I had to have my 28 year old horse, Nipper, put to sleep this morning due to complications from colic. He has been going downhill for the past year or so, so I knew this day was coming. I've had him since he was 5 years old (and I was 16). He has always been a "people horse"- very friendly, almost more like a big dog than a horse in many ways. He was a big horse (17 hands) but he was just a big old friendly goofball, and was especially fond of children, letting them run around, underneath him and hang off of him. He was an important part of my teenage years, and I think if I didn't have him to keep me busy at that time, I would have gotten into a lot more trouble than I already did. After I grew up, I didn't get to ride him as much, but I always tried to make sure he was well cared for. When I was riding him a lot, I kept him at my parents ranch, but the last 12 years or so I borded him at a couple of different places, and eventually up at my in-laws ranch about an hour away so he could have more room to run and bud around with other horses. We got the call from my inlaws this morning saying he was on the ground and could not get up. The other two horses with him were running around him and tried to get him to stand up, but he just couldn't. My DH called an emergency vet to go out there and see if there was anything that could be done, but we pretty much knew that this was going to be it. The vet put him to sleep a couple of hours ago. My DH is going to go up there tomorrow and use a backhoe to bury Nipper. I have decided not to go up there because I don't want to see Nipper like this; I want to remember him the way he was. I know a lot of people are probably going to knock me for that, but at this point, I really don't care. I don't even know what to feel right now... he hasn't been a huge part of my life in the recent years, so I am not feeling a lot of loss in that respect. Also, if someone or something has had a good, long life, death is the unavoidable result of that, and with that thought process, I don't see it as much of a loss or as tragic as an unexpected death when someone or something is young and still has a lot of years ahead of them. Though I did have a good cry, it was about some other issues I am having as well as what happened this morning, so I still just kind of feel numb right now. RIP, Nipper, my dear friend; sometimes I felt you were the only friend I really had. Thank you for being one of the very few positive things in my life.