Monday, March 7, 2016

A Goodbye (or times when I am incapable of using my camera)

The Big Mare has moved on to a new home. 

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 had an unreasonable amount of guilt about the fact that I wasn't there to help unload her and settle her in. 

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...)
Being a total moron, I forgot (again) to grab my shit out of their trailer, so I guess I'll be back for another visit this week....

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. 


  1. Sometimes the best situations are the most unexpected. It sounds like Prair has landed in an absolutely perfect home, and she's within driving distance when you want to pet her nose. I know it was a hard choice (and one that happened really fast), but once again, you only make the best decisions for all of your animals, so I have no doubt that Prair will be completely happy in her new home. Can't wait to hear about Prair babies! :)

    1. thank you :) The prospect of Prair babies is the silver lining in this for me!

  2. SO glad to hear she's getting a new job:) Sounds like she's in terrific hands and it's really lovely that you can go see her!!

  3. I'm both sorry for you and happy for you if that makes sense. My guess is that with more time you'll find a lot of peace with this decision.

  4. It sounds like Prair's new home couldn't be more perfect! And yeah, emotions are weird. I get it. :)

  5. Awww, what a wonderful situation! It sounds like she couldn't have found a better place with a better job. AND close enough for visiting! <3

  6. Oh what a sad moment, but how exciting you'll get to play a bit of a role in seeing the babies and doling out the treats and pets.

  7. I'm sad she didn't get to come to the land of TN but so happy for you that she has a lovely home close by. Hopefully you'll share updates when she has her first baby with them!

    1. I know!!! Still feeling a tad torn about that. I wish horse babies baked a little faster.. I have a feeling I'll be rather impatient!

  8. I'm glad you found such a good situation for her. It's great that you can stay in touch a little. I know it must be hard letting her go though, you two have been through so much together.

  9. I bawled while reading this post! It feels even more unexpected to me because I am so far behind on reading blogs that I don't know anything about Windsor (yet.. I will get caught up I promise) and had no idea you were even considering rehoming her. I'm so sad, but I'm thrilled she is so close and happy and taken good care of. I obviously can't wait to see her babies either hehe. Please keep up updated on her. Your blog is on my list of ones to get caught up on so I will be back to read all about Windsor. Enjoy having one horse! I miss it lol.

  10. awwww this was such a sweet and sad/happy post! You made a great tough choice for Prairie and I know this won't be the last time we get to hear about her!

  11. I'm so glad you found her such an excellent home. I can't wait to see her babies.

  12. It sounds like a great situation for everyone! And it's nice that a friend has her- you can go a little more clinger status with a friend than a total stranger :)

  13. So glad it has all worked out so perfectly. Baby Prairies & she's so nearby ♡♡♡♡

  14. aww so bittersweet! really tho, congrats on finding her such a perfect home - i hope you can keep us updated on all the little babies!!

  15. I think you need a baby from her!!!

  16. Prair is just gorgeous and will no doubt have some beautiful babes. I love that you are within driving distance of loving on her. No shame in stalking.

  17. Um, you didn't prepare your blog readers for this either. We need time to process these things... Oh right this isn't about me. It did happen quickly which is good. It means you found a great home and had plenty of options, and you never had to be at a point where you were desperately searching for a place to put her. But still... we weren't ready!

    1. I definitely want Prair updates (and a Prair baby shhh)

  18. One of my mantras is that if it is meant to be, it will be easy. It sounds like this happened very easily and everything fell into place, so I am really confident that it is a great solution for her. That said, I am totally looking forward to Prarie baby updates!!!

  19. I definitely think both of those statements you made are true. And I totally relate to your story. Both the emotions and how fast it happens and not being prepared. Glad you feel good about where she is going and can visit!

  20. Congratulations, how fortunate for you and for her! Horses and emotions are totally tricky but this was seriously best case scenario!

  21. Ah I'm jealous! I wanted her to make me a half arabian sport horse baby!!! But this sounds like a super home for the big girl, and I'm sure I know whomever has her. Congrats to you and her!

  22. I know Prairie was retired because of her leg, but I just read on another blog about a horse with kissing spines (which if I remember correctly she also has) that had surgery and it is helping him so much!! I had no idea they had a surgery option for it! I wanted to share it in case you haven't heard of it and in case her new owner is ever faced with needing to do something about her's. Here is the link.


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