Max: A Memorial Tribute

Thank you so much to Deb and family for this wonderful tribute to Max, for giving him a great life, and for making the right decision for him when the time came. Rest in Peace, Max.

“We started fostering Max from MHARF in April 2010. It took the people who were temporarily caring for him a few hours to get him into the trailer to bring him to us, our little red foster gelding who arrived so timid and shy. It took months and months before Kaitlin was able to touch his ears, he‘d tremble in fear and it made us wonder what kind of life he had had before coming to live with us.
His vet guessed he was in his late teens to early 20’s at the time, he was a bit stiff and had retinal scarring in both eyes. We watched him for Uveitis, using a UV fly-mask on him and watched his eyes for any discharge.
Whenever we tried to bring him in from the pasture, he couldn’t be caught. We finally decided to bring every horse in the pasture into the indoor arena, leaving him alone and pacing the fence-line, only then did he allow us to handle him.
Slowly, he began to gain trust in us and allowed us to groom him, give him hugs and kisses. Kaitlin was the first to ride him. She was calming and gentle, talked to him softly and gave him lots of pats and scratches. (Kaitlin works at Complete Equestrian Company). He would ride in a halter with a lead rope attached, we never put a bit in his mouth. Always on the narrow side, we had trouble finding a saddle that would fit him. Peanuts pony saddle fit him just right or the kids would ride him bareback. My granddaughter Madi’s friends loved grooming and riding our sweet old boy. Over the next couple of years, Max took care of a lot of kids. He was a very gentle and safe ride. We all grew to love him so much.
A few years ago, we started feeding him senior feed to keep his weight up. The slightest change to his feed had to be done a little at a time or he’d walk away from his bowl. Last year, he started losing weight and we tried new things to help him gain. He was separated from the other horses at feeding time because he ate so slowly, but he’d finish it all if you gave him the time.
This year, he’s separated from the other horses for several hours while he still eats all his food, loves his alfalfa mix hay but he’s not gaining and his arthritis is making it more difficult for him to move around.
Our hearts are breaking because we know Max, now about 30 yrs old, won’t do well this winter and we won’t ask him to stay because we don’t want to say goodbye to our dear sweet old gentle red gelding that we’ve grown to love so much.
Max will be leaving us today, crossing the Rainbow Bridge to join Sage and Milo with Dallas waiting to meet him. Our hearts are breaking and we’ll be there with him, petting and kissing his nose as we say goodbye to our dear old friend. We love Max so very much.

Thank you for allowing us to give him a home for the past 8 1/2 yrs.”