The season is changing here in Colorado, as evidenced by the lovely cool mornings and evenings. Summer is giving way to fall. It’s time to pull up the comforter, turn off the fan overhead, and snuggle into the blankets. That early morning alarm doesn’t seem so appealing, when it’s dark and cold.

In the pasture the last few days I’ve noticed that Miss P. seems hungry.

Ravenous really.

She’s often the first one to the gate, and on many days, she’s waiting patiently for us to arrive.  Last night she spotted the truck as we rounded the first turn, and made a beeline toward us, and her dinner.

She needs more calories to keep warm, now that mornings and evenings are chilly. We’d reduced her grain over the summer, because she didn’t need it. All that lush grass was keeping her happy. She’s actually put on a good amount of weight. And that pleases me. It gives her a bit of a head start for winter, when keeping weight on her is a challenge.

About mid summer our vet suggested that we start Pepper on a daily dose of Bute, to ease the pain in her arthritic knees. It has made a tremendous difference in her quality of life. She’s been a different mare.

Everything about her seems lighter.

More content.

Now she gets a little hustle going when she comes toward us.

She used to plod along, as if every step hurt.

It probably did hurt.

Chronic pain wears a person, or a horse down.

If we don’t have it, we can’t even imagine how exhausting it is to manage that pain.

I feel a little guilty that we waited so long to give this pain relief to our sweet girl.

There may be side effects with long-term usage of Bute, but we agreed with our vet that at twenty-eight, Pepper needed pain relief. We’re going for quality of life in her old age.

I hope it ‘s the right decision.

I think it is.

Have you ever had to make a tough call about your animals?

Or kids?

Or family members?

How did you handle it?

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