It’s been pretty quiet here for the past couple weeks. Other than joining in on the evening activities when Emma came to San Diego, I haven’t done much worth reporting horse-wise. Emma was awesome and great to meet; I hope it’s not a singular event. It was also nice to see the local girls again. I’m really glad they included me in their plans and hopefully we get together more often!
I’ve been spending a lot of time doctoring horses which is nothing to write home about. Ben with his weird bed sore, Aria with these awful hock sores that are on top of her hocks (not even sure how that happens), and Catalina with physitis. I’ve weaned Catalina, which should help reduce the inflammation in her knees but baby moose is just so big that there’s no way to avoid the growing pains she’s going through other than to slow her progress as much as possible.
Valeria seems to be pretty happy about not having a parasitic terrorist at her side anymore. She’s dried up a lot quicker than I thought she would but I guess it’s to be expected since she never had a large udder anyway. That does mean that work will be starting very soon for her. Especially since my end goal is to sell her.
As I’ve spent a lot of time on trail rides rather than arena work, because that’s where my head space is, I’ve been contemplating my horsey goals. I only have so much spare time in a day to focus on my horses and with four, inevitably someone gets the short stick. I’ve mentioned many times, though perhaps not on this blog, that I need to get down to two horses. While it’s very easy for me to put Valeria on the chopping block because I purchased her with the intent of not keeping her the second selection has been difficult.
Not because I don’t know which horse to rehome but because I feel like the decision is a failure in some way. I haven’t ridden Ben but a handful of times in a decade out of fear. Once when I was chatting with L she said “green + green = black & blue”. That pretty much sums up my history with Ben. While I’m a much better rider now and I have successfully ridden him a few times in the last year, to include tackling my fear of cantering on him, I don’t enjoy riding him. I don’t relax when I’m on him.
Additionally, he’s an older boy. Twenty-one isn’t a death sentence to a horse and he hasn’t slowed down by any means (possibly part of the reason I still don’t feel comfortable on him). I feel confident, barring any serious injury or health issues, he should have several more years of quality riding in him. I’m not going to give that to him, but he deserves it. Much more than he deserves to sit in a stall day after day.
There is associated guilt with the idea of rehoming an older horse though. Even though in my current horse ‘career’ I know that I want to show and I want a very specific type of horse that Ben will never be, that doesn’t remove the sting or concern that I have for where his path may lead once he leaves my hands. I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ dumping an older horse because he no longer serves a purpose.
I did a disservice to him when I didn’t sell him ten years ago. I held on to him for sentimental reasons. The more time I spend riding, the more I realize and come to terms with the unescapable truth that Ben and I were never a good fit and never will be a good fit. It’s a tough pill to swallow.
I will come to terms with my decision in time but I have to be decisive in my actions or the chance of another decade passing is very real. What’s your opinion on this? Should a horse be a lifetime commitment ‘till death do we part’ or is it kinder to move along and let them have a shot with someone else?