It started with me hitting a cat on the way to the barn. He went running off after I heard the unfortunate "thud," I hope he's OK. Just darted out of some brush across a very busy and fast country road, couldn't stop in time...ugh.
Then as I get closer to the barn, I headed a different way than usual, I see a vet truck next to the indoor. I knew it was one of 2 possibilities with where is was parked and my heart sank. I got out of my car, quietly peeked my head around the indoor and saw my trainer's heart horse on the ground with my trainer and her husband stroking her coat. I headed back to the tackroom and gave them space, let a few tears fall for sweet Joy. We all knew it was a matter of time for Joy, she was getting on in age and her arthritis was getting worse. We figured last winter was going to be it, but it was mild and she seemed her usual spunky self. I guess she started colicing really bad late that morning, throwing herself down, trying to roll (she only laid down to sleep these days). My trainer called the vet out after walking her some and said that "Joy was making the decision for me, since she wanted to lay down and the hardest thing about letting them go is them dropping."
RIP Joy. You gave us 2 awesome foals, both of which I've had the pleasure of competing. Go run a couple xc courses for old times sake...
Even before all of that I knew yesterday was going to suck, as Goobs was going to be heading out for a trial with a potential buyer. It doesn't seem right to rate it with losing Joy, but dangit I miss him already! I'm really happy with the potential buyers, friends of my trainer and members of our hunt, so he'll stay local. I swore for a long time I would never sell this horse, but I have to do right by him. I've taken him as far as he can go eventing-wise and he's just so much happier out in the hunt field, I just can't afford a full membership and event another horse. So I took him out for a nice long hack, snow gently falling while we traipsed through the woods one last time. Got a nice gallop in around a finished corn field, no pulling, no spooking, just nice and easy with the wind in our faces and his little ears pricked forward, flipping his leads with a shift of my weight.
I groomed the snot out of him when we got back, trimmed his bridle path even. I remembered a nice farm fresh Macintosh apple from home which he happily devoured. I packed up his rain sheet, food and supplements and let him chill in a big stall until his new ride came. The buyers came right on time with a nice new stock trailer. The husband (who will be hunting him) seems so excited about Goober, he's got a lesson scheduled with our MFH on Friday and is planning on taking him out hunting Saturday. He had come out before Thanksgiving for a ride and he and Goobs seem like a great fit. I should know after the hunt if it's a go or not...
I'm trying to stick to the positives. These are great people with an awesome home. Their stable is close to most of our events, so I can at least see his face when I show. Goober will get to do something that he loves and is good at, he never loved eventing as I did. At times I feel like a failure because Goobs never became the eventer I wanted, but here I have a horse that can go out foxhunting when I've never done that before him! He is a horse that you can gallop out in an open field and then 30sec later be walking on the buckle, how many people can say that? At the last minute, he took a guest out hunting first flight (her first time out hunting in quite some time) and was great, jumped over coops and down a massive bank(this one http://www.gvhphotos.com/homestead09...316_large.html ) without hesitation a few weeks ago... I trained that horse. Me. I took him from run out city and stopper from a mile away to a safe, reliable hunt horse.
Now to look forward for the next adventure with the new guy!
At times I feel like a failure because Goobs never became the eventer I wanted
I think that you should feel like a tremendous success - because you ARE - every single time you think about this horse. Not only did you turn him into a wonderful, brave, safe, reliable hunt horse (NO small achievement), you figured out that this is what he is supposed to be doing, and this is what makes him happy. And then you found him what sounds like an ideal home. Honestly, from a horse's point of view it just doesn't get any better than that.
If I may, I'll suggest that you reach around and give yourself a very big pat on the back!
It's ok to be sad about sending your horse on, even though you know it's a good choice for him. He's local, going to have a job he loves, and going to someone who is excited about him. It's all a seller could hope for, except for selling :/
On a side note, that pic is fabulous. Is the rider holding a cup/drink?! I thought I wanted to try hunting, but now I know!
I trained that horse. Me. I took him from run out city and stopper from a mile away to a safe, reliable hunt horse.
I worked with a horse like that. Thought poles on the ground were demons and jumping was a horrible idea... ended up getting him to Novice and he was sold to be a little girl's mount. Lovely silvery grey fellow... It was really rough to have him sell, even to a good home, because he also helped me after a bad fall... so we kinda saved each other when it came to jumping.
*snugs* I hope things look more up for you later this week. Those sorts of days are rough.