For the first time in 33 yrs, I am not a horse owner.
Bizarre, sad, weird, ok, numb and also good with letting go for now.
A few weeks ago, I officially sold Maximus aka Max, my max. Let go to the wonderful girl who has fallen in love with him the past few years while we got settled here.
So now he is not mine. The dreams I had for him had been fading for years. Not his fault, he was a brilliant charming gorgeous boy. I have just been slipping off the horse and dressage world radar honestly since about the time Sullivan was born.
I loved the idea of what I might do with him “someday”. This idea was precious piece of the girl who once 110% believed she would ride in the Olympics someday. The girl who was “good enough” of a rider and horseman to become the top in her sport.
Having 3 kids definitely changed my level of commitment. I was honestly not comfortable having them in the barn or toddling around horses at all. If they did I was hiding my inner freak out. Keeping them safe from my silly unpredictable horses also disengaged me from that connection I had had since I was 10. I kept at it and tried to ride but never showed again. My big sweet oaf of a dressage horse Cassius died. His buddy Endeavor died. I had stopped riding much the past year already, but that left a gaping hole in my spirit period. Hard to resurrect that desperate to ride feeling I always had before.
Max was already in training, when Cassius died, so he became my Oldenburg dressage hopeful… that I had bred and raised on an agreement with a friend. He earned a Premium foal award at his inspection at just 3 months old, after my big oaf had run him through a barbwire fence. He was special. Adorable. Incredible face, lovey, fancy. Out of a fancy TB mare I found being ignored in a recipient mare herd. By a solid stallion, Mannhattan. A few weeks younger than Izzy, my second daughter. I was so excited they could grow up together, and maybe they would ride him and crush their local junior competition lol.
Alas the kids loved horses. But they never LOVED horses. Not the sneak out to take naps with em or find a way to climb on and explore kind of love. That’s what I had, they did not. I refused to push my passion on them. It wasn’t their thing, it was all around em and they just didn’t care. I will never regret that. I am grateful that they got to be raised around horses and learn to ride and see foals born and barn life. They will always understand that kind of life at their core. And perhaps one day it will call them back.
I fell in love with running and triathlon. I could control my results. Train hard and race and your time was your time. With horse showing, it was always uh, tricky to get the horse to show the way they trained. A challenge I loved, but it seemed like I always had the horses who just hated a showring. I started to prefer just training, clinics, lessons, training training for the love of it. Desire to be judged fading. And with the growing demands of kids, training and businesses, it just went away…. The desire just a glimmer.
Years went by and we decided to move to Bend. I sent Max to a girl who knew dressage but also would spend time on mtn trails and just loving on him and keeping him healthy in Colorado. It was temporary because I knew we needed to see where we were at time and $$ wise before bringing him here.
She was in love with him and was crushed when the time came to bring him here, his new home. I imagined how I would feel riding around here, how I would honestly find time. Would I? Or would I find excuses and feel guilty everyday? When he was in my backyard I didn’t ride him. Maybe 3x/yr. seriously.
I stalled for TEN more months and finally decided offer him to her. She could say no and that would be good. She could say yes and buy him and that would also be good. Don’t know what I really wanted. But she said yes. When I got her excited over the moon happy voicemail I burst into sobs. All the emotion I’ve held onto for these years of horses loved and lost and dreams come and gone, but somewhat still there… Just rolled together into a big old cryfest. It was done. Max gets to stay in his home, the one he knows now, looking at the Rockies everyday.
I didn’t even tell anyone for over a week.
My mom and Patrick. That’s it, now you all here.
It was the right thing to do for our lives as they are, not easy but right. And I am happy for him, for her and even me, to be without a horse, officially. Less to wonder about right now. I feel somehow I will go horse shopping one day. Buy meself a fancy big one that has the moves already lol.
But for now I will keep riding my bikes named after horses ha. And keep my horse art all around me, and keep watching dressage videos and olympics and cheering for my friends still immersed, even Patrick still owns his special guy FarmCat, so there’s that… :-)
I can’t say the end, I just can’t. Maybe I’m just waiting to be a long gray braided hair eccentric dressage lady… Won’t Patrick be thrilled lol.