We have 12 horse at this time and because of the work we do with horses...a riding program at a camp...some horses must move on because they just don't fit in with the group of horses that give quiet safe rides to the public. We do give horses time to adjust to the herd. We do take time to train, but even then some horses don't settle down to do the job required. They have to go. It's very hard. How will the new owner treat them? Will they be abused? Will the horse be sold over and over again?
I think back through the years. I wander back in my mind and remember horses with fondness. My first horse, now gone, was a palomino named Goldie. Goldie was my 4-H project. We worked for hours every week in the ring. The time at the Gladwin County Fair each year was special. We spent the week at the 4-H horse barn with the rest of the 4-H group and their horses. Goldie looked her best. Her sweet mild temperament was awarded by many folks stopping by her stall and admiring. I was so proud of her. Those were good years and special memories. After the fair was was over. Days at home were spent on long trail rides. Sometimes we rode for miles to visit friends and spend the night. Sometimes our group of friends would go on horse camping trips. Goldie went too. She was an all around horse. Our family and extended families loved her. The nieces and nephews had many rides on Goldie. I have a picture of her with four little kids lined up on her bare back. (It was the time before helmets were advised.) Goldie was my perfect horse. I wish I had her again. She would be perfect for the campers coming to ride.
Goldie is gone now. She would be about 38 years old now if she were living. I remember at the time she started tripping a lot. I couldn't let the relatives ride her anymore because it was dangerous for them and hard on her. As in many parts of life the end came gradually and each day I had to face and deal with my emotions of loss. It was hard, but through those hard times I became stronger and maybe a bit more business minded when it came to owning a horse. I realized that there is always an end to things. If your willing, the end can be replaced with something good. In this case, a different horse.
Good memories of Goldie are fixed in my mind. These memories help to replace her loss and my hurt. Pictures help. When my children get out the photo album, I have wonderful stories and experiences to share with them.
What has helped the most with my loss? Working with other horses. I chuckle to think that now I have so many horses to care for! It's still hard when horses leave the stable, but like my experience with Goldie, I concentrate on the good memories. I've done my best to improve the horses sent my way. I'd rather work hard with a horse to keep it, then I don't have to deal with the pain of loss.