Breed: American Quarter Horse
Approximate Date of Birth: 1/1/1981
On His Terms
Lobo arrived at Horses of Tir Na Nog in April of 2010. He was the last owner-relinquished horse to become part of our herd. Prior to his arrival, Lobo was a beloved trail horse. His early years were spent as a rental horse. At the age of seven, he was acquired as a personal riding horse and began a wonderful life. For over twenty-two years, he received the best possible care from his owners. He shared this wonderful life with his buddy, Seraph. Together they traveled on miles of trails throughout San Diego County, from Border Field State Park to the local mountains and inland deserts. Regardless of the terrain he passed through, Lobo always returned his rider safely home. Lobo remained healthy and vibrant into his twenties until he developed cataracts, which reduced his vision, but didn’t slow him down. The sight of the trailer being hitched to the truck always told Lobo that open trails were waiting for him.
In April 2010, his companion Seraph suffered a twisted intestine and was humanely euthanized. This left Lobo alone for the first time in over twenty-two years. Lobo’s anxiety required immediate action. It was clear that Lobo needed companionship if he was to have any quality of life. So on a wet, grey April day in 2010, Lobo took his final trailer ride to Horses of Tir Na Nog.
When Lobo arrived at the ranch, he was moved into a corral next to a moody Arabian mare, Sugar. The attraction was immediate and mutual. Somehow these two knew that they needed each other. While their ages required dramatically different diets, these two lovebirds shared adjoining corrals, with a connecting gate between them so that they could spend as much time as possible together. Lobo also bonded with Cimarron and Joela, the two mares next to Sugar. He would spend hours being groomed by “his girls.”
On the morning of April 30, 2016 it was clear that Lobo was just not himself. As we waited for our veterinarian to arrive, Lobo greeted the Help a Horse Photography Day photographers and hung out with his girl Sugar. He also visited with Joela and Cimarron next door. Just as the vet arrived, he laid down on his own. She checked his vitals and said that basically his organs “had simply worn out.” As we held him, his breathing and heart rate slowed. It was as though he were falling asleep, all on his own. Lobo passed away on his own terms, surrounded by his friends.
The day that Lobo arrived at the ranch in 2010 was cold, grey, and wet. The same weather pattern returned on his final day at the ranch. But that evening, as the day was ending, the clouds parted, opening a large hole through which blue sky shone brilliantly and sun bathed the ranch. It is easy to see that this was Lobo’s big, bold farewell to all of his friends. In his farewell was his assurance to all of us that he is once again with his friend Seraph, across the Rainbow Bridge, where the sun always shines, the skies are a brilliant blue, and perfect, open trails are waiting for him to explore.