There is a crushing moment, in the stillness after our job is done. It was raw and cold. The arena was dim and quiet but for the whisper of the wings of the birds roosting above. The vet had gone. The owners had gone. It was just me and the horse. He was gone as well. No longer in pain. His big frame laying in the dirt. It is always the same. Least for me. It is in that moment when my “job” is done. I have done what I needed to do. I’ve stepped away from my emotions and my thoughts. With some it has been days, others, like today, just a brutal 24 hours. It is a combination of exhaustion and being overwhelmed as all the emotions I have kept hard in check slip back in uninvited. Today it was there in the indoor and so I stood still letting a heavy blanket of emotions envelop me. I understand the cost. It doesn’t matter how proficient I become at their care. It doesn’t matter how many times I walk this road of desperately trying to save them. The cost is still the same and it is huge.