I love my horses and I love spending time in my barn. Its where I do my best thinking and, even though I often forget it and neglect to spend enough time there, hanging out with my horses truly makes me happy.
But its complicated. While my barn is most definitely one of my most happy places, its also a sad place sometimes.
My horse, Stormy, turned 28 on June 13. I was hanging out in the barn with him and, for some reason, my thoughts turned to my beloved first horse, Tori. Pretty quickly, I was sitting in my barn, balling my eyes out. I had to put Tori down on September 3, 1997 – that was a long time ago!!!! But oftentimes it seems like it was yesterday. Is it always going to seem like that?
Hanging out with my current horses – Stormy, my retired old guy; Slewy, my gorgeous off-the-track Thoroughbred I can’t seem to ride; and Holly, the kids’ mini – is certainly comforting. But, sometimes I’m in the barn and I’m just overwhelmed with how much I miss Tori, how he was supposed to still be here with me (I know he’s always “with” me).
Compounding my sadness is the fact that I feel like I’m failing Tori daily by not riding Slewy. Its as if all the time we spent together and all the skills he taught me is somehow being wasted. That, though, hasn’t been enough motivation to get me back to riding Slewy.
Because Slewy’s not Tori. They’re both Thoroughbreds and I put Slewy’s bit on Tori’s bridle, hoping that would help. They have similar personalities – sweet, kind, inquisitive, always in your pocket.
I just know that somehow, in my slightly nutty head, this is getting in the way of riding Slewy again. And I’m just not sure what to do about it. Logically, I think I would feel better if I were riding. But logic doesn’t seem to have much to do with this. If it were all up to my logic, I would have been riding years ago.
My happy place being my sad place makes it complicated. And difficult to move forward.