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20 Aug 2015

Ossi, a Very Special Pony

I want to tell you about Ossi, who made our life so much better. The beginning of his life was as unexpected as it's end.

One morning, a few days before Christmas, there was a little baby pony lieing on straw beside his mom. Nobody had noticed she was pregnant. Her owner was very surprised.

Nobody knows where Ossi spent next years of his life, but he wasn´t treated very well. 3 years before I bought him he was rescued from a very bad place by Patricia, his owner before us. Patricia took care of him and he became quite corpulent. I never saw him really thin because he loved to eat. Understandable ... In his herd Ossi was always the lowest one, he was a bit afraid of other horses, but he was such a happy and thankful little horse.

I got him 12 years ago when he was already 21. With his 122 cm he was not the biggest one, a bit too small for me and my 170 cm, but it didn't matter: We had a lot of fun with him. He loved tolting and did it very well. He was really fast tolter specially while riding with other horses. He did it all by himself, sometimes we had to slow him down because I was afraid it could be too much for him. If a rider couldn't establish himself well enough he was carried back to the barn by Ossi after a few meters. A rider was also in difficulties if Ossi had to poop. He didn´t want to do it on a road. He suddenly stopped and ran into deep woods. He did not care loosing his rider. Then he looked for a soft ground where he felt comfortable to poop. After a lot of unsuccessful tryings I gave up breaking him of this habit. I did not have any other choice.

Ossi taught a lot of children to ride. My nine year old daughter Alina started riding him together with me when she was only 9 months old. She often fell asleep on his back during rides. She learned so much from him, and if he had a bad day and didn´t want to work, he simply stopped and refused to take another step forward. His character was unique, a bit stubborn but always adorable. He put up with everything but he didn´t allow to put upon him.

I stopped riding him a few years ago. I didn´t want to ask too much from an old pony. He was fit as a fiddle until the very end. I was sure he would live many more years.

Everybody who knew him said he looked great. He had a 35 year old friend Birta and they spent their days and nights together. They had a lot of space - it was a paradise for horses. They always had contact with other horses, though Ossi didn´t care about that very much. He had his Birta and sometimes there were foals on the same paddock together with him. He loved running with them fast as the wind, and he still did that one day before his sudden death, 3 months before he turned 30.

Late one evening he got a stomach ache. By chance Doris, the barn owner, was there at 11 in the evening and noticed Ossi had a colic. She gave him Buscoban, brought him into the stable and looked after him again a bit later. I am so thankful for that. At 2 a.m. they called me from the barn and told me that he was doing badly and they had called the vet. Immediately I drove to the barn and was shocked of Ossi's miserable condition. Doris had tried a lot and she did everything right but the vet had a bad feeling. He thought it would be a volvulus. Together with Doris I brought him to the clinic. At this point once again I want to say thank you to her. Without her help Ossi would have died during the night under hard pain. The vets tried everything and in the beginning it looked like he could survive. Every 2 hours I called the clinic and with each call my hope decreased. At 7 pm I got the vet´s call: There was nothing to do anymore - we had to put Ossi down.

After 3 years I still can´t believe that I tell you about the life and death of my beloved horse. But no matter how enormous the sorrow is, it is solacing to know that Ossi was loved by everybody and Alina and I haven´t been alone with our sorrow. Since the sad part of his life Ossi had such wonderful, happy 12 years together with us. I know that he is doing well where ever he is now - he will be immortal and forever loved in our minds and he will remain as an unforgettable pony. A 4 year old son of my friend found the right words when he heard of Ossi´s death. He said: ”Ossi was a lucky charm horse you can have only once in a lifetime.”

Katrin Gollwitzer, GER

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