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The First Ride after the Last Ride - What's it Like? Update - I did it.

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  • The First Ride after the Last Ride - What's it Like? Update - I did it.

    I lost my TB Lou 2.2 weeks ago.

    I have had many friends email me with partboard and riding opps.

    I have decided that in the New Year that I will give it a go.

    What's it like - riding the first time on a horse after you have lost yours? What should I expect.


    Heartbroken yet wanting to get back in the saddle....
    Last edited by LouLove; Dec. 30, 2008, 04:01 PM. Reason: Title
    Member of the Standardbreds with Saddles Clique!
    LouLove - OTTB - 1992-2008...miss you my pretty red girl...
    Wilde! NEW - OTTSTB - 2004 Gelding...my heart's new journey...

  • #2

    It's not just the first ride. It's the first nicker, the first brushing over a new body, picking up new feet, learning new mannerisms.

    It's all new.

    And as long as you can accept that it's new and different and focus on the horse in front of you or under you, I think you'll find that it feels good to be back in the saddle.

    I lost my BuddyRoo a few years ago...I think I understand where you're at right now...

    But I will say that there is kind of a "longing" for a trusted mount no matter if they're gone (physically) or you're just on a different horse.

    I rode a number of horses this year and while they all had certain things I loved, or eccentricities that I learned about, or whatever....I did find myself often times longing to be atop my trusted mount Cheyenne (who is still with me). Sometimes it feels good to be with a buddy who you know inside and out. So that longing you might feel? It's just missing the comfort and history and knowing all the ins and outs.

    You'll be okay. Hang in there.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    • #3
      Originally posted by LouLove View Post
      I lost my TB Lou 2.2 weeks ago.

      I have had many friends email me with partboard and riding opps.

      I have decided that in the New Year that I will give it a go.

      What's it like - riding the first time on a horse after you have lost yours? What should I expect.


      Heartbroken yet wanting to get back in the saddle....
      mte nothing replaces the ones you lose as they are in your heart
      but when you get on a horse agian its like a breath of fresh air
      bit lke cycling you dont forget

      so go and have fun and do it sooner rather than later, and if you get another horse
      then that to will have that special place in your heart
      life goes on matey and so you enjoy your sport yoour old neddy would rather you kept it up than dissapear from it -


      • #4
        I'm sure going back will be a mixed bag for you, but I think it will be good in some ways. Miss Lou would probably be happy to see you back on a horse again. And if you find you're not up to it, that is ok too. There are lots of ways to stay involved in the horse scene while you ease yourself back into riding.

        Like you, I had many friends who were very generous and offered me riding time on their horses, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Since September, I've ridden only a handful of times, and made sure it was on horses that were nothing like Dan AT ALL. Little QHs with WP gaits.

        In many ways I still do not have the desire to ride. I'm kind of glad my rehab horse came along and I've been able to just focus on getting him well. It is kind of ironic, as in some ways he reminds me very much of Dan... and I had made a conscious effort to try and avoid anything like him... but Win has some similar qualities.

        Riding Dan was, for me, like driving a sports car! He made me look good and he made a lot of things very easy. I miss his loffly trot and balanced canter and his perfect transitions. I'm not sure I will ever sit on a horse as nice as he, ever again. That does make me a little sad sometimes.
        We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


        • #5
          Big muzzle kisses from me to you.
          Special Horses - equine volunteer to assist equines in need!


          • #6
            Every body grieves differently. And there is no wrong way to grieve so don't let any body tell you to "just get over it."

            After I lost my beloved TB mare and it took me close to THREE YEARS before I could even think about looking for another horse. My 7 year old daughter has a horse and I couldn't really ask her to give up her beloved boy because I broke down in sobs every time I heard him nicker or smelled his warm horsey body. I still had to feed him and care for him and ride him when he got snotty with her. I was around horses but remained detached from them because I was still grieving and felt like I was being unfaithful to her memory if I opened up my heart to another one. I was just going through the motions. I had horse friends who told me I just needed to move on and get back in the saddle.

            Three years later and I still miss her and think about her, but I miss her with a smile and years of warm, fun memories. I now have a wonderful, hysterical, delightful young gelding who is stealing my heart away each and every day.

            Let your heart tell you when it's time to open back up and take that first ride. You'll know when you're ready.


            • #7
              And on the flipside of waiting a long time, I called BBer Canyonoak after I put Willem down and said "Find me a new horse right away."

              His body had not even been picked up yet, but I would rather have had a new horse in the stall that night and not have it empty at all.

              I bought Oliver one month and one day later. But he was actually my second or third ride after Willem. My dear friends Andrea and Jenny let me ride their horses; Andrea's Bas and Willem were practically identical twins, and they rode exactly the same as well, so it was a nice warm and fuzzy feeling.

              Barney, Jenny's horse, kindly tried to rub me off on a fence. Several times. Loved every minute of it.

              But getting used to riding your new horse can take a long time. And however long it takes is the right length of time for you, because there is no set time limit. And it is amazing, after the tears and the guilt and the "I don't want him" and everything else, how your heart can expand to make room for the love you have for the new one.


              • #8
                First - thank everyone for sharing. This is something we all need to know.

                Thre is no 'right' way to grieve.

                And there are many 1st coming your way - 1st ride, trot, canter, bonding with another horse, wanting that other horse.

                Its all okay. And it will all hurt.

                But it will hurt less often.

                I knew I could not be without - and got my 2nd horse when it was evident that old age was going to take my 1st horse. So when Rita was laid to rest, Grace was there to hold and she was as distraught as I. we helped each other through the loss of OUR best friend.

                You will cry, that first ride. And you will also laugh. And the memories will flow. Hold tight to the good memories and let them come.

                {{{{HUGS}}} to you.

                I WILL hurt less often - I promise.
                Crayola posse ~ Lazer Lemon yellow
                Take time to give...it is too short a day to be selfish. - Ben Franklin


                • #9
                  I don't know. I haven't done it yet.

                  But it's starting to seem like time.
                  Author Page
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                  Steampunk Sweethearts


                  • #10
                    It was a mixed bag for me, but I knew it was time to at least be around horses again. So, I leased a horse who was completely different from Disco (I went from a 17.3 hand WB to a 15.3 hand paint; dressage to halter/western). I didn't want to have something that I could "compare" to Disco, but I still wanted the horsey contact. It has now been nine months (OMG - how time flies) since I had to have Disco put down and I have finally decided it is time to buy. I am buying a "baby" and have just now started to become excited about having "one of my own" again. It is scary, but it "just feels right" too. I guess, all I can say is you will know when it is time for you. Good luck to you and so sorry about your loss!
                    RIP Disco (6/8/2000 - 4/1/2008)


                    • #11
                      I haven't ridden yet but only b/c Project Pony was back-sore on Saturday, so we did groundwork instead - not very successfully I must admit! My mind wasn't really focusing.

                      My loss has ended up being kinda cushioned because there are SO many needy heese at this farm who just want attention and a grooming and a pat and Avery's leftover Dumors. Coreene warned me about the stall thing but honestly, seeing dear old Mr. Bay, whom Avery loffed, get a howse for the cold winter nights when he needed one made me happy. (Stalls are at a premium here, so if one goes out, that means another can come in. I used to feel pretty guilty tucking Avery up every night, knowing poor Bay was out there freezing his assets off in the cold because there was No Room At The Inn.)

                      I will say that I am planning to get another horse, and I'm not really looking forward to the "getting to know you" phase AT. ALL. But that's always the way, when you get a new one - it's kind of a "suck it up and deal" thang...

                      It's always worth my mentioning (and reminding myself, too!) that when I had owned Avery for a week, I snuck home and sobbed my guts out because I thought I had bought the first genuine TURKEY LOSER I've ever owned. Look how that one turned out - he was the horse of a lifetime!

                      So I'd say be prepared and accepting if a rough phase happens, but know that it's just part of the deal.

                      {{{Hugs}}}. It's a shit time of year to lose a horse.
                      "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


                      • #12
                        After I lost my first horse I jumped right into riding another one. I was afraid if I didn't I would never get back on anything again. I'd find myself trotting along on the new horse and all I could think was "this isn't how my horse felt" or "that's not what my horse used to do." There were many times I'd have to end a ride because I was crying so hard. It got easier though. It's been said many times of this thread - everyone grieves at their own pace and in their own way. For me, getting on another horse was the catalyst I needed to help me move on.

                        I always remember what an old trainer of mine used to say: "There will always be another horse, and there will always be another ride"


                        • #13
                          It's your call, when you are ready. I rode the day after my horse passed away. His body was still at the barn and his stall was empty. It was 2 days after Christmas 2 years ago. I still had 2 other horses at the time, but they weren't the ONE. I knew in my heart that if I didn't make myself get back out there, I would just walk away. It was a difficult ride, to say the least, but I am glad I did it. The horses seemed to understand that I was hurting, so that helped. And each ride got a little better and a little easier.

                          I will always love horses and the way I feel when I am around them. I'm forever grateful for the time I had with my other horse, but am more grateful that I still have horses in my life.

                          Yes, I still compare my current ride to my other horse, but riding and spending time with horses is still better than the alternative.

                          Good luck, and HUGS to you!!
                          Member of My Balance is Poo Poo Clique


                          • #14
                            I lost my horse at the end of one October and rode again/ interacted with horses again at the beginning of the following February. For me the hardest part was working with the horse on the ground, getting him ready for the ride. Once I got on, it was different enough from riding my own horse that I didn't have a problem.

                            All the best to you while you go through these first few rides.


                            • #15
                              I lost my horse of a lifetime over 4 years ago, but still feel the pain and her presence. My mom got a horse a few months after losing my horse, and when we looked at him I cried, because he sighed just like she (Taxi) used to. I rode him a few times, but it was not the same. When my mom lost that horse to colic less than a year later I gave up horses (or so I thought). After another year or so, I ended up back into horses and found my horse, Andy. He is the male reincarnation of my first love, Taxi. He has the same attitude (although a gelding and not a mare), same attitude, and a VERY similar personality. When we are riding, there is often a butterfly that hovers around us in the ring...the only other person to see it is my mom. I told her it is Taxi riding with us, letting me know that everything will be ok, and that Andy was meant to be for me. Just to make it a little more strange, a few days after my father passed away last month, my mother was riding her horse in the ring and the butterfly appeared again, hovering around her and her horse. I tell you, that butterfly is Taxi, still letting us know that she is watching over us.


                              • #16
                                It's hard. no two ways about it.

                                When I lost my tb many many years ago, it took me 2 years to find a new horse I wanted to take home. I sat on a few horses in that time span, sure, but they were never 'him'. It was pretty much 2 years before I even really rode again. My heart wasn't in it.

                                When I lost my Arab gelding several years back, I by that time had a very stubborn best friend who dragged me out to see horse after horse after horse within a week of losing mine. I ended up with a new personal horse several weeks later. (as I always have other horses at home, but usually only one 'keeper' which is my main.)

                                I probably wouldn't have gotten a new one so quickly if it hadn't been for her insistent dragging me off to see.. (fill in the blank) She was determined I was getting a new horse and that was final.

                                Best friends are awesome for the tough love thing. I even think I yelled at her a few times over it during that phase, and she's give me a hug , a 'cowboy up!'
                                and drag me to the next barn willing or not, and never gave in to my morose sulking
                                Originally posted by ExJumper
                                Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.


                                • #17
                                  It's been 16, going on 17 years since I lost my very first horse. It was completely unexpected, as he was only 3yo and I had just started he and his buddy, of the same age, under saddle. Got them both as yearlings. Because I still had his buddy, he made the grieving part a little easier, but it just wasn't the same.

                                  W/in about a month I had a new horse and he is my heart horse. If it wasn't for Caesar's passing, we never would have met. And so I often thank Caesar for bringing us together. I also have other horses, but he's my main man. I'm thankful for him everyday he's here at coming 23yo.

                                  Chin up. It will get better, but it takes time and you'll never forget the ones you lose.
                                  A Merrick N Dream Farm
                                  Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique


                                  • #18
                                    <<big hug>>
                                    no clever advice here, but if it was me, I'd want to ride again. Why not try it out? It might surprise you: maybe it will help, maybe not; either way, you'll know more after that first ride.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Thank you for everyone's touching stories.

                                      I am just going to give it a go. I am trying 3 non-chestnut geldings . Lou was a chestnut mare through and through. There is no way she could be replaced. And there is no way that she would want me riding another mare - let alone a chestnut. I can already see her flared nostrils and eyes looking at me like, "Ya - whatever - she has NOTHING on me."

                                      I will let everyone know how it goes.

                                      War Admiral - it is a shit time to lose a horse. It's always a shit time to lose a horse. Hugs to you as you get through this too.

                                      Member of the Standardbreds with Saddles Clique!
                                      LouLove - OTTB - 1992-2008...miss you my pretty red girl...
                                      Wilde! NEW - OTTSTB - 2004 Gelding...my heart's new journey...


                                      • Original Poster

                                        An Update

                                        Hi everyone,

                                        I did it. I took the ride. I have taken a few. I miss riding so much.

                                        It has been exactly one month since Lou left. Today I signed on to a PB.

                                        Originally, I tried only geldings because I thought that a mare would be to hard to emotionally connect with, after Lou, but you know, I think Lou helped me find this one.

                                        So I am PBing a quiet and willing bay Appendix mare - 9 years old - and so sweet. Very willing yet not spooky or hot like my Lou. Just there, ready to try. She is fat and sweet and a mare. I think Lou would approve - a lot.

                                        So the first ride was on a gelding and I cried after. Lovely gelding, but the ride was so fresh and unfamilliar.

                                        My fourth ride was on this mare. And she felt warm and comfortable and safe, like home. It is only a PB - but I think that it is a start. She will help me heal.

                                        Just thought I would let everyone know how I made out.

                                        Member of the Standardbreds with Saddles Clique!
                                        LouLove - OTTB - 1992-2008...miss you my pretty red girl...
                                        Wilde! NEW - OTTSTB - 2004 Gelding...my heart's new journey...