I have to tell you that this post is written with tears in my eyes….. You may think me ridiculous… but I’ll take that risk.
This morning the last of our horses left our paddock and travelled to a new home where he will enjoy a retirement with another senior horse in acres of green pastures and gently swaying trees.
Three weeks ago our pony left for a new home too. He is now with a young family and officially belongs to a little girl, and he gets brushed, fed with carrots and taken for country rides …. and I believe he even has the occasional pink ribbon in his hair.
Over the years we have had five horses in all, and these last two have been with us for the longest.
We took the decision to give away our horses for several reasons. With my daughters no longer at home, there is very little riding done anymore, in fact the pony was up to his old tricks of escaping from his field again, just because he was getting bored. We were also about to lose the tenancy on the pastures that we have enjoyed for so many years ….
The time had come to turn a page and to be realistic about how little time I have to ride these days.
I cried ( a lot) as each horse left us, because I wasn’t only saying goodbye to a beautiful animal who has been part of our family and our lives for so many years but also because this is the turning of a page. There will be no more rides in the forest, no more galloping through the fields, no more cuddling that big strong neck, or sitting in a saddle and feeling the thrill of a horse responding to my slightest movement.
But rather than having regrets, I am deeply grateful for the many many happy memories that they have left behind. It’s been a privilege to keep our own horses just two minutes walk from our house, and one that I will never forget.
I don’t often share much personal stuff on this blog, but the story of our horses is intrinsically linked to my girls growing up. Our horses were their constant companions, their confidants, their champions and their partners in crime.
So today, I am remembering some of these very happy moments that have filled our lives over the past years, and saying to anyone who is thinking about welcoming a pony into their family … go for it! Your daily routine will need to expand to include feeding and checking on the horses; you will have additional expenses; you will need accommodation, a good blacksmith, and you may well get involved in early morning starts for competitions, but all of this will be worthwhile, because memories like these cannot be bought.
Thank you for listening to me today, there are things that need to be shared.
photos 1& 7 by James Pouliot