Once upon a time keeping the ashes of a former pet would have been a luxury and very rare.
However more and more today we are seeing owners wanting to treasure the memory and honor of not only their pets at home but also their horses. What’s the reason for this you ask? For most it comes down to the love and joy that their horse brings to their life. So much time and care have gone into this animal that the least you can do for it once you have given all that you can is a respectful and peaceful send-off. Most riders often feel a very deep connection with their horse. They care for, train, feed and compete with this magnificent beast that trusts them implicitly. Options vary from cremating your horse, memorial burial and in rare situations taxidermy. SO how does it all work?
There are specialist companies that deal with the cremation of all animals. It is important to check that the establishment you look at is respectful in both the transportation and in specialized equipment and maintain that your horse will remain intact throughout the process. For a few thousand dollars your horse will be collected, transported and cremated at their facilities. You then have so many options for keeping and storing your horse’s ashes.
These days you will find a selection of custom photo frame boxes that can hold a small bag of ashes, photo and plaque commemorating your horse and their achievements. For some people, they savour the memory by planting a tree with a plaque as a tribute to the passed horse and bury the ashes. Be sure to check what the process is at the animal crematorium and the charges involved. Due to the cost, some crematoriums allow you to pay in advance. Don’t consider this awkward. Humans do it all the time
Burial might be the preferred choice for you. By whatever means your horse passes they should be buried quite soon after death. If you choose to bury a horse on your property, you will need heavy machinery to not only dig a hole that is deep and wide enough but also the ability to help assist transporting your horse to their final resting spot. Check with your local council or town planning to ensure that the location of your horses final resting place doesn’t impact any utility lines or pipes. This can include being too close to water sources. Over time, a decomposing body can become toxic and contaminate any nearby water sources if too close. I don’t want to take away from the respectful part that a burial can take, but there are practical issues that also come into it. A beautiful handmade marker will help commemorate the final resting place for your horse.
One of the first recorded horses to be preserved using taxidermy was that of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1892. He is still showcased in Paris. Beyond that occasion, the taxidermy of horses seems to be largely based on the horses significance, displacement value and of course size. Prices can vary from professional to professional. It will also depend on if you have the entire horse preserved or just the neck and head (yes sounds morbid, I know). Prices can be from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. You may also want to consider if you have the space to store your beloved preserved horse and then insure them against fire or damage. One of the most important things to remember when choosing the final resting place for your horse is how you commemorate them and keep their memory alive. Be aware that there will be a grieving period. If you are struggling to cope with the loss of your horse make sure you reach out to someone. There are support lines for grief. It is real and grief shouldn’t be ignored. Have, a party to celebrate the life of a wonderful horse and make sure anniversaries aren’t forgotten.