Sometimes the universe whispers to you. If you don't listen, it will start telling you. If you still don't listen, it will yell at you. At some point, it will slap you across the face.
The time has come to part ways with the beautiful and wonderful Spirit. I've spent over 2 years with her, and I think she and I have both learned from and taught one another. I love her; I think I always will.
I've been presented with an incredible opportunity to adopt one of the Luck horses - a horse that I (and hubby) will own ourselves, a horse pre-approved and hand-picked by my trainer. As an added bonus: purchase price is $0, horse has been x-rayed, is completely sound, and needs a home and a job.
This past Monday I had the hard conversation with K.M., Spirit's owner and my "horsey-mommy" and dear friend. I told her that I had decided to take advantage of this opportunity. Realistically, this means that in terms of helping cover Spirit's expenses and in terms of my time and energy, May is going to be my last month with Spirit. She was very gracious and understanding, though also sad and surprised.
My emotions have been a roller coaster, zig-zagging around but mostly bottoming out on anxiety, trepidation, guilt, sadness, confusion, fear. Am I abandoning ship? Am I giving up on Spirit?
My BFF, my trainer, even my non-horsey husband and non-horsey other BFFs all agree: stepping onto a new path for a new adventure is not the same thing as giving up on Spirit. We had a good run together. And in a way it's good that I'm sad, because it underscores my love for Spirit and wanting the best for her.
We had our hurdles and our plateau; I think that, in time, we could have pushed through and been able to do a full BN horse trial without getting eliminated (my unattained goal for so long now). But I don't think that Novice was in our future, not without some serious effort and struggle, more hurdles and plateaus.
But it wasn't meant to be. I don't know what the future holds for Spirit, but I hope its a future that she will enjoy: living with other horses, not being overly challenged by a rider or trainer, just being allowed to be her beautiful, expressive self and be asked to do things she is confident doing.
Of course I hope I'm wrong about her. I hope maybe a different rider, a different trainer, a different regimen, a different anything/everything will enable her to be a perfectly willing and safe eventing mount. But more likely she just needs a new job. She is so beautiful and so athletic - she could do so much.
Per my last several posts I've been taking lessons other horses lately. I've also been riding Spirit, but just working on what we already know and on my position and stamina. Maybe a part of me knew it was time to stop asking as much of her.
For the number of weeks I have left with her, I'm going to make sure Spirit is enjoying herself. I'll keep her clean and trimmed up and in shape, but with more trail rides, more relaxation, less work. My #1 goal with her will be her happiness, and not progressing in eventing.
The new adventure starts tomorrow morning.