Approximate Date of Birth: 1/1/1982
Candy came to us in May of 2004. At the time, we had already decided we would be establishing a horse sanctuary, but we were still planning our program. Candy was brought to us by a "friend" who said that she was a completely rideable horse. Candy came out of the trailer lame. The vet suggested we wait to see if the lameness would resolve itself before evaluating her (the transporter had jarred the trailer terribly, and we hoped she had only a minor injury). After the prescribed rest period, Candy was still lame. Our vet was fairly blunt when he evaluated her. He said simply, "This horse is a problem, don’t make her your problem. Send her back to where she came from." I remember explaining that her owners had moved out of state and asked for his suggestion. The silence that greeted my question spoke volumes. In the end, providing the best for Candy became more important than the timeline we were developing for Horses of Tir Na Nog.
I will never regret setting the timeline aside in order to take Candy into our little herd with Buster and Missy. The years that followed were not always easy as Horses of Tir Na Nog struggled to find its footing. Through it all, Candy showed what a remarkable girl she was. She became a good buddy to both Buster and Cocoa, but when she met King, she immediately bonded with him. She became King’s very best friend, but she was also very careful to keep him in line, teaching him a lot about being a horse and interacting with people.
Although her arthritis has been a challenge over the last few years, she has received excellent veterinary and farrier care. As a result, she was able to maintain an acceptable quality of life, always eager to be turned out with King. In August, she began to experience a series of mild colics. While the symptoms could be the result of several conditions, we hoped the cause was an ulcer. After a full course of ulcer treatments, we saw the improvement we had hoped for, only to have the symptoms reappear a few weeks later. An alternative ulcer medication yielded wonderful results for several weeks. Unfortunately, this week, the symptoms returned. In spite of our hope that Candy had an ulcer, this relapse confirmed that Candy most likely suffered from intestinal stones. As a result of this modified diagnosis, Candy was humanely euthanized on November 3, 2009.
Candy’s spirit will continue to shape the vision of Horses of Tir Na Nog, and remind us that the best of plans sometimes have to yield to the reality of horses in need. So many horses have followed Candy "home" to Horses of Tir Na Nog. While none will ever fill the void of her passing, she has provided them with the pathway that leads home. Candy never was a "problem" for us. She brought us all such joy, and she taught so many lessons. In 2004, it was suggested that Candy had outlived her "usefulness." On the contrary, I firmly believe that Candy realized her purpose in life when she stepped, limping, out of the horse trailer.
-Amy Pat Rigney
P.S.: I know that many of you will be concerned about King. He clearly misses his friend, but Dottie and Angel have welcomed him into their corral.