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Remembering Lightning Jack: A Tribute to a Beloved Equine Companion

To all of our good friends, we want to let you know that old Beriah aka Lightning Jack, has passed away. This is not a financial appeal and rather a tribute to our good mate and the beautiful life our supporters helped to give him.

Around 10.30 AM on 25/5/2019 a horse with a giant heart and soul was put to sleep. He was found down very early that morning and all indications by the marks on the ground he had been suffering for a long time.

It was a repeat of what I saw with dear Topaz and Merc, on both of these sad occasions it was kidney failure and they just could not get up. Myself and helper Vince tried very hard to help him to stand but his rear end would not respond, also we were concerned about his organs being damaged by the continue weight by lying on hard ground. Merc totally lost an eye during his terrible time of not being able to get up, he just rubbed the eye right out of the socket and twice I had to open Beriah’s eye socket and swap with a sponge because it was filling up with sand.

Again with Merc also his mouth was caked with sand and I opened up Beriah’s mouth and there was sand in it, not as full as Merc but it would not have been long before it would have been. With the fear they experience plus the terrible discomforts they are experiencing makes it all so horrible.

I was forced to make the terrible decision of having to put this dear horse to sleep with my own hands because of his suffering. What was so painful for me is that by just moving just one finger about 10 ml I brought to an end around 30 years of life and that of a horse that was near perfect. He NEVER laid his ears back in anger, he never ever gave a slight indication of a kick, he was so polite and cooperative and I freely use the word PERFECT.

When he arrived here he was very thin, he had a visible bone running parallel with his spine and his ribs were protruding etc. His teeth were extremely long and he would be continually seen sucking his tongue and be dribbling. This was corrected by some very skilful equine dentistry. The indication was for a great length of time fly’s had been affecting his eyes and I had to regularly bathe his eyes with water and tea leaves etc.

He seemed to be dragging his hind leg as he walked and I had to carefully trim his hooves to give him some relief. (The last two years this trusting fella used to let me trim his hooves with power tools and I will say it was a pleasure to me to work with him.)

It was interesting to note when he arrived the two top Alpha horses gave him special treatment. In the past Rebel and Irish would be quite strict on all new arrivals into the sanctuary in showing them what is expected of them to join the herd, but with Beriah they in fact were quite soft and very gentle with him. Beriah being such a sensible horse found his intro into the herd uncomplicated. Because there was some evidence that he was loosing his eye sight, we gave his companion Omar a small bell to wear just in case Beriah needed a sound to be able to safety move around. A few days after Beriah died it was evident that Omar missed his companion Beriah.

I personally found it very painful to have to bring the life of such a lovely horse to an end. Every time I am called upon to do this I tear up. The day after doing this was a very long sad day indeed. I had to keep reminding myself that the sanctuary gave him three years and two months of daily care and love that he would not of had.

I miss him dreadfully and cannot believe he is gone; sometimes I feel I am not strong enough for this type of life and need others to help carry the grieving.

Rest in Peace our dear friend. May you run free across the Rainbow Bridge.

Alan Gent

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