you. He is a magnificent horse.

  3. Anita Tigert

    May 7, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    So Sorry!

  4. Michele Simpson

    May 7, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Oh No Stacey. I can’t believe it. Your heart must be lost. I’m so so very sorry. 😥

  5. Karen

    May 7, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I am so sorry to read this Stacy once again I know your heart is breaking but you did the best for Vaquero my deepest sympathies to you.

  6. Ms.Jimmie Lynn Dorsey

    May 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    so so sorry for your loss Stacy I will be praying for you and you did the right thing for him

  7. Linda Williams

    May 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    My heart goes out to you and your family. You made the best decision for Vaquero. Praying for you all during this difficult time of missing your friend.

  8. Erica Winnestorfer

    May 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I’m so sorry, he will always be remembered as amazing, and you will always be thought of as doing the best for him. Now I need to quit crying at work….

  9. Ed Nicholls

    May 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I try to remember this poem at time like this.
    Don’t Cry For The Horses

    Don’t cry for the horses that life has set free.
    A million white horses, forever to be.
    Don’t cry for the horses now in God’s hands.
    As they dance and prance to a heavenly band.

    They were ours as a gift, but never to keep
    As they close their eyes, forever to sleep.
    Their spirits unbound, forever to fly.
    A million white horses, against the blue sky.

    Look up into Heaven. You will see them above.
    The horse we lost, the horse we loved.
    Manes and tails flying, they gallop through time.
    They were never yours, they were never mine.

    Don’t cry for the horses, they will be back someday.
    When our time has come, they will show us the way.
    Do you hear that soft nicker close to your ear?
    Don’t cry for the horses, love the ones that are here.

    Brenda Riley-Seymore

  10. Theresa Carey

    May 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I just got the awful kind of goose bumps reading this. I am shocked. I have been following, and it didn’t even cross my mind that it would come to this. I am so sorry you are all going through this.

  11. sharon

    May 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    It is such a sad day. I am so very sorry for the pain but always know that he is happy and running with his friend!! Take care and my God grant you the peace you deserve.

  12. susan

    May 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    So sorry for your loss, I had the opportunity to see you and Vaquero at Equine affair in April, what an amazing horse! Deepest sumpathies to you and your family..

  13. Marie Johnson

    May 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Prayers and hugs to you and yours, I cannot express the sadness we feel at yet another devastating loss in your life… We are here for you, if only in virtual hugs and love – but always in our hearts. Stephen and Marie Johnson

  14. Sheri

    May 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    My deepest sympathies, I can’t imagine how devasted you must be feeling. Cherish the time you had, it’s what gets us through the loss of the ones we love.

  15. qtswede

    May 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Stacy, I am so sorry to hear that. he was a beautiful & talented boy. I know it’s never easy to lose a friend like him, so my heart is with you today.

  16. Cathy Jones

    May 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I am so sorry. You did do the best for him, everyday, including today.

  17. Rgagnon

    May 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    May the good Lord above be with you and your family. You know he is running and having fun with his friends across the rainbow bridge…

  18. lyndakbundrant

    May 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I’m so sorry Stacy–prayers headed to you and your family…

  19. Natashya

    May 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I am deeply saddened to hear of this Stacy, I pray for you, your family, and Vaquero. I cannot even begin to comprehend the pain you all must be suffering. I am so sorry for your great loss.

  20. Sam

    May 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Sending our sympathy and a big hug from Wyoming!!!

  21. sagehorsephotographer

    May 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Having just had to make the same heart-wrenching decision less than a month ago, I so feel your pain. I am so sorry…everyone was so hopeful. Even though we know in our head it is the right thing, in our heart it is too much to bear.

  22. Wendy Russ

    May 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Oh my God Stacy, my heart is breaking for you. I’ve never been able to watch that video without crying at the sheer talent and bond you share with Vaquero. You gave him the best of life and he gave you his. Though his life was shortened by happenstance he will carry you forever more! God Bless

  23. carolee reisinger

    May 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    OMG… Stacy I am just soooo very sorry to be reading this.. You are in my prayer’s .. You did all you could do for your Vaquero.. He knows how much you loved him. and he will alway’s be with you every time the wind blows it is him running in green fields up over the rainbow bridge.

  24. Brett

    May 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Deeply sorry,thanks for posting the videos,we all are”candles in the wind”

  25. Jenny

    May 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    My deepest sympathies. But please feel comfort in the fact that you chose based on only the best option to end his suffering. I know that takes strength, and I respect you for the unfailing desire to put your horse’s needs first. RIP to a beautiful guy.

  26. matthewgambrel

    May 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Stacy, sorry for you loss. This is awful!

  27. Julie S

    May 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Oh my gosh, Stacy!! My heart absolutely breaks for you. You have been through so much these past few months. I cannot even express in words how sorry I am that all of this has happened (your first horse, Roxy and now Vanquero). :….( So so sorry!! Many tears are shed and prayers are being said from me, for you and your family.

  28. Jane Tibbetts

    May 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    So very sorry Stacy. May your heartache be healed by knowing that you gave him so much, and by all the incredible memories he has given you. Big Warm Hug to you!

  29. Sheri

    May 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Stacy, my heart goes out to you. I will be praying for your peace and comfort. What a hard decision, but the right one.

  30. Judy Shockey

    May 7, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Every being is strictly on loan from God. How Blessed Vaquero was to have you as his very own human! May our Lord continue to bring magnificent animals into your life Stacy! I write with tear filled eyes as I allow my own heartache to surface again, from putting my two big beautiful boys down just this past June. I raised them both, one was 22 the other 19….
    May I just say thank you for being who you are and loving horses the way you do!

  31. Kati

    May 7, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    so sorry. R.I.P. Vaquero, Dolly. My thoughts are with you as a true Horse lover. best wishes. Stacey, X

  32. Nancy

    May 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I am so very sorry and sad to hear this….so much grief to deal with in a short period of time. I’m praying that God will give you strength, peace and contentment knowing that you did have two amazing horses that you enjoyed for a time. Life does go on, but in another way, and so it will.

  33. Vicki Wisher

    May 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Having also suffered the loss of much loved companions, I know the pain you’re feeling. It is shared by all of those who have loved and shared our lives with a special animal/best friend. Treasure the memories you had with him. Take care.

  34. Liz

    May 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. He was a great horse.

  35. Susie in New Mexico

    May 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Can’t believe in just a week’s time…. Dear Stacy, my heart goes out to you and your family. Nature played a dirty little trick on Vaquero, but also brought great joy for the short time he was here. Thank you for sharing and reminding us to love & appreciate every moment we have with our animals. So sad.

  36. Jennifer J. Martin (Gran Jen)

    May 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I’m so sorry Stacy! A devastating loss for the horse world, as well as you. Coming so soon after losing Roxy, it must feel like God is testing you. He says he won’t give you more than you can bear, but it must feel like that. I pray for peace for your whole family.

  37. linda powell

    May 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Stacy, My heart aches for your pain and your loss. These past couple of months have been absolutely dreadful for you and your beloved horses. I truly am so sorry for this outcome but you should find comfort in knowing you made the most selfless and most kind decision for Vaquero. We don’t want our loved ones to suffer. God bless you and may much better days be ahead for you. You surely deserve them. Linda

  38. Michelle

    May 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    My heart weeps for you, I know how your heart aches…I am sooo sooo sorry.

  39. Maria

    May 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I’ll lend you for a little while my grandest foal, He said.
    for you to love while he’s alive and mourn when he is dead.
    It may be one or twenty years, or days or months, you see,
    but will you, till I take him back, take care of him for me?
    He’ll bring his charms to gladden you, and should his stay be brief,
    you’ll have treasured memories as solace for your grief.
    I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
    but there are lessons taught on earth I want this foal to learn.
    I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true.
    And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes, with trust, I’ve chosen you.
    Now will you give him total love, not think the labor vain,
    nor hate me when I come here to take him back again?
    I know you’ll give him tenderness and love will bloom each day,
    and for the happiness you’ve known, forever grateful stay
    But should I come and call for him much sooner than you’d planned,
    you’ll brave the bitter grief that comes, and someday, understand.

    • Stacy

      May 8, 2012 at 8:17 am

      Wow. Where did this come from? Who wrote it?

      • Maria

        May 8, 2012 at 8:30 am

        Author unknown….had no words to express my grief so I just searched for a tribute poem. Hope it helps.

    • Sam

      May 8, 2012 at 9:38 am

      I am so sorry to hear this Stacy. But sometimes the hardest decisions we have to make are for our loved ones. You have to care enough to end any suffering they may incur. And you are right to keep the memories alive that showed how much you and Vaquero had a bond that will live on forever. Hugs to you. Maria that poem was wonderful. Tears flowing now.

  40. Arlene

    May 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I am so very sorry, Stacy. My heart breaks for you and I will keep you in my prayers.

  41. Lydia

    May 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I am so sorry he was a beautiful horse. You are in my prayers.

  42. shireen

    May 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    He appreciates all your good decisions on his behalf I am certain. Bless you and your family. Prayers being sent your way.

  43. Jill

    May 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    My heart goes out to you. I’m so very sorry for your loss, Stacy.

  44. mel jerusalem

    May 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    …this is so heartbreaking. Your hearts are in so much pain right now and there are no words that can soothe the awful feeling. I pray for your endurance during this difficult time.

  45. Kati

    May 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I meant Roxy, Baby doll confused a wee mind. ;0(

  46. Jan Fletcher

    May 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I know that sorry is not enough……but my heart is breaking for you…..I am so very sorry Stacy.

  47. G. M. Gay

    May 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Stacy I am so sorry but, you know it was the best and most unselfish decision. It’s so hard to give up the ones we love, I just wish I as a human I would have that option when my quality of life is never going to be good again. Prayers up for you and all your horse family and friends.

  48. luposine

    May 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I’m so very sorry Stacy, this is almost too much to bear, losing two such good friends in such a short period of time. My thoughts and prayers are with you *hug*


    May 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I am heat broken as you must be over the loss of such a perfect soul. I lost a 7 year old adored Paso Fino mare from a freak accident in the pasture and she is in my memories and heart everyday.

  50. Cheryl Caldwell

    May 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I am so sorry to hear this but you can take comfort in knowing you did the right thing for him. It takes integrity to do the right thing and you can always be proud of knowing you did the right thing for the right reason. It would be a better world for horses if more people followed your example.

  51. Anne

    May 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss..He was a lucky boy to have been so loved, you did what was best for him..that can be very difficult, you are a brave woman, your Father would be so proud of the girl he raised..God bless you & your family

  52. Sandy

    May 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. It is so painful to lose our 4 legged friends. They mean so much to us. I have so much respect for you for doing what was right for him. Our animals depend on us for everything and you did the best thing for him when he was depending on you the most. I am so glad to have been able to see him perform… What an amazing horse. He won’t be forgotten. Hugs
    ps. thank you for posting about him playing with his buddies… 🙂

  53. deb graham

    May 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    It is so hard to make decisions that we know in the long run are best for our 4 legged friends…in the end you’ve made the wisest decision..I know your heart is breaking but then again I know you will see your good friend again.. He and Roxy are frolicking in a paddock in Paradise..They are part of God’s Creation which someday will be resurrected….Paradise lost will be Paradise restored and with all my heart I do believe we will see our animal friends in that restoration…my heart and prayers go out to you and your family….praying peace in the midst of your storm….

  54. Teresa

    May 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I am so sorry, the heartache has to be overwhelming. I admire you for having the strength and courage to let him go, I frequently pray that when the time comes, I will have the courage to do what needs to be done for my equine friends. “Life is not fair!”. Praying for your comfort!

  55. Krissy Wejrowski

    May 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Vaquero was an amazing boy, and he knew he was loved. Know that he is pain free and running through the fields of Heaven now. My family and I will keep you and your family (both human and equine) in our prayers.

  56. Lori Booth

    May 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Stacy and family – am blown away by this … have been anxiously following your blog and am so sorry he has been lost. The hardest things to do are sometimes also the best things to do,.,,, thanks for sharing this special horse with us… may God bless …

  57. sassykitts

    May 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I am so sorry… I cry with you. Our hooved friends leave an incredible hoofprint in our hearts that I believe will remain forever. You are right … life is not fair, but God does grant us some wonderful moments in time that we can cherish and keep in our hearts. How does that go? Don’t be sad it is over, but rather, be glad it happened. I will p.s. that with please never lose your love and passion for horses, Stacy … you were as great a gift to Vaquero as he was to you.

  58. beth

    May 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    All of us who have made this same decision are right there with you crying for your boy and for your heart break.. Memories of my own welling up inside me with mixed emotions of loss of a special friend and joy for those great times spent. Gone but certainly not forgotten. Hugs and prayers your way.

  59. Lesley R

    May 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Words cannot express how sorry I am for you and your family Stacey. My heart breaks for you. ~Hugs~

  60. Marty King

    May 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    So very sorry for your loss. You did the right thing. He is running free now. He had a good life with the Westfalls.

  61. Faye

    May 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you for so publicly doing the right think for this horse and the others. It gives us courage when it comes to making similar hard decisions.
    God bless you as you mourn the loss.

  62. Kim

    May 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    You and your family are in my prayers, so sorry that your heart is hurting. You’ve been in my prayers all weekend. I know God is carrying you through this difficult time and will continue to hold you close as you grieve this loss. Prayers of strength and healing for you and your family.

  63. Jim Carson - VA

    May 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Stacy, I can only hope that the thousands of supporters you have will comfort and inspire you half as much as you have inspired us. We share your sadness and will keep you in our prayers.

    • Stacy

      May 8, 2012 at 8:13 am

      the support is amazing, thanks to all


        May 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm

        I had heard about Roxy but came across your blog and to hear about Vaquero breaks my heart. I remember seeing the video of you and Roxy that was for your father that passed away and couldn’t stop crying. Then to watch your video of you and Vaquero, tore my heart apart. I can’t imagine what you went through watching him in that condition. Watching you with horses just amazes me, I wish I had that special bond with all my horses. God Bless you and help you through this difficult time.

  64. Julie Britain

    May 7, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    First Roxy and now him…I am so sorry for your loss…it has been so much….he is in a better place now

  65. mphedgehog

    May 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. God bless.

  66. Sheryl Thacker

    May 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    My heart is breaking as I have been reading your daily post… LIVE ISN’T FAIR but you have been blessed in many ways… Continue your great horsemanship and I will continue to enjoy…

  67. nikki

    May 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    losing a good friend is always hard.
    so sorry to hear that you had to let him go.
    big hugs to you and your family!

  68. Mary Sue Faries

    May 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Stacy, my heart is aching for you but I want to share something with you that I hope you will find as encouragement. I was praying for you and Vacquero yesterday and all that you’ve been through lately. I asked God why this had to happen with Vacquero, especially so soon after Roxie. I don’t always get a definitive answer from God … but this time I did. He told me that He gave you an awesome gift in teaching others how to train these awesome creatures with gentleness, respect and kindness. You set the example for how willing a horse can be to do anything you ask, when you ask it in that way, instead of in cruelty and manhandling. He said that there will be many out there who will take your examples with Roxie and Vacquero and say that you just happened to have a really special horse to achieve that. Or that it was an isolated success. And I’m sure there’s a measure of truth to that. But He told me that He needs for you to keep going and by achieving these amazing results with more horses, you will be able to show the doubters that it really is in how they’re handled. He is using you, Stacy, to help end the abuse that other horses are suffering out there! I debated wether it was too early to share this with you but I know you have a great Faith. I pray that you will get some comfort from knowing that God is in control and is VERY pleased with you!!! By the way, your titanic ride on Vacquero at Congress was the very first time I saw you ride and I will NEVER forget how happy you BOTH were!!! I love you! HUGS & PRAYERS!!!!!

  69. Lisa R

    May 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Wow I saw your other videos first of him trying to come out of the stall. I didn’t realize you had lost him. So sorry for your loss. 😦 What a wonderful partnership you lost.

  70. Anna

    May 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    So sorry to hear you had to say goodbye to another of your friends so soon, Stacy, but than again it would never be easy! You have once again shown your deep love, strength and courage by making this very painful decision and I hope knowing that you did what was best for him helps you in these sad hours… Thinking of you!

  71. Julie

    May 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    So very sorry for your loss. Your special gift and wonderful horses touch more lives than you’ll ever know. We had the opportunity to meet Vaquero several weeks ago when you visited Missouri, he was such a happy, wonderful horse. Praying for you and your family.

  72. Joyce Miller

    May 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Ms. Stacy – my sis (Noni)” introduced” me to ‘Stacy Westfall’ & your training/riding skills some years back -together, we attend your clinics; I have always been amazed at your graciousness, skills, love of the animal, sense of humor, & FAITH . As have many- I have been following Vaquero’s journey and today – I weep, as I reviewed the bridleless ride & read your note. Such difficult decisions have burdened your heart lately-yet, our Jehovah Jireh knows your every hurt – Lifting up you & your family in my thoughts & prayers. Joyce Miller, RN

  73. paintedponees

    May 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I am saddened by your loss and hope that the warm support of all his (and your) fans helps you make it through this difficult time.

  74. Melody

    May 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I am so sorry for the loss…….

  75. jody

    May 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I can not tell you how sorry I am for your lose to have lost 2 in such a short time. I can not Imagine what you are going through . I lost my best friend of 24yrs on x-mas morning, and to this day I still find it hard to talk about him and get a lump in my throat when people bring him up to me.. I never thought it would be so hard to get over his lose. so my heart so goes out to you..

  76. Janet Hall-Gilbert

    May 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Once again I have no words to comfort. Both ypu and Jesse ard great stewards. Just keep it in ypur heart that the Lord has much greater plain,and the ministry that ypu habe created because of ypur success with two outstanding aanimals is next to none..

  77. peg4x4

    May 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I’m so,so sorry. Wonderful horse. You did what was right for him once again.

  78. LIsa Belcher

    May 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I feel for you! Losing a Horse is like losing a child!

  79. Jen

    May 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    So sorry Stacy…life has not been very fair to you or the horses lately 😦 RIP Vaquero

  80. Marlene Lemke

    May 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Stacy, My heart is so heavy for you and your family. I believe God has his hand on our lives and will see us through everything! Someday we will know why. ~~~PRAYERS~~~

  81. Roxanne Bennett-McNabb

    May 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    God only gives us what we can handle, unfortunatly right now you may be asking, “Lord, really how much more?” The thing is your a special person who was put in Vacquero, Roxie, and many other horses to come lives. Horses get chosen by people, but I truely believe the Lord allowed these horses to choose you to be that one human in their life that showed there can be a bond between human and equine without ever speaking a word. Your a special woman to many, my heart and prayers are with you and your family. At least you know they are grazing in the heavenly grass waiting to see you again one day.

  82. Lizzi

    May 7, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Stacey , you have been through so much this last few months .there are SO many people thinking of you , praying for you . I heard yesterday about a very close friend who is waiting tests at the moment as her legs have stopped working . She said ( which is a little similar to your post) only when you have been sick can you really appreciate good health ..
    I’m so sorry and so sad about Vaquero , RIP

  83. Lisa

    May 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss of such a great horse. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today.

  84. Cheryl Ostrander

    May 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    ” Certainly, grief is the price we all pay for love”, Gretchen Jackson said. On the loss of her great Kentucky Dery winner, Barbaro. Stacy and family I am so sorry. Your Congress videos have always had me in awe and tears in my eyes.

  85. Melisa Knight

    May 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Grief will someday pass, but the greatness of your partnership will endure forever in the memories of so many. Bless you for giving the gift of compassion to your friend. I wish you comfort and peace.

  86. Bettie Barker

    May 7, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    So sorry to hear this. Hang on the memories and he will live forever. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

  87. Jennifer

    May 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Sad day! You are in my thoughts and prayers!

  88. Greg Gessner

    May 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Stacy and Jesse, I am so sorry about Vaquero!! Your text message caught me completely off guard and I replayed in my mind that February day when Roxy passed. Such a painfull decision. Have peace knowing that it was the right one and Vaquero and Roxy are together in a much better place! They both Loved you!! Take care and we’ll talk soon,

    • Stacy

      May 8, 2012 at 8:09 am

      He didn’t even want to eat treats at the end. Imagine Roxy or Vaquero not eating treats:(

  89. Mary

    May 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I’m with you, life isn’t fair. My deepest sympathy. I cannot even try to imagine how devastating this was so close to Roxie. But I do believe that everything happens for a reason, and surely you will find some comfort soon when the reason is revealed to you. Prayers are with you.

  90. travelcat

    May 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Oh, Stacy, I’m so sorry! It’s a hard decision but the only one that could be made under the circumstances.

    I thoroughly understand as I’m facing the same decision within a couple of weeks for my 16 year old cat, Meep.

  91. Mary Sue Faries

    May 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I just watched your Titanic ride on Vacquero at Congress again (through the tears) and it struck me how perfectly fitting the words were!! Near, far, wherever you are….he will always be in your heart…and your heart will go on. What an awesome and moving tribute that ride was destined to be!!!! God works in such amazing ways!!

  92. Missie

    May 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I am so sorry.

  93. Dona Cox

    May 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    The quote is so true. We feel so fortunate when these noble creatures come into our lives. They give us so much…and carry us on so many paths of growth. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  94. Marina

    May 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I am so sorry Stacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. They may not be here in the flesh but I think Roxy is showing Vaquero the way around heaven and they are here in spirit!

  95. Eti Jacoby

    May 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    i’m so sorry for your lost,so sad

  96. Judith A Hamilton

    May 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Stacy: I am so sorry for your loss of Vaquero…..These decisions are the hardest even tho we know it was the best….it’s heartbreaking…..Having to do this myself with my half Arab I really do feel your pain and loss……….Judi

  97. Janice

    May 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I was so excited to see you both at Equine Affaire this year (my first year)! I can’t tell you how much joy you and Vaquero have brought to others. May God bestow special care and blessings to you and your family during this time of tragic loss.

  98. dustybootscorral

    May 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this again and so soon after Roxy. My prayers go out to you and your family. You’re an inspiration to so many people; not just your wonderful horse training and riding abilities, but how you treat the sometimes star-struck people that meet you at events. May your next great horse be healthy well into retirement.

  99. Marion

    May 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    You are the most courageous horsewoman I know….to have the courage to let Vaquero go… deepest sympathies.

  100. Sabrina Tolle

    May 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    My deepest sympathy. Thank God his time here he was obviously loved very much.

  101. Pat Grochowina

    May 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Stacy, I am so very sorry!! My heart goes out to you and your whole family
    Pat & John

    • Stacy

      May 8, 2012 at 8:06 am

      enjoy your boy

  102. mccarronequine

    May 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Deepest sympathy on your loss.

  103. cynontheworld

    May 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Awww, Stacy. That is so hard. I know you did right but it doesn’t make the loss any easier. What a hard year. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

  104. Cathy Reifschneider

    May 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Knowing the pain and heartbreak as I also lost both of my horses within the last year, knowing that they will be there waiting for us someday and running in green pastures again. Rood and Riddle are the best and I would send my horses to them again, know that you did all that you could…sending prayers for strength at this diffucult time.

  105. Vicky Edwards

    May 7, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Stacy, I am very sorry. Prayers up for you and your family and friends. I can imagine the horse family you have that is feeling the pain of loss. ((HUGS))
    I was lucky to of seen him at the Springfield MO horsefest. Such a beautiful boy.
    RIP Vaquero, you were one handsome horse.

  106. Lynn Hirschy

    May 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    What a tough decision. It’s hard to feel that it is right, but it is from our deep compassion of what is best for the horse, not us. Our sympathy to you and your family. It is amazing how our animals become such a part of us and our family.

  107. Angelique Aia Hill

    May 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Im so sorry for you, it’s just crazy, i love horses so much that i cry when other people loose thier beloved four legged ones, because i know how hard it really is. Remember that thet will always be there in our hearts no mather what.

  108. Peg B

    May 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    So sorry Stacy. The good thing about this, if there is one, is that you did get to share lives with some great horses. I lost the two best horses I’ve ever had in a short time frame so I can feel for you and know there is a big hole in your heart. My sympathy.

  109. Laurie Ballantyne Curtis

    May 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    You don’t know me, but I’ve been following your videos and love watching you with your horses. I know your mom and knew your dad. My heart goes out to you, Stacy. Prayers for peace and smiles as you remember that beautiful creature.

  110. Lindsey

    May 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Wow, that was an amazing ride with him! That song and your performance was beautiful, but not as much as that hug around his neck @ the end! I of course cried just like most people do when watching that 🙂 I’m so very sorry for him leaving you too soon, but thankful you rode and trained him!

  111. Ida Marie Carlough

    May 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Our deepest sympathies. I pray that your many memories of Vaquero help you during this time. I know the faith in God that you and your family have, will help to ease the pain of your loss.
    Be blessed. Our prayers are with you.
    Chris and Ida Marie Carlough
    Rising Glory Farm

  112. Karen Donatello

    May 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    We are so sorry…..our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family…..

    From Karen and Heather D.

  113. Betty

    May 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Oh so sorry, it never gets any easier, but know that you made the right decision for your horse(s). I just watched the Congress run with tears streaming down my face and remembering my “best horse ever” that I had to put down,Hang in there, it will get better with God’s help. And please keep us posted, so glad you do that, helps all of us get thru thses rough times…..sending prayers and love to you all.

  114. Laurie Ware

    May 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    So very sorry for your loss, we just went through something similar at Rood and Riddle back in November of last year. Our beautiful palomino, Tucker, had double basket neck surgery back in 2007. He had done great for 4 1/2 years. He became symptomatic again and we found after the milogram that one of the baskets had broken…we were devastated. We had to put him down and had him cremated. Again, thoughts and prayers are with you, our horses are forever a part of us.

  115. Brenda @ Split Rock Ranch

    May 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Love and light to you.

  116. Karen Freese

    May 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Crying with you Stacy…

  117. Tammy

    May 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    OMG I am so sorry for your and your husbands loss. I have so enjoyed watching the 2 of you perform. It was so beautiful. You and your horse were one. I am heartbroken for you as I have felt that pain. In your head you know you did the right thing by him but your heart just breaks from that decision. My heart goes out to you!!

  118. linda pavasco

    May 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    i’m so sorry to hear of your loss!! 😦

  119. johanna

    May 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    oh no–i am so sorry. this is heart-breaking, and i’ve never even met him..
    it seems so unfair that the best animals are often the ones that are hit with the worst things/diseases. etc.
    as a vet (albeit mostly small animal) i have found this to be the most heart-breaking and ‘unfair’ aspect of practicing.
    God and the Universe are with Vaquero.
    May Vaquero visit you often when you dream and at the times when you most need him.
    RIP a truly amazing and wonderful horse.

  120. Jessica Moore

    May 7, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I know there can be no consolation in this but I actually just had to put my horse down and they were unsure of what was wrong. He too was negative for all tests but we were unable to do the x-rays and other testing but having watched the videos of Vacquero his symptoms looked identical. It was such a devastating decision because as you said my horse was also alert, aware and never went off feed even the last two days when he was down and couldn’t get up. I pray you can find comfort in the memories you have of your great horse. He was lucky to have you as well.

  121. Helen mckinnon

    May 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    So sorry for your loss Stacy….He was one very special horse and he will live on in your heart and in everyones hearts that saw how talented and special you both were together……

  122. Jennifer Strack

    May 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Stacy, I never had the pleasure of meeting you nor Vaquero but I’m so very sorry about your loss., Losing a horse is always difficult but losing a special one can be unbearable. I’m sending you prayers and hugs .

  123. Chris L

    May 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    I’m so sorry for your heartbreaking loss. It’s obvious what a strong connection you shared with your buddy. I’m sure Vaquero’s spirit will be trotting alongside you as you heal from this tragic loss.

  124. Jessica Williams

    May 7, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Stacy, I’m soo sorry about Vaquero. You did the best thing possible for him. I will pray for you and your family.

  125. Melinda Russell

    May 7, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    So Sorry Stacy, I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Please keep the faith; I know this seems like an awful test or dream, or something. Prayers for you and your family are going up all over.

  126. Michele Gravish

    May 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    So very sorry for you loss Stacy..but at leas Vaquero is pain free now.

  127. Alicia Sims

    May 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Sending prayers for comfort your way.

  128. Kelly Gough

    May 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    We are with you.

  129. Juanita Yarbor

    May 7, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Stacy – my heart goes out to you. I lost one last year and it was extremely painful, I can’t begin to imagine the pain of losing 2 so close together. I admire you for doing everything in your power to help him and then regardless of your pain you gave him peace and the freedom from pain he was in. Many are too selfish to go that route. I pray that you may find another partner in time, they can never replace the one that was lost but they can bring you new joy and new memories. Prayers my friend!

  130. Suzanne Hairston

    May 7, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. He will be missed and will always be remembered. No one did it better in the bridleless.

  131. J

    May 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. The very first reigning I ever saw at congress was in 2011 and I’ll always remember the depth of the amazement I felt watching you and Vaquero. Your performance at congress left tears in my eyes that night and to this day I can’t articulate how deeply I was touched watching the connection between you both during that performance.

  132. Keri Hasse

    May 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about Vaquero. Like your song choice says he is hear in your heart but your heart will go on. Losing a beloved animal is never easy but with time, it get easier to remember wonderful times they gave you. Losing two beautiful, special horses so close together and both young and unexpected must be terribly difficult for you and your family. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  133. Becky Powell

    May 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    No words-just know that our hearts are heavy along with yours…

  134. Olivia

    May 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm


  135. Roberta Goodman

    May 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    So terribly sorry. May his memory be a blessing.

  136. Lori Johnstone

    May 7, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    So very sorry to ready your post today. Our condolences to you and your family. Your performances were breath-taking and your partnership was inspiring. We hope that you will find comfort in knowing so many people care. And we laughed through our tears as we watched the video of the horses playing in the mud. Our Baily is a lot like Vaquero and our Misty is definitely a Popcorn wannabe, a mud pig who occasionally masquerades as a gray-white Arabian.

  137. Paula Walker

    May 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Stacy, I never met you or Vaquero but am with you now same as I was when you did your emotional ride on him that actually turned out to be about him in the end. We’re with you now, wishing you the best of times and more inspirational rides on more incredible horses that will show the world the kindness and respect you have for the horse. Its a rocky journey sometimes especially when they steal your heart so totally and completely. I hate that we become sooo attached to them sometimes. And it was all so soon, he had so much left to give and he certainly would have, with everything he had in him. You are so dedicated to the horse and the sport. Paula Walker, Western Dressage of Oklahoma

  138. Diana

    May 7, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Bless you and Godspeed to your partner

  139. Pam Upgren

    May 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Stacy, I am so sorry for you loss of your horses. It isnt fair. Thankfully you have been able to make those very hard decisions and do what in the end was best for the horse, but that doesnt really make it much easier. Will keep you in our prayers.

  140. Kat Butler

    May 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    To place your horse’s need for you to let him leave his failing body above your need to keep him with you – that – is the greatest and purest love.
    – Cynthia Garrett

    Rest In Peace Vaquero and God bless you Stacy for doing the right thing for him.

  141. Bob Duley

    May 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    My name is Bob Duley. I do not know you, I’ve never shaken your hand, or the hand of Cox, Parelli, Anderson, McNabb, Cameron or any of the others that make their living through horsemanship. I follow all of you and at 63 with 46 years of experience owning, training and dealing with God’s greatest creature, you alone are the only clinician I’d like to meet. I am touched by your loss and I will be forever impressed by the respect, trust and commitment you paid to Vaquero. May God bless you and your family…….

  142. Sommer

    May 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I’m so sorry Stacy! My heart hurts for you. I pray that the Lord will comfort you and your family and that you will have peace about this most difficult decision.

  143. stephen & helen haddon

    May 7, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    So Sorry he was amazing.

  144. Susan Aitken

    May 7, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Stacy, my heart is breaking for you, watching your ride to Celine there must have been a huge reason for choosing it as it is fitting for you & Vaquero today, what a tremendous athlete!

  145. johnmoser2

    May 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I am so sorry to hear the news. I pray that the Lord will comfort you and your family. I sit here with tears in my eyes because I know how much you loved him. He now has peace and will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  146. Debbie Sweren

    May 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I am so very very sorry for your loss. You did your very best for him, found the very best care and made difficult decisions in his best interest.

  147. Lyle Decaire

    May 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    I am so sorry thay you lost a wonderful partner. You will grieve for him but, keep the good memories fresh in your heart. Wishing for better days for you and your family.

  148. Juanita Welsh

    May 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I have been following Vaquero’s story and this is just a shock. I am so sorry for you and your family. I have a 7 year old Mogan gelding, same age as your Vaquero, I cannot imagine such a young horse having to be put down. I would be devastated if I had to put my boy down. My best to you and your family.

  149. helen mausecz victoria australia

    May 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    My heart is so sad for you Stacey but you have done the right thing by Vacquero it is always the hardest decision to have to make but I know God will give you the strength to continue with your great work and look back with pride at what you achieved with two beautifull horses and friends in Roxy and Vacquero both running free together

  150. Janelle F.

    May 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    So sad for you for the recent losses you’ve had of two great horses!

  151. rachel

    May 7, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Do not close your heart to the pain. leave it open. for every horse lost there is another that wants to be loved.

    i pray that you are given the strength you need to move on from this. Im sorry 😦

  152. Jen Stoeckel

    May 7, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    My heart cries with you, I wish you peace with your loss and many happy memories of the good times.

  153. Jill Albanese

    May 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Stacy, I am so sad for you and your family. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. From the postings on your blog I know I am not a lone in wishing you peace at this very difficult time. -Jill

  154. Patricia pina

    May 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Oh my god Stacy!! My heart absolutely breaks for you. You have been through so much these past few months. I cannot even express in words how sorry I am that all of this has happened to you losing your first horse, Roxy and now Vanquero. I am so sorry!! Many tears are shed and prayers are being said for all three of your champions I will pray for you and your family. I feel your pain and know how it feels to lose horses I loved in a short period with no good answers or reasons to explain why it happens

    Reply ↓

  155. valerie

    May 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    My his hoves always be dancing in your heart. I feel privileged that i got the chance to see him at congress. Huggs to you and all his buds!

  156. Julia Bryant

    May 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    So very sorry about your heart breaking news.

  157. Patsy Duncan

    May 7, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    I am so sorry Stacey………..your love of your horses shines through always.His spirit will live through you and your other horses. I hurt for you and your loss. He was magnificent!

  158. Terri

    May 7, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    So sorry Stacy. You’re in my prayers.

  159. Carey

    May 7, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I got chills watching your video above, and sobbed. My heart breaks for you and your family. I am so sorry for this horrible, horrible loss.

  160. Kyle Smith

    May 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Hugs from Maine to you!

  161. Melanie Langmeyer

    May 7, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Reading your story here and seeing your videos says so much about you and your love for horses. I was especially impressed by your first major decision for Vacquero when you chose to geld him so he could live a fun life with pasture mates. How wonderful that he got to experience Popcorn and crew! So very sorry for your loss, but ever so impressed with your ability to consistently choose what is best for your horse(s).

  162. Alice

    May 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way; when sorrows, like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well, with my soul.’ ”

    When God is all you have, only then can you truly know that He is enough. Praying that He will restore your soul–it must feel numb right now from all the pain. When the Lord makes the new heaven and earth, I believe that Roxy and Vacquero will be there, for there will be no more death.

    “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

  163. Sis

    May 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    So incredibly sad for your loss Stacy, Vacquero was truly a beautiful boy. He and Roxy, Bay and Misty were all so fortunate to have you as “their person”. Prayers and condolences from S. China 😥

    • Stacy

      May 8, 2012 at 7:59 am

      crying again…thanks

  164. Debbie Reynolds

    May 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    So sorry for your loss! My heart breaks for you and my prayers are with you. May God bring you peace and heal your broken heart!

  165. Diane York

    May 7, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    So so sorry for your loss..Praying for you and your family.

  166. Nancy V.

    May 7, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Life isn’t fair and I feel for you, having lost Roxy and now Vaquero. You brought out the best in them in their short time with you. God bless.

  167. Adair Soho

    May 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    It’s always spring in Heaven and he will always be in a lush green field playing with his friends.
    For you and your family – all my prayers that your pain will fade.

  168. Candy Perez Leal

    May 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    My deepest sympathies for you Stacy,and your family. You have showed us you are a very strong person. First the loss of your dad and Rox, and now Vaquero.

  169. Kim

    May 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Soo sorry to hear of your loss. He was a truly beautiful horse and ya’ll made a spectacular team. Thoughts and prayers go out to you.

  170. Diane

    May 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    This joining of hearts, and tears, in hearing about your loss today, is profound… complete strangers never are, at times like this.

    Sincere condolences for you and your family….from the west coast of Canada.

  171. Allie

    May 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I’m so sorry Stacy 😦 the horse world is a tough place, a lot of it is just purely luck. It is especially hard for us people who care so deeply for the horse and see them as an equal, not even just as a pet or an athlete. As someone once said to me, you never know how strong you are until you are faced with hardship. Stay strong.

  172. Kirsten White

    May 7, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Oh, Stacy, I’m so sorry! Horses are so big-hearted, it’s so hard to lose them! Know that there are many who share your pain. Your horses have always been great; they know that they have someone who cares a great deal for them, that is why they perform so well for you. It is up to us to look out for their best interests, and it is not always the decision that we would want. It takes so much courage to live up to this responsibility. You always have been and will continue to be a great influence on the horses that are in your life. May God give you strength in this difficult time.

  173. Martha Boyd

    May 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    So very sorry for your loss. He was an amazing horse, and a beautiful soul. You and your family are in my prayers. You are right, life is not always fair; I pray the pain you feel now will be replaced with the many good memories of Vaquero and the joy he brouoght to you and his fans.

  174. Amanda Accordino

    May 7, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    holy cow 😦 so sorry

  175. Jamie Gillenwater

    May 7, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Dear Stacy, and All of Vaquero’s Connections:

    I just wanted to tell you all that I’m truly sorry for your loss. On April 9th of this year I lost my once in a lifetime horse to wobbles. He was an amazing racehorse, posting remarkable stats as a two year old. Over $220,000 dollars, Indiana two year old trotting gelding of the year, 6 wins, 2 seconds and 1 third in 9 lifetime starts. He did some amazing things for a horse, and when he came back into training after being off for the winter there was something that wasn’t quite right. After months of trying to figure out what was wrong and treating him different ways, he would show a little improvement and then he would get bad again. We were finally advised to take him to Rood & Riddle and it didn’t take them long to give him the correct diagnosis. His condition was too severe for the surgery to be successful and Dr. Reed advised us to put him down, so we did. There aren’t words to describe losing him and I know you understand. I had already planned on attending all four days of Equine Affaire and after the devastation of losing Tiger I knew I needed the vacation. I watched you and Vaquero in all of your demonstrations and the reality of losing my horse escaped my mind for those moments; so thank you for the amazing horsewoman you are and thanks Vaquero for being the amazing horse horse that he was.

  176. Chris Holm

    May 7, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Stacy I am so sorry for your loss and yes somethings in life aren’t fair but we do have our memories that bring comfort. We have to cherish each day with the ones we love as they may not be here tomorrow. Two great Horses were blessed that they had you in their life’s and to get all the love you gave them. God Bless you and may you find strength during this difficult time.

  177. dawn

    May 7, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    so so sorry for youre loss stacy and i pray things look up for you and youre family

  178. Emma

    May 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I am so so sorry!

  179. Josie Stemmler

    May 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Psalm 34 17-18 – The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed. So sorry for your loss, may the Lord comfort you and your family.

  180. Jessica

    May 7, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Dear Stacy,
    I just showed my 7 year old daughter who also has a passion for horses your video with Vaquero for the 2011 championship and she said “She’s the most beautiful rider I ever saw Mama…I wanna ride just like her someday”….you are an inspiration and your love for horses shines through in everything you do. Keep that love alive and continue to share your gifts with all of us and your horses 🙂

  181. Mary Anne King

    May 7, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Stacy I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear Vaquero! My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time!

  182. Donna Johnston

    May 7, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss! I am thinking about you, as much as it hurts it is the best thing for him. I saw the videos and he looked so confused that things weren’t working right. He was a sweet horse. My prayers

  183. Bridgett

    May 7, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Oh Stacy my heart goes out to you! I recently lost my almost 16 yr old dog that I have had since he was a baby. I am so sorry for your loss!!

  184. Kim

    May 7, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    So very sorry to hear of your second loss of yet another amazing horse. It is never easy to lose a horse to neuro disease, no matter their age. Having lost my sister’s and my first horse to still unknown neurologic problems three months ago, I understand what you are going through, though it was over the course of almost a year- not days. My thoughts and prayers for you and your family, two and four legged.

  185. Elaine Wilson

    May 7, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    oh Stacy So sorry ,But you did your best ,he is now free of pain ,running like the wind .My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family .

  186. Mary

    May 7, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Stacy- Please, in your way, grieve your loss, honor dear Vaquero, and continue to do what you do for horses and their world. Your knowledge and intelligence of these magnificent animals can only be matched with the courage and strength you display when the tough decisions are made. That is why they trust you so. The enormity of what has happened in the past months is hard to comprehend for some of us, but that doesn’t mean we can be any less sorry. Sit and listen to the wind and maybe you might hear Vaquero running free and happy. God will ease the pain in your heart and you soon will breathe deeply and calmly and find the determination to continue on in your labor of love. Blessings and prayers to your entire family- human and animal 🙂

  187. Katherine

    May 7, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Words cannot even begin to express my deep sympathy. I can’t imagine what you must be going through. Just after you lose Roxy, dear Vaquero passes. Your pain must be unthinkable. My prayers are with you during this very hard time,

  188. Phyllis Murdock

    May 7, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  189. Daralin Beckett

    May 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    My heart, and hearts around the world are breaking for you, your family, and Vaquero. Seeing these radiographs, there is no question you made the right decision for him. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  190. Manuela Büttcher

    May 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Stacy, I’m so sorry for your loss. 😦 You are in my thoughts.

  191. Allison

    May 7, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Stacy, I had to read your message twice before I could really comprehend what you were saying. I can’t believe your beloved Vaquero has left your side and I know he will always be in your heart. I can’t even imagine how heavy your heart must feel at this time. It was the right decision for Vaquero and GOD is with you…HE will comfort you. I do believe one day we are reunited with our loved ones, human as well as our 4 legged friends. Roxy and Vaquero have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and are running free, kickin it up, rolling in the mud, and eating all the green grass they want! They are happy and one day you’ll all be reunited again. May GOD BLESS you and your family during this very difficult time. You, Stacy, are a gift to the horse world, and were a bright light in Roxy and Vaquero’s lives. They loved you!

  192. Colleene McMurphy

    May 7, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Roxy and Vaquero, two great horses in a lifetime…gone much too soon. I heard Buck Branaman say that if you owned one really good horse in a lifetime, your were lucky. Stacy, you were doubly blessed.

  193. Rosemarie

    May 8, 2012 at 12:07 am

    I’m so very sorry for your loss of this magnificent horse and friend. I cry with you, knowing your pain, reliving the loss of my friend, Raven Dancer. I pray God will comfort you and your family during this very difficult time and ease the pain with beautiful memories.

  194. Terri Anderson

    May 8, 2012 at 12:15 am

    My heart hurts for you and your family………..

  195. Katy

    May 8, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Oh no…I’m so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you.

  196. Cora Hall

    May 8, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Sorry to hear that you had to come to this decision. Prayers be with you and your family in your time of need. He was such a great horse. He will be missed.

  197. Lila

    May 8, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Oh Stacy, I’m so sorry. I read this post when I woke up this morning before going to school, and I started crying. I can’t imagine how terrible this is for you. But it was the right thing to do for Vaquero, and up in heaven, he’s probably thanking you for putting him out of his suffering, and now he’s with Roxy and all of your other horses that have passed, able to play with them and be together.

  198. Joanne Walton

    May 8, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Very sorry for your loss, but you did the right thing for the horse. Thanks for posting your experience and the X-rays, when I was going through this I could find pretty much nothing online about this condition, there’s lots on EPM and real Wobblers, but not much on arthritis in the spine, and I think it is more common than people think. The surgery is a big deal and if the prognosis afterwards was not good, or if he would have to go through it multiple times in his life, then it wouldn’t be worth the pain for him. Very sorry things ended this way, I was hoping you would have a better outcome.

  199. Linda Wilkinson

    May 8, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Stacy, There are no words right now that could even begin to touch the immense loss you and your family have experienced in the past few months! Just know that we all love you and our hearts and prayers are right there with you. Let the precious times with Roxy & Vaquero fill your memories and it will heal your heart in time! You’ve been such an inspiration to us to step out and be a pioneer. Your dad’s “don’t be afraid to try new things” sticks in my heart when I doubt, and your willingness to try, to share, and to move forward is a great blessing. Holding you all up for strength! Thank you, Stacy.

  200. Ralf Schulz

    May 8, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Shipyard that trust in the Lord not go away, no matter what happens, but think of the great rewards that come with it! Hebrews 10:35 I´m so sorry, regards simone

  201. Shelly Stemm

    May 8, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I am so very very sorry for your loss it made me treasure my girl a little more. What you have accomplished with all of your horses is amazing and I can’t wait to see what else you will do. Praying for you and yours during this difficult time.

  202. Charlotte thomas

    May 8, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Prayers going out to you. Life is not fair, we must cherish every moment – you and Vaquero had many, and I remember how great you were together. God speed pretty boy!

  203. Beth Claes

    May 8, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Stacey, I can truely understand your pain. I lost my OTTB, Little Bit, in March of 2010 from Colic, we tried surgery, but there had been too much damage. He was my bud, by best friend, I miss him dearly. I was able to get another OTTB and he had big shoes to fill, and has filled them perfectly. During that same year, my daughters horse Belle somehow got an esophagus tear and the humane thing to do was have her put down also. Losing 2 horses in our family in less then 7 months was terrible. It was so hard on my daughter, she waited a while before trying to fill her stall with another. I found myself tearing evertime I mentioned either of thier names for a long time. I also thought life was not fair, so many of my horse friends were able to have thier horses for a “lifetime” it seemed, so why not my family. All I know is, I treasured them when they were here and I treasure them in my heart now that they are gone. Stacey, is does get a little easier, and I still smile when I wear thier horse-tail braclet my daughter made from thier tails. I remember the fun we had, places we went and good times. The memories is what will get you through it. It is something us horse people know and feel. It is deep and it is GOOD! Our love for our horses!

  204. Gnstr

    May 8, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I’m sorry you lost your horse. Sad. Yet maybe think of it as part of life, the same as those who have lost their children, parents, Partners. Easier said than done 😦

  205. Sue

    May 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    ‘Somewhere in time’s own space
    there must be some sweet pastured place
    where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
    Some paradise where horse go,
    for by the love that guides my pen,
    I know great horses live again.’

  206. psalisbury3

    May 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I’m going through a tough time right now with my own horse and reading this actually made me cry. Mine was a question of tumor versus abscess and after waiting a week for a culture to come back it was an abscess which required surgery. I cried for 3 days over this so I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now. My heart is with you….

  207. Christy White

    May 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I’ll add my condolences to all these. I have followed you and your horses for a few years and found them all to be magnificent! I think the best testament for you is that together, between horse and rider, the possibility of partnership at it’s finest was demonstrated over and over. YOU are magnificent as well. Bless you, bless your family. While these last months have broken your heart, remember that our hearts have to break so that they can grow and have more room for all the others who need our love. I wish for you a partner that embodies the heart and soul of these beauties who have gone.

  208. Sandy Carr

    May 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Stacy…I hope this saying consoles you, like so many others. Peace.

    “We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan.” —-Irving Townsend

  209. Glenda

    May 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Truly sorry for your recent losses. One of my favorite quotes is by Dr. Suess: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

    • Stacy

      May 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      I didn’t know that was Dr Suess, what book?

  210. Gail M.

    May 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    My heart is breaking for you, Stacy, and the pain of such a loss. What a wonderful example of a true horsewoman you are! Praying that the Lord who knows your pain, will be your comfort.

  211. carrie

    May 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Stacy it is not in one of his books. It is a quote that is attributed to him.

  212. cynontheworld

    May 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    My experience is I don’t ever get over the loss of a loved one. Species doesn’t matter. I still cry over them all. But the acute pain does dull. They are still with me. I found this poem to be an excellent prayer, too. It helps.

    And if I go,
    while you’re still here…
    Know that I live on,
    vibrating to a different measure
    –behind a thin veil you cannot see through.
    You will not see me,
    so you must have faith.
    I wait for the time when we can soar together again,
    –both aware of each other.
    Until then, live your life to its fullest.
    And when you need me,
    Just whisper my name in your heart,
    …I will be there.

    You did the right thing, Stacy. It’s the kindness we can give them we can’t give our human loves ones. You did right by him.

  213. Colleen Burke (@ColleenB8)

    May 8, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I am so very,very sorry for your loss. My heart is literally broken for you. The good ones are always taken soon. Thinking of you and your family both 2 legged and four legged tonight.

  214. Kathy Kopylec

    May 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Wow! I`m so sorry for your loss my heart is breaking for you, I`m just coming out of a similar place my boy had surgery involed trucking him back and forth and the day he was release and well from the vets I drove in with him home and found my mare of 25 years down,2 weeks later I had to put her down, a short time after I drove in and found my young golden retriever very sick and had to put her down .an 2 weeks later I was walking my black lab and she fell down the out come was a month later I lost her too, and now my boy (meaning my paint Poncho) had been cleared of cancer he came off the trailer limping after all the x-rays he was diagnosed with navicular, the reason I shared all this is to say I still don`t understand why God would allow so much at one time and I was pretty darn angry at him, so yaeh sometimes god, life doesn`t make sense and my last year was horrible but like you I was sure blest with some very special animals that were given to me by God at least I know they had great care and a lot of love! And now there in a better place free of pain. I feel so blest to have seen you at the mass. equine affair with vaquero I drove up every day to see your clinics and I know God is very proud you cared and loved his sacred horses.

  215. sheilamorlas

    May 8, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Stacy, I feel your pain, I am so sorry, such a loss for you and the world. May God Bless you and your family. You are in our prayers. We love you. You are such a blessing to all of us. What a gift you and your horses have given us, and we thank you for that. We will always remember Vaquero.

  216. Maria A. Melendez

    May 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Sooo… sorry 😥

  217. Madison Boekes

    May 9, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Dear Stacy,
    I feel your pain my Horse died that day too.:( You might remember us from the clinic with MileMakers and Jo Palivs. I was the 10 year old girl named Madi, that has a little chestnut named Love. Love sadly died from colic.I think Vaquero and Love will meet in haven and stick together forever!! We’re all so sad of our losses. 😦

    • Stacy

      May 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      Oh, NO! I do remember! That is so sad. I do hope they are racing together right now. So sorry for your loss 😦

  218. Julius esword Jr/Gene Running Wolf Sword my Shawnee name

    May 9, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Stacey remember all horses are a gift from above and too have one as great as Vaquera is that one in a million but remeber this the great spirit gives and he also takes burt think of it this way when your time comes he will be there waiting for you in fact he might be the Black horse that will be sent too you to ride on your greatest journey of your life.

  219. Angie Belock

    May 10, 2012 at 9:56 am

    So sorry Stacy, Jesse, and family. No words will erase the pain. Vanquero has grown wings like an eagle and he is soaing in the grassy plains of heaven. He has no more pain and no more sorrow. He is playing with his friends and he is waiting like the others, patiently for you. God has many plans instore and Vanquero will graze until you come to his paddock once again. His life has taught so many how to fly. Your passion for your four legged family members is commendable. Keep doing what you do best. Keep flying to reach the sky. Vanquero will always be where your heart is the happiest. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Don’t lose focus, don’t lose heart. When life gets tough God is holding you up.

  220. Jodie Garris

    May 10, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I had just found you on Ellen D show.. and came to your sight… I was so excited to find you on UTube… In reading your thoughts on this sight my heart goes out to you..!! Its not very often in an 8 min video you learn so much about a strangers feelings.. and cry for their pain…! I’m sorry for your loss of such a wonderful animal/companion God created..! You have a gift to give to these animals..! There are so many horses just waiting for you to touch their lives and show them how much they are capable of… they just haven’t found you yet…you are blessed with this gift..! I’m glad I found this sight..! May you continue to touch horses lives and share your gift with them and other owners…!

  221. Laura Scott

    May 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I haven’t been able to quit thinking about you and your loss all this week. There are just no words. I have been through this many times in my life. I’m 54 and lost count of how many horses I have had since age 2. But sitting at my desk at work, I can look up anytime and see this happy 18-year-old kid holding the reins of one of the most magnificent Tennessee Walking Horse mares ever. She was my show horse, my partner, my other half. I was devastated when she died from colic. But as I look at her now, big and black and bold… as you have said, I can smile because it happened. Time does heal to a point. And other horses come into our lives that can’t help but steal your heart away all over again. You will lose those horses perhaps too one day. I know that as I have been through it many times. Like Barbero’s owner said when they had to put him down, “Grief is the price we pay for love.” The harder you grieve, the greater the love. I also must tell you, that since I heard the news, my current companion and best friend Rio is getting extra love, treats and hugs every day. Vaquero taught you a lot. You can take that with you and grow from it. So sorry Stacy. – Laura Scott, Walnut Grove, MO

    • Sheryl Thacker

      May 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Laura…Excellent…very touching…Sheryl

  222. Shanda Hooton

    May 12, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    You are in my thoughts and in my prayers! My heart breaks for you and your family. I can only imagine how bad this has been! I am going to the barn to spend time with mine now and appreciate every minute I have with them!
    You will see them again Stacy, You gave them a wonderful life and I know they loved you as much as you did them.

  223. patsy24

    May 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    So sorry to hear of this. Grieving is good and seeped in love, I think. Loosing a horse is so hard – I find them to be cellular. Mix their majesty, innocence, service and beauty and it can feel overwhelming and something a non horse person can not really understand. I am sending you prayers of strength for what you have endured in these last 5 months and prayers of peace and happiness to your angels in heaven.

  224. Carol Chase

    May 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I’ve watched your videos in awe probably a million times. Your love for your horses is so obvious, as is their love for you. I know nothing anyone can say will take the hurt and pain away, but please know so many of us are with you in thought and prayer. I am so very, very sorry for your incredible loss of Vaquero (as well as your other precious horses, including Roxy!). Thank you for being such a wonderful, loving horsewoman!!!! God bless……..

  225. Diane M

    May 23, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Oh Stacy I am so sorry. Your love for him and the bond you shared is so clear. Watching that video & how you hugged him at the end..I broke down crying for you.
    I lost my mare of 27 a few months ago. While we surely weren’t at your level–we too rode bareback & bridleless. It is the ultimate trust between two souls.
    It still hurts, and always will at some level,because you never forget–but a time comes when you feel a measure of peace in your heart, and the edge of pain is not so sharp. Thank you for loving him enough to let him go. May peace come to your soul, as you have brought to his..

  226. Donkey Whisperer Farm

    May 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Praying for peace, joy and happieness to return to your life. I am so sorry for your second loss of these magnificant brave horses. Melody

  227. Jody Brittain

    May 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I am so very sorry Stacy! You are in my prayers!

  228. Louwnique

    May 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    So sorry. i keep you in my prayers

  229. Amy

    July 2, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Stacy, I want to say I am so sorry to see this email. It is one of the hardest things to see one of your best buds with wobblers. We lost our dobe kid to it. It is so hard. My prayers are with you.

  230. Nancy

    July 3, 2012 at 4:46 am

    I never thought about it before, but now I’m convinced there is mud in heaven.

    • Stacy

      July 3, 2012 at 9:39 am

      🙂 tears, that made me laugh and cry

  231. Jane Shulman

    July 3, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Just heard today and am so sorry for your loss, Stacy. You were kind to Vaquero in the difficult decisions concerning his welfare, and he was a very good boy, exceptionally darling. Tears are running down my face and I am sobbing as I watch the video of you two together. May God bless you in these trying times and give you hope for the future. Jane

  232. Debi

    July 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

    There are no words that can help…I am so sorry to hear about your loss.

  233. mwhite66

    July 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Stacy I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my beloved Brandy in March, one week after her 14th birthday. She died of colic, such a dreadful thing. I know she knew she was going to leave us, she came to me and put her head against my chest as if to tell me goodbye and that she would miss me. I told her it was ok for her to leave, that I would be alright and I would miss her too. I said goodbye to me friend and that was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Oh how I miss my friend. I know the sick empty feeling in your stomach. Sadly I have not ridden since. I have other horses and I spend time with them, just haven’t been able to make myself ride again. It just doesn’t seem the same without Brandy in the pasture. I can relate to the empty stall. Someone sent me this poem and I wanted to share it with you. It made me cry and I can’t wait till I see her again. I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I did. Michelle

    By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
    is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
    Where the friends of man and woman do run,
    when their time on earth is over and done.

    For here, between this world and the next,
    is a place where beloved creatures find rest.
    On this golden land, they wait and they play,
    til The Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

    No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
    for here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
    Their limbs are restored, their health renewed.
    Their bodies have healed with strength imbued.

    They trot through the grass without even a care,
    til one day they whinny and sniff at the air.
    All ears prick forward, eyes sharp and alert.
    Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the herd.

    For just at that second, there’s no room for remorse.
    As they see each other…one person…one horse.
    So they run to each other, these friends from long past
    The time of their parting is over at last.

    The sadness they felt while they were apart
    has turned to joy once more in each heart.
    They nuzzle with a love that will last forever.
    And then, side-by-side, they cross over…together

  234. Lin Roberts CA

    July 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    God has special assignments or both Roxy and Vaquero and they will forever run free keeping their spirits alive in our hearts….I am sorry for the voids in your life but glad you have wonderful memories of the love you all shared together…and you shared with all of us……

  235. Diane Taylor

    July 13, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I am so sorry for your loss Stacey. My horse being the love of my life, words cannot adequately describe what I am feeling for you right now 😦

  236. Jennifer Cretens

    July 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Stacy – I’m so sorry for your loss. My horse Jack was just two weeks ago diagnosed with Stage 2 Wobbles. I’m still reeling from the shock and trying to read as much as possible to hopefully give him as long a quality life as possible. He’s just a big dog that is my husband’s shadow when he’s at the barn (and my husband is afraid of horses). We aren’t sure how long he’ll have, but trying to enjoy as much time as we can with him.

    • Stacy

      July 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      So sorry to hear that. It sounds like stage 2 is managable for most, I hope it is for you. I have also heard of a few improving over time. Vaquero was a high stage 4, they said as close to a 5 as possible (five cant stand up). I wish you the best. They told me many stories of 2’s that lived a long time pretty comfortable.

  237. Jennifer Cretens

    July 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you so much for the encouragement of the possibility of a longer comfortable life for my Jack! I know he won’t be able to be ridden and I’ve only gotten to ride him twice in the year I’ve had him, but not every horse I’ve owned in the past 5 years has been ridden either! The irony of all this is Jack’s condition is similar to my own – stenosis of the spinal chord/degenerative disc disease and I’ve already had two cervical disc surgeries in the last 4 years (and I’ve only owned horses for the last 5 years @ 53 years old now)! I’m praying every day that God allows Jack to have a comfortable life for as long as possible with us and Jack and I are actually bonding on a new level now! God works in all our lives differently, and sometimes I’m not sure how or why, but thankful that He has placed Jack in my life so we can help each other!


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