Breed: American Quarter Horse
Approximate Date of Birth: 1/1/1993
Horses of Tir Na Nog has been blessed to have had some extraordinary residents. The hardest part of knowing these amazing animals is having to say good bye. July 16, 2012, as the sun was setting, we bid farewell to our golden boy, Tanner.
Tanner was born in 1993. As a young horse, he competed in gymkhanas and taught many children how to ride. He arrived at Horses of Tir Na Nog in 2008 significantly underweight and in obvious decline. Earlier that year, Tanner started losing weight. He could no longer compete for food with the younger horses in the pasture where he was living. His teeth were in such bad shape that he could no longer chew his food properly. Tanner needed to be moved out of the pasture situation, have his diet adjusted, and have his dental needs addressed.
As soon as Tanner was settled at the ranch, we had his teeth floated and he immediately began putting on more weight. Early in 2009 Tanner met his best buddy, Sundance. Sundance dwarfed Tanner, but it was clear from the start that Tanner was in charge and that Sundance thrived under his leadership.
A couple of years ago, Tanner's, dental issues of 2008 returned and lead to a recurrent sinus infection. Tanner was transported to East County Large Animal Practice for surgery, making him our first resident to overnight at a veterinary clinic. While we missed him at the ranch, he stole the show at ECLAP and became a favorite among the vets and staff.
Tanner's presence at Horses of Tir Na Nog has been a gift to us. Tanner was always gentle and patient with our volunteers. He taught so many new volunteers how to halter and brush a horse. His arthritis limited his ability to be taken for walks, but it didn’t limit his ability to be loved by our volunteers.
As much as Tanner gave the volunteers, he gave more to his herd. For the last few years, Tanner had been the herd leader that first Sundance, then King, and lastly Mariah, came to rely on. He made them feel safe and secure and he helped keep Sundance in line through his gentle but firm leadership.
True to form, Tanner's passing reflected his gentle stoicism. While we don't know how, Tanner appears to have fractured his humorous. Dr. Oman, who had been caring for Tanner throughout his time with us, gently and lovingly put him to sleep. Both Andrea and I were able to be with him, and there wasn't a dry eye among us.
As Tanner left us, Sundance whinnied to his friend one last time. Included in that single call was all of the love and sorrow we felt.
Farewell golden boy, thank you for all you have given us.