This month we’re shining a light on our Director of Fundraising & Communications, Jess. Jess…
Today we sadly bring you the news of the passing of our dear friend Wiggins.
After not quite making the cut in his training for the Household Cavalry, Wiggins came to us to enjoy the beautiful countryside and slower lifestyle that The Horse Trust offers to all our residents. Standing at a massive 17.2hh, Wiggins’ heart was just as big as his height and he will be cherished in our memories forever.
Originally purchased by the Household Cavalry, Wiggins went into training to become a Drum horse for the Band of the Household Cavalry. This role is always fulfilled by a heavy horse like Wiggins. If successful in his training, Wiggins would need to carry two large drums either side of his rider, with reins attached to the riders feet, allowing the drummer to both ride and play during parades. Initially, Wiggins settled into training but it became clear he was a nervous character and found being ridden a stressful experience, especially in traffic, where on a couple of occasions he would rear up and rush forwards when frightened. Sadly after a few months, it was evident his disposition was not suited to the life of a drum horse, and the stress of his training was beginning to have a negative impact on his physical condition. Therefore the decision was made to retire Wiggins to the beautiful rolling hills here at The Horse Trust in Buckinghamshire where he could live a quieter life and avoid his arch nemesis, the double decker bus!
Wiggins came to us in 2016 at only 7 years old, making him one of our youngest retirees in recent years. In the peaceful surroundings of our Home of Rest, Wiggins worked hard at keeping our older retired horses company – although if they could share stories, Wiggins would likely have been shocked by the number of years’ service most of our herd have completed protecting our Monarch and the general public, having never made it out of training himself! Once retired, Wiggins became a laid-back chap who loved nothing more than a lie down and a munch on some hay – preferably at the same time! With his striking good looks, he was extremely popular and well known here at The Horse Trust, with everyone having a kind word or loving moment to share about him.
Recently it was noticed by our grooms that Wiggins was having some trouble with his back legs when getting up and would struggle to put his weight onto them, but after walking to catch up with his mates, he would seemingly go back to normal. After this was observed by the grooms three times in the same week, Wiggins was immediately booked in with our vet Nicky for a once over. Unfortunately after a thorough investigation, it was found that Wiggins was suffering from advanced arthritis and hindlimb suspensory ligament degeneration. The deterioration of this ligament was also impacting Wiggins joints which was likely causing him a great deal of pain. Due to the quick progression of the degeneration and that Wiggins was already struggling in light of this painful condition, it was decided that the kindest thing to do was to say goodbye.
With his handsome appearance and loveable personality, Wiggins won the hearts of everyone he met. He was immensely loved by all the team here at The Horse Trust and his goofy character and gentle nature will be sorely missed. He leaves behind a hole just as big as his gigantic heart but we let him go knowing that he will no longer feel pain and that when he crosses over the rainbow bridge, he can continue his work to comfort those of our residents who have already left us to reside in the pastures in the sky. Sleep tight Wiggins.
The Horse Trust relies on public donations to continue to give a forever home to retired military, police, Royal Mews and RDA horses and to care for neglected rescued horses. If you would like to be part of our story, please consider a donation today.