Ever find yourself in a situation that's just kind of unreal and you're like "is this really happening?"
Yesterday morning I got to the barn (not River's) to do stalls. I got there about 8AM. Walked in the barn, went to turn on the lights, and saw the BO's 4 year old laying down sleeping. This is an extremely lazy horse who is always laying down. I look in and say "hey Piper, are you dead?" Ha ha. "Piper? Piper!" I kicked the front wall of the stall. "Piper!" Made a snowball and tossed it at her. "Piper?" Dread is setting in. Open the stall door and I know before I touch her. She's dead.
The night before, I was at the barn until about 7:30. She was totally fine. She was, um, very dead when I got there, so she probably died a few hours after I left. It's so bizarre.
She was laying flat out in her stall with her eyes closed. No evidence that she fell or thrashed or anything. Looks like her heart just gave out in her sleep. She was diagnosed with a severe heart murmur several years ago. It was a miracle she lived as long as she did. Seriously--they took her to the vet school in Ohio for an echocardiogram to diagnose her. A year or two later, the vet told my BO that if they'd bring her down, they'd do follow up testing for free because they were amazed she was still alive.