(Written before I was contacted by my horse's new owner.)
Today has been one of those days. Perfect ride, perfect weather, perfect horse. There's nothing like prepping my horse for a ride after a long day with four very young children and having it go as smooth as silk and being able to ride with a loose rein without my horse being concerned about what's ahead or when she gets to eat hay. A horse that waits for me to tell her what's next, and picks up her pace with the sheer joy of gaiting or cantering.
Relaxing into the canter, reins loose, a gentle breeze in the cool New England summer air; there's something about it that reminds me of being seventeen again. Probably because I spent most of my time at seventeen riding horses!
Today I didn't want to sell her. She makes me wish I could keep her. I want my kids to learn to ride on her. I would love to show her so others can see what she's got (even though she's not chocolate or black). I would teach her to jump and to do tricks. Someday I would breed her to my favorite Rocky Mountain Stallion so I could start raising and training these beautiful horses.
But she is for sale. I intend to sell her. A tiny piece inside hopes no one will buy her and I can ship her to South Carolina when we move and then onto the next place shortly thereafter.. and then again to another place when the army is ready to send us to yet another place. I secretly am relieved not to have had much interest yet... glad that she is still my horse with all her ability and potential for me alone to marvel at.
But then I remember... four small little faces that need my time and attention. Especially when I can no longer lean on Grandma and Grandpa to watch them for me while I enjoy my evening rides every night. I remember how hard my husband has worked to become an officer in the Army; how hard he has worked to provide for our family and to create as stable a life for us as he can. I remember how hard we are working to get and stay out of debt and to save money for our kids and for us when we grow old. I remember the stress of trying to find a new place to keep my horse; something we can afford on a monthly basis. It's hard enough to make sure we can handle the travel costs every two years and sometimes more frequently. I remember how it feels like I am working against my family by hanging onto my dream that isn't ready to be realized.
So I pet her and tell her that she will be happy with other horses or at least with someone who can commit to riding regularly; even someone who will breed her and give her some kind of job that extends beyond her pasture in some way. I remind her to surprise her new owner with her quiet and sweet nature on a regular basis so they too will never want to sell her.
That is why I hope someone does recognize her worth and potential. She's stunning and healthy. She's my dream horse; I imagine she will be someone else's as well. I hope I do sell her so I can move forward with doing what is best for my family. But I also hope that whoever her new owner is, they will love and enjoy her like I do. For someone, she is a wish waiting to be granted.