It is with a very heavy heart that I bring you news on the loss of our sweet mare, Tessa.
You might remember, the beautiful Clydesdale was gifted to Hope Reins in 2019 by WRAL-TV’s Gerald Owens and his wife, Leigh.
Not long after Tessa joined us, she was diagnosed with a degenerative disease common to draft horses called Chronic Progressive Lymphedema (CPL). This is a condition caused by a buildup of lymph fluid in the lower legs that results in progressive swelling in the skin folds. This swelling leads to painful sores and chronic wounds in the skin.
We have been managing this condition for several years. However, because of the nature of this disease, we have watched her continue to get worse over time despite our best management of her symptoms.
Earlier this week, Tessa had a severe episode. And, she’s been declining very quickly. Both hind legs became very compromised with severe swelling and as she lost her appetite, we saw several indicators that she was in a great deal of pain.
After talking with our vet and assessing Tessa’s pain level, we made the difficult but compassionate decision to end her suffering. This is a very hard loss for Hope Reins and especially the kids we serve.
Please pray for Hope Reins, Karen (her trainer pictured above), and especially our kids during this difficult time. We are also here for you. You can reach out to Jen Shepard (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any memories of Tessa you’d like to share or questions you may have.
We are so grateful to Gerald and Leigh for giving us the privilege and joy of caring for Tessa. She leaves a legacy of kindness, connection, and healing for not only the kids at Hope Reins, but for anyone who knew her.
Founder & CEO