To be honest, it all happened a little faster than I was ready for, but I know (or the rational part of my brain knows) that it is an ideal situation and it's for the best.
First off, I'd like to thank (does this sound like an acceptance speech? I guess it does..) everyone who reached out to me or commented or mentioned Prair to someone or just gave me some general tid-bits about what the hell to do with a horse you want to keep safe forever, but is also a little too young to be put out to the not-so-proverbial pasture.
Honestly, it was really encouraging that I ended up with a few different offers - all of which I think would have ended up being great homes. I don't know about you guys, but I regularly waffle between feeling like my horses are rockstars and if I blipped off the face of the earth tomorrow they'd be able to find wonderful homes - and the slightly more cynical concern that only idiots buy horses and no one in their right mind would ever willingly want one.
(I think it's possible that both statements are actually true, but that's a separate discussion...)
Anyway, I had reached out to an old friend from Pony Club days. We were actually pretty close when we were kids, but I hadn't been in touch beyond a few "likes" and comments on random Facebook posts for nearly 20 years.. so to say it had been a while is an understatement.
Life has been good to her and she's a successful pro (in Dressage Land) with a gorgeous family farm and a small breeding operation. I figured she probably knew more about what I thought I was trying to do with Prairie than I did - so I asked if she had any suggestions on marketing a Broodmare, or who I should talk to.
Her response was basically "Me, talk to me. I want her."
Then a few minutes later "I should probably ask my husband first..."
Then a few minutes later "We want her, when can we come see her."
In theory that's a pretty great string of messages to get.
I sent her pictures, and videos, bad videos of me riding, better videos of pros riding, conformation shots from when she was out of shape, in shape, basically everything I had.
And when, (two days later) it was time for them to come see the mare live and in person, she asked if it was ok to just bring the trailer with them since it was kind of a long drive.
And that's when it hit me that I was probably going to have to say goodbye to Prair before I really finished processing my choice about finding her a new home.
All went well, Prair was nervous as all get out (though I think that's because she was outside of her stall), and when she was a little reluctant to load, I just gave her some cookies and pets and told her it was ok, and she stepped right in like the lady she (usually) is.
|A worried, but well behaved eyeball..|
I know that Prairie doesn't care.
I know that she's in incredible hands.
But part of me feels like my stewardship requires me to show her that nothing is scary and there are treats and pats and lots of good things waiting for her.
Instead, I went home, cried a little and ate some of my feelings (Vanilla Oreo Thins, ya'll. Buy some. Buy more than one package. Trust me).
I got an immediate report that she unloaded quietly and settled in like a champ. I even got reports over the next few days from my barn-mates (since some of us amateurs regularly get "assigned" equitation lunge-line lessons over at my friend's place). They confirmed that Prair was being treated like a queen and loved on and adored.
That quieted my mind a bit, but also made me a bit jealous.
Like she's my horse, other people shouldn't be doting on her... that's my job.
(It sort of felt like when you break up with someone and then you hear they are dating again right away? *I* did the breaking up, so in theory I'm fine, but somehow I'm still jilted by their ability to move on... wth is that about..)
Ugh, brains and emotions and horses... the worst combo ever....
Anyway, being an emotional mess, I forgot to take some of my equipment out of their trailer, so I had an excuse to go visit this past weekend and see for myself how everything was working out.
Armed with her papers and passport in hand I pulled into a beautiful farm with a big, stone barn, flanked by lovely rolling pastures being enjoyed by horses in the early spring sun.
Prair had been brought in so I could see her, she was standing (not totally) patiently in the cross ties all groomed up and waiting for treats... or work... or something.
I got a small nicked, which warmed my heart and we proceeded to chat about getting her bred, and did I sign over all the papers and what have you.
Prair looked happy. Her feet had already been trimmed and looked great - she was all shined up (even with her furry winter coat) and her eye looked soft and content with the new routine.
|My favorite Beak. (don't worry, chain NOT attached to cross ties...)|
I feel like that stage 2 clinger who constantly "forgets" her watch, or scarf, or whatever at a Beau's house so she always has a reason to come back around... I swear to god I'm not doing it on purpose, but my subconscious might be hard at work.
Prair's life will be one of a happy Broody. They have their own stallion (who is lovely) and will likely the the daddy of a majority of her babies. This year though, it'll be someone else, someone with a bit more name recognition - so that hopefully Baby can cover Prair's costs for a bit (and then some).
Every day I'm feeling a bit better about it - so I know that it was a good choice, and that she will get excellent care, and the fact that she'll be 10 miles down the road from our current barn means maybe I can stalk her (a little bit) especially once there are some babies on the ground......
So that's where we are. I officially am back down to one horse (I deserve a medal I think), and Prair is in good, familiar hands.
I just wish I was capable of actually taking the time to document days like these. But somehow I never end up with good pictures on the days I say goodbye to my lovely beasts.