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<cry> I miss my old horse, can't seem to get to the barn now

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  • <cry> I miss my old horse, can't seem to get to the barn now

    This sounds pathetic, but I miss my old mare so much. I don't remember much of my life before her; I had her for my entire life it seems. I had to put her down suddenly and thought I would die, and shortly thereafter, my prospect went from progressing nicely to being, well, broken. She may be grieving, I know I am...but I was getting no where under saddle, stopped and went to some ground work because it seemed the wise thing to do, and now she doesn't even LEAD. She sucks back/balks just walking out of the barn to the hitching post.

    I hate to admit, but I've started avoiding the barn. I love this young mare, but I don't like her right now. I want her to come along as she was; I don't want to go out and pet/groom her only. That was what I did with Aisha. This other mare is wonderful, she's smart and funny and sweet, but we've hit a communication problem. Yes, I have a trainer coming this weekend to help, and I hope to get her in his barn or maybe he can help us get talking again. But I seem to miss my old mare so much, even more so now than last month.

    I had the sweetest dream about her Monday. Then in the course of my job last night, I contacted two people who had March 6 birthdays. I want her back so bad.
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

  • #2


    • #3
      Give yourself time hon. And give your other horse time as well. They are a mirror and it seems you guys are just both grieving horribly. Maybe just love on your other girl for a while, put the training aside for a bit till you can both go on.

      Many hugs to you.
      Our horses are not seen as the old and disabled they may have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be.

      Sunkissed Acres Rescue and Retirement


      • #4
        Oh I am so sorry. I really do know exactly how you feel. I had to put down my 28 year old mare last year - my first horse - extra heartbreaking.

        My new mare is rude, dominant and a rodeo too often when we ride. I do exacly what you're doing....step back & lunge a lot. When she behaves, it's like a new triumph and helps the bonding.
        I know it's tough, disliking your new horse or comparing her to the well worn shoe horse you once had. But it's good for you to have an "individual". It's actually gotten me more excited about having a horse, spending more time at the barn.

        And when I think back to when my old girl was 5 or 6, she was a pistol too. She was given to me because she bucked EVERYone off! It took her a long time to trust me and mellow too.
        Somehow, we forget the *problems* once they are gone.


        • #5
          Snkstacres nailed it I think -- your young horse is mirroring your anger and sadness and frustration at the loss of your other horse. She may miss her too, but she needs you to love her for herself and use your time with her to just 'be' with her. Try not to think about the ways that she's not the horse you lost. She never will be, but you can find your own new relationship and perhaps that will help ease the pain of the one that's gone.
          I lost my mare suddenly too and some days I feel like I'm doing ok and some days I'm a raw wound. My friend's gelding has been immensely patient with me on the days that I get to ride him, though lately I'm finding that he's nudging me to move on. It used to be that he'd carry me around like I was a child, and that was all I really wanted -- just to feel a horse under me again and wander around. More recently he's started 'requiring' me to actually ride a bit -- not so much by being naughty, but I feel like he's saying "ok, I've been the shoulder to cry on but now I am soaked and you need to start moving forward, so if you don't try, I'm not going to either!" He knows me well, and his mom is still riding him several times a week, so it's not that he's backsliding. Perhaps your young mare is trying to shift your attention from your pain to whatever moment is at hand by her hijinks.
          Just my 2 cents.
          May you come to terms with your loss, find joy in the memories of the great times you had with your mare and begin to redefine your new world with your young horse.


          • #6
            well, I think it's you, less then the horse. Kind of hard to discribe, you know how animals can pick up on our feelings before we even know what it is ourselves!

            And I can put myself in your shoes. Around Christmas I was doing dishes, in tears, and proclaiming like a kid 'I don't want a new kitty, I want mine back' while a glass slipped out of my hand and smashed, all the time knowing my kitty had crossed the bridge. You have to give yourself the time to heal.

            This is a guess...but you know how some individuals are just not happy if you are not really dealing with them?! Seems like you are not all there and you other girl does not like that? maybe?

            maybe it is time for a mental vacation, there is nothing wrong with grieving....and if you just hang out and share some Karotten and oatmeal cookies....hey, pop a couple of cold ones, tell her stories...just remember you are not replaceing the old girl with the new...just adding a room to your heart!

            {{{{{{{{{{BIG HUGS}}}}}}}}}

            we have all been there...


            • #7
              snkstacres nailed it, yes.

              Let yourselves both grieve. It's okay. No expectations for now. Hugs.
              a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


              • #8
                Give yourself some time. As long as your other horse is being well cared for, there's no rule that says you HAVE to get out there.

                I was lucky to have a friend half leasing one of my remaining two when I had to put my BuddyRoo down. I didn't go to the barn for almost 2 mos.

                Everyone grieves differently. It's OKAY to give yourself a break.

                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                • #9
                  I will try to find a way to make this post horse-related at the end, I promise.

                  A couple of years ago, when I was a vet tech, I adopted a young, sickly guinea pig that was living at the clinic. Piglet was absolutely THE coolest piggie ever, like a little dog in a pig suit (she would even lick you like a little dog!). When she was getting progressively worse and I knew she wasn't going to have much time left I thought that I should get another guinea pig so that it would ease the loss when the time came. So I brought baby Dori home one day - the most adorable baby pig you've ever seen. She was nice in the pet store, but when I got her home she was shy, and timid, and basically just the polar opposite of everything that Piglet was. And Piglet didn't even LIKE her, they ended up living in separate cages.

                  Well, not too long after that Piglet had to cross the Rainbow Bridge, and it was just me and Dori. And I told myself that I wasn't going to use her to replace Piglet, but I HATED her. I tried at first, but she just didn't want to be a nice guinea pig and she would cower in the corner under her hay pile all day. She wouldn't even eat the treats I tried to give her. So I fed her and pretended she wasn't there. I know now that I was actually trying to make her into Piglet anyway, and when she didn't do the things that Piglet did I resented her. At the time, though, I just thought she was a stubborn little guinea pig and she made me ANGRY.

                  I wonder if you are doing the same thing with your new mare? Unintentionally, of course, but even when I consciously TRIED not to do that to Dori I did - it's just human nature I think. Maybe just take it really slow and try to find one or two good things about this young mare that you can appreciate (even something totally benign and useless like, "She has the most gorgeous tail."). When I finally stopped grieving so much and started seeing Dori for what she was and not what she wasn't (a Piglet clone), we started to get along better and today she is a friendly, talkative guinea pig who waits for me at the cage door. I even appreciate that she gets scared easily and goes catatonic on me sometimes, it's just one of her quirks now.

                  I really think you both just need time. She'll come around, and so will you.


                  • #10
                    Snkstacres is right on. One year ago, I had to let my old mare go on her eternal journey, and there hasn't been one day since then that I haven't missed everything about her. Right down to the smell of her sweet breath. I, too, have a young mare in the wings, and at first, I didn't even want to touch her, I was so angry that she wasn't my old mare. Jenners - it takes TIME, sometimes lots of it. Don't think there's any time table to be on, take as much as you need, and maybe put your young mare's training on hold for a bit. Or find someone you trust to keep her going. One year later, I am enjoying the company of my youngster; she is a really nice filly and is going to be a wonderful horse for me. I just have to remember that. I will forever miss my old gal, my stoic mare, but I know, for me, I have to give my filly a chance to be the other great horse in my life.

                    Jingles for you as you cope.


                    • #11
                      Consider your dream a visit from your best friend. She came to comfort you because you needed it, and to let you know it's ok to move on...with her by your side.

                      It's so hard getting used to no longer having a life long friend by your side.

                      Maybe her visit was to let you know it's ok to move on to sinking your efforts and heart into the other horse.

                      I'm so sorry you are going thru this. It's tough.
                      "Aye God, Woodrow..."


                      • #12
                        I'm so sorry you're going thru this.

                        I lost 2 in the past year. The first, at 30 years of age, was crushing even tho we knew we were on borrowed time.

                        The 2nd just destroyed me; it was a pasture accident and he was gone far too soon.

                        I couldn't look at the other horses, never mind brush or think about riding. I toyed with the idea of getting rid of them all. Just wanted no part of that life anymore.

                        It took me 6 months before I rode again. And I rode only to convince myself I really had no interest and could infact give my big guy away. I couldn't.

                        It will get better. Having your memories and pictures, knowing you spent the best of times with her. Sometimes the tears are so sweet, but they do stop.


                        • #13
                          Is this the mare you posted about not too long ago? I am so very sorry to hear about it.

                          When I bought Oliver, a month after Willem was put to sleep, I felt the same. Someone wisely explained to me that the pain I was feeling was my heart growing larger to make room for Oliver as well. And they were so right.

                          Time is a great healer. So hard to imagine, but so very true. Believe me, if I can love another horse as much as I love Willem - and I love Oliver just as much - there is hope for all of us.

                          Your new mare will make you like her and love her just as much as Aisha. They have a wonderful way of doing that. You hang in there, it will happen. And then that awful weight will be off your shoulders.


                          • #14
                            I am consistently amazed at how well horses come to know and figure us out--especially mares. While my daughter was going through her real teen angst years, I never had to guess at her moods, I always just asked Kiwi.

                            Having said that, a lot of what you are experiencing may be that your grief is probably transmitting to your horse and she is more than likely misinterpreting it. Just as you are withdrawing and not liking her very much, she may be feeling exactly the same way about you. And yes, she is probably grieving too. I think you both need time to heal.

                            Many hugs and jingles to you both.
                            \"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.\" Anne of Green Gables