Horses of Tir Na Nog

Betty's Amber

Gender: Mare

Breed: American Quarter Horse

Approximate Date of Birth: 1/1/1993

In October 2011 three precious gems, Tri Seoda, arrived at Horses of Tir Na Nog. In this case the three gems were emaciated horses. All three were rescued during an investigation by County of San Diego Department of Animal Services in Spring Valley.

"Tri Seoda" is Gaelic for "three precious gems," and we thought that phrase fit these three perfectly. In Buddhist tradition, the Three Gems are potential, teaching, and community. Obviously these three were on a journey to realize their own potential after the neglect they had suffered.

A long-time supporter of Horses of Tir Na Nog heard about these three special horses and wanted to help. Two of her sisters passed away in 2011 and she thought it would be a wonderful tribute to their memory to name the horses in their honor. So our three gems became the three sisters: Edna Pearl, Betty's Amber, and Edith's Diamond. All three human sisters were born in the heart of horse-country, Kentucky, and chose professions that led to helping people: nursing and teaching.

Betty's Amber was the name chosen for the 18 year old American Quarter Horse in need of extensive dental care. The name honored the donor who had stepped forward to cover the care needed for all three of the gems.

Betty's Amber was the oldest of the three mares, and she always appeared older than her actual years, partially due to the tough life she had lived and partially due to an aura of wisdom she carried with her. While Betty's Amber recovered from her initial neglect, she faced several health challenges during her time with us. Her dental issues caused persistent sinus infections. She weathered each storm that life brought her way, overcoming many medical challenges. She did so with a determination and grace that reflected her incredible personality.

In the summer of 2015 she was initially diagnosed with a hematoma around her vulva. As with her other issues, she recovered. However, it soon came back, and it became clear that the hematoma was an early sign of vaginal polyps. While the biopsy showed the polyp tissue was benign, it required prolonged medical intervention. As was her style, Amber rallied and remained her bright, friendly self. We entered the fall optimistic that the issues had been resolved. Unfortunately, within a few months we were once again seeing changes to her vulva. ECLAP re-examined her, and the news was not good. Her vagina was full of polyps. In spite of this evaluation, given her fighting spirit, we clung to hope that we could manage the condition. Unfortunately, the polyp growth rate was much more aggressive than we had anticipated and by the end of December, the polyps had once again externalized. This posed the risk of painful complications for Betty's Amber and was also an indication that her discomfort level was impacting her quality of life and would only get worse. So, after careful consultation with our veterinarians, the decision was made to say goodbye to Betty's Amber to avoid any further suffering.

At 5:30 on the evening of her passing, the ranch was shrouded in a frozen darkness. It was one of those rare moments of absolute silence. And out of this darkness came a single piercing neigh. It was Edith's Diamond, saying one last goodbye to her very dear friend and sister. And in that neigh, as it stretched out across the ranch, was a piece of every horse at the sanctuary. It was easy to imagine that the neigh ended where another neigh started, a neigh we could not hear, a neigh meant just for Betty's Amber, welcoming her to the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, promising her endless friendship from those who had gone before her.

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