It was with immense sadness that the decision was made to put Luke to sleep on the 16th August. Lukey lost his battle with laminitis and EMS (Equine metabolic Syndrome), and for the last year had suffered a number of bouts of laminitis, resulting in extensive periods of box rest. He was in pain, and although the last bout wasn’t too severe, it did not seem fair or kind to once again limit his life with the herd and be denied outings around the village.
who come here, in particular my granddaughter Chloe are all devastated. This incredible pony, who came to us 8 years
ago as an unbroken 2 year old, was every mother’s dream pony. He was so kind, so gentle, so accommodating,
so patient, and apart from the laminitis, he was easy to look after and easy to
However it is worth mentioning here that for a number of years he would not pick up his feet, and when they were due for a trim, he had to be sedated. One day I met an animal behaviourist who lived in the village and I told her about Luke and his refusal to pick up his feet. She calmly asked me whether he had fallen into a hole, when he was a baby, or whether he’d had a foot trapped at any time. I said I didn’t know. However, after this random meeting, I went to have a talk with Luke, I asked him if he had fallen into a hole, when he was a baby. I told him I was so sorry if that had happened, and that I didn’t know. From that day on, he picked his feet up easily.
I feel sad that I didn’t spend more time with Luke. He was always overshadowed by the other horses. The weekend before he died, he came completely sound. We went into the school together and we did some liberty. He was a natural, he followed me round the school, he circled round me at walk and trot, did back up. It was his last gift to me, telling me that he trusted me as his leader, that in his way he loved me, that he understood that the others came first.
I miss him terribly. A truly wonderful pony.
Pilgrim left a legacy insofar that over the last few years of his life, following intensive rehabilitation for a fracture in his hoof and colic surgery, he became an outstanding equine assisted learning horse and was the lead horse in a number of EAQ projects. He enabled countless people become aware of and to learn how to control body language. He was Jackie’s demonstration horse, and frequently demonstrated Monty Robert’s ‘Join Up’, which formed the basis of her teaching with young people suffering from autism and other mental health difficulties.
Jackie and Pilgrim shared a very strong bond built on love and respect. He was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease in 2012 and died on 27th September 2013. He is buried at NLHC. Jackie says ‘He was my true soul mate. I miss him every day’.