Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Forever Horse

Forever is a long time.  It's a word that's not used a lot anymore - at weddings, at funerals, maybe at a retirement party if those even exist anymore.  You don't usually use it in the horse world either; you change barns, get new boots, relocate, and eventually all that stuff moves around like an aging waistline. But if you're lucky you'll have just one "forever" horse.  The forever ones are rare and seventeen years ago I would have never believed that my round chestnut mare would never be for sale, for any price. I'm truly one of the blessed.  



She's retired now, not groomed, clipped and curried as she once was.  We don't ride that much anymore and we don't make those long trips to shows where she knew that she was number one, in my mind and thankfully in the minds of many judges we showed under.  She seems happy, content, still shows off that fabulous trot every now and then as she prances across acres of lush green grass as if to show that she still has it.



I've had offers to sell, to lease, a phone call or two out of the blue from someone I have never met.  She's irreplaceable.  She's moved three times with us, to three states and she's won year end awards in all three.  She's seen others in the barn move on - Madeleine and Dandy - and she's been with Alfie and April a long time now.  She's more than family, it goes much deeper than that - she knows my walk, as she nickers before I get to the barn; she even knows my "door slam" and neighs to me when I get out of the car, rental or otherwise.  Now we're like an old married couple living out our twilight years.



She'll soon be twenty, an age I can't fathom as in my mind she's still the clumsy 3-year old I remember, carrying my husband in the hunt field, trying to understand lead changes and this whole horse show thing.  Like a good wine, she improved with age.  She loved to show off in the hunter classics and at big indoor shows where my trainer said she always jumped a little higher and better.   But we had an understanding all those years.  I never asked her for too much and she always gave me 110 percent. We gave up some prestigious awards and missed a lot of shows but that was the right choice for us.
 
It’s hard to say why I got so lucky, how we ended up together. Maybe it's like finding the right guy to marry.  At times I start thinking of what life will be without her, how I will have to grow old without her and how unfair that is.  I can't think of going to the barn and not finding her there in her stall waiting for breakfast. We simply enjoy the simple things now - giving her Altoids so she can suck her tongue and savor; a vacuum on a cold snowy day inside the barn; a long walk on a loose rein around the field, opening the gate and letting her walk to her stall as she knows the way by herself.  Some partnerships outlive the test of time. Ours has done that.


11 comments:

  1. I love this. I lost my heart horse almost 7 months ago, he was my forever horse who just didn't last forever as I had hoped. :( Hold her tight, love her so.

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    1. Thank you. I cherish every day with her.

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  2. :) Have so enjoyed your posts about her in the time I've read your blog!

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  3. Love hearing about your "Super Sega," and enjoyed this beautiful description of your life together. I have cared for and loved many animals in my life but it's true, there are some that are just the closest. I have my wonderful heart dog now and like you and Sega, I cherish every moment with her (she's almost 11). I hope someday to own my own horse, and to have him/her be my "perfect fit" is something I can aspire to. Long live Sega!

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  4. I can feel the love and emotion through your poetic writing.Thank you for opening your heart.

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  5. This was simply beautiful! Thank you!

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  6. Wow. This made me cry. I've had the forever horse and losing them is just indescribable. But what a wonderful ride you have had, and continue to have for many more years!

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  7. Amen - I know that feeling so well...

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  8. Never think about the last day, because there's nothing you can do -- nothing can prepare you for that. I lost mine over a year ago, and it still sucks. I'm hoping I've found another, but only time will tell!

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  9. We would love to own a horse or two and have been thinking about it for awhile. This post sure makes me long for that special horse, owner relationship. You really are lucky to have found such a special horse.

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  10. Beautifully written , and it gets your feelings across. Thank you for sharing the "love of a horse" that so many of us have been darned lucky to feel.

    Pearce

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