Archives MAIN PAGE

Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Grief and horses

This past week has really been a devastating one and I have some questions. I am a new horse person and I want to make sure that none of what happened this weekend repeats itself.

Our neighbors have 5 horses, one being a colt 6-7 months old. We live way back in the woods. Thursday night the colt was killed by a pack of coyotes. We own two Great Pyranees and we believe that they may have ran down there and frightened them off after the fact but the heartbreaking fact is the colt was killed. Friday evening the Momma Mare went down. We all attempted for hours upon hours to get it back on it's feet to no avail. The vet came out and said she was in mourning but offered no explanation as to what to do. By Saturday night she was dead.

I am just beside myself. I had attached to the little colt and am broken-hearted and they were not even my horses.

I know what can be done to try to prevent issues with the coyotes but is there something that could have been done to help the mare? I just felt like the vet was a waste of time and money for them and the loss of the mare on top of the colt was a tragedy.

Any advise..


Hello Donna,

What a sad story indeed. My condolences to you and the family who owned the horses. These sorts of things happen. As with a human, a parent, who loses a child, the grief can overwhelm them to the point that their lives are destroyed. Some parents recover somewhat and carry on, and others do not. We can try to console, comfort, and support them as best we can. Sometimes it is to no avail. I do not know what else you could have done in this case. I had a mare who lost a foal the night it was born. She carried on. The one you are speaking of obviously did not. It is a shame and a big loss for sure. You need to let go of any guilt you might be feeling. It is not correct. If you allowing your dogs to run free, dogs that hunt and kill animals as part of their instinctual lives, perhaps you should rethink that decision. Living in Colorado for a while on mountain ranches has given me a lot of sympathy for ranchers who lose their domestic animals to wild animals. Ranchers shoot dogs running free on their land and they should. That is their right to protect their livestock. I would as well.

Anyway, please do your best to release any guilt, change whatever you feel should be changed in how your dogs are kept. Keep contact with the family that owned the horse. I personally thank you for caring, feeling and looking for any other possibilities that could have been done to comfort that grieving horse. It would seem that what was done was all that could have been done.

Sincerely, Franklin

Look for: