It is with much sadness, that we had to put down one of our very special team members, Cocoa. As many know, Cocoa suffered from extreme arthritis in her hind legs. Over the last few months, Cocoa’s disease progressed at a rapid rate. She had taken several terrible falls and was having trouble getting back up after rolling. Last week she fell again in her paddock and could not get herself back up. Our veterinarian was called, and on his advice, the decision was made to end Cocoa’s suffering.
Cocoa came to Xenophon in 2001. She was purchased for the center after having had several owners and many jobs: including show horse, parade horse and trail companion. Cocoa had a huge spirit and could be quite the challenge for her able-bodied riders. What made her so special to Xenophon was that she had an intuitive sense of her riders abilities. Thus, our most challenging riders were put on Cocoa. She would always carry them with concern and care. Cocoa’s disease prevented her from carrying riders for the past 7 months, but true to Cocoa form, she continued to play an active role in the program by caring for her students on the ground. During her ground lessons, Cocoa could give and heal just by her presence. She worked for Xenophon for over 11 years and impacted the lives of countless children and adults alike. In 2008 she won the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship’s Horse of the Year award.
We are grateful we could honor Cocoa at our horse show. It was a fitting tribute to an amazing horse. We are happy that people had time to visit with her and say their goodbyes over the last weeks. She has left a huge hole in the program and in many hearts. She will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.