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Hung up my bridle today

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  • Hung up my bridle today

    I got this email today... Thought I'd share

    I Hung up my Bridle Today
    by Kris Garrett

    Yesterday, for the first time, I was too tired to ride
    Yesterday, for the first time, I was afraid I would be hurt if I was thrown
    Yesterday, for the first time, I heard someone say my barn was too shabby
    Yesterday, for the first time, I let someone tell me I was too pudgy to ride
    Yesterday, for the first time, I realized I was old
    Yesterday, for the first time, I had to face that I could no longer keep up
    Yesterday, for the first time, I had to let go of my dreams
    Yesterday, for the first time, I felt my heart break
    Yesterday, for the first time, I turned my back on my friend
    Yesterday, for the first time, I knew I was done

    Today, for the last time, I felt warm, braided leather in my hands.
    Today, for the last time, I ran my stirrups up so they wouldn't bang my mare's sides
    Today, for the last time, I released the buckles on the girth and watched my girl sigh
    Today, for the last time, I slowly dropped the bit so it wouldn't hit her teeth
    Today, for the last time, I gave my mare a cookie to thank her for the ride
    Today, for the last time, I buried my head in her soft, warm neck
    Today, for the last time, I inhaled the sun and the dust in her long winter coat
    Today, for the last time, I closed the gate and trudged to the muddy porch
    Today, for the last time, I tracked hay and horse hair into my house
    Today, for the last time, I pulled off my boots and felt the sting of warm blood returning to my cold toes

    Today, for the first time, I cried after my ride
    Today, for the first time, I felt my hands shake as I set the saddle on its rack
    Today, for the first time, I hugged my young trainer a final goodbye
    Today, for the first time, I waited for the new owner's trailer to arrive
    Today, for the first time, I set my boots in a box to go to the Goodwill
    Today, for the first time, I sighed at the wear on my riding gloves
    Today, for the first time, I had no hay in my hair
    Today, for the first time, I did not hear nickering when I opened my back door
    Today, for the first time, I felt worse leaving the barn that I did when I entered
    Today, for the first time, I had no one to check on before going to bed

    Tomorrow, for the first time, I won't have to buy hay
    Tomorrow, for the first time, I can stay in bed longer
    Tomorrow, for the first time, I won't see the poop pile grow
    Tomorrow, for the first time, I won't be able to fly on four legs
    Tomorrow, for the first time, I will be sorry I listened
    Tomorrow, for the first time, I will regret letting her go
    Tomorrow, for the first time, I will be angry at God
    Tomorrow, for the first time, I will be angry at myself
    Tomorrow, for the first time, I will cry the day away
    Tomorrow, for the first time, I will be glad to die

    Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will awaken in tears
    Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will know I was wrong
    Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will defy all the judgement
    Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will ignore my old bones
    Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will return the buyer's check
    Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will bring my friend home
    Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will take my boots out of the box
    Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will be reborn

    For the rest of my life, I will have a horse in my yard
    For the rest of my life, I will ignore the cruel judging
    For the rest of my life, I will watch the poop pile grow
    For the rest of my life, I will have hay in my hair
    For the rest of my life, I will track mud in my house
    For the rest of my life, I will bury my face in her soft neck
    For the rest of my life, I will let my soul fly
    For the rest of my life, I will never be alone
    There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse-Robert Smith Surtees
    Breeding TBs, Connemaras and TB/Conn crosses for eventing

  • #2
    Thought provoking piece. I always figure someone will have to pry the reins from my cold dead hands to get me to stop riding.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


    • #3
      That was wonderful. Sometimes, now at age 64, several knee surgeries,
      numerous foot surgeries in the last two years and finally losing the battle to a bone infection resulting in a partial foot amputation, I wonder why I keep
      writing the checks for my two OTTB's. DH has been doing all horse care for
      the last year as doctors banned me from my barn (and germs). Once in a while, I sneak pats and carrots over the fence.

      Gonna copy and print and tack to the wall for inspiration! Thank you!


      • #4
        \"For all those men who say, \"Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,\" here\'s an update for you: Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it\'s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage.\"-


        • #5
          Thanks for posting - I need this one today
          "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
          Courtesy my cousin Tim


          • #6


            • #7
              That reminds me of something...

              Back in the early 90s there was an essay in either The Chronicle or Practical Horseman that reminds me so much of this.

              It was a wonderful essay. Basically it was written by a woman who had decided to give away one of her old horses to a new home. He was a chestnut hunter (I think) and the essay was about him from when she got him as a baby, to his show career, how he had been her only school horse back when she started as a trainer, and how now now that he was old and shabby he didn't fit into her program any more.
              By the end of the essay as she holds his worn green halter, she finally realizes that she can't do it, and either brings him back, or doesn't let him go.

              I've always wanted a copy of that essay, but I can't find it anywhere!

              Hell, 20 years later I'm getting all teary thinking about it!

              Dang horses....
              The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....


              • #8
                That was wonderful... very inspiring.. Thank you for posting that!
                Hickstead 1996-2011 Godspeed
                " Hickstead is simply the best and He lives forever in our hearts"
                Akasha 1992-2012 - I will always love you sweet girl.


                • #9
                  I came here to post this same thing...it struck such a chord with me!
                  Thanks, OP...and thanks to the author, Kris Garrett.


                  • #10
                    Thanks!! I'll save this for another "grumpy/poor me day" to reread. As I get older - not telling how much - I find it easier not to go to take the trouble to ride, but when I do, I feel so much better!!! It's like a tonic to get on a good horse and make some nice round circles and jump some nice little jumps or even run and jump LOW cross country jumps. I never want to face a day without my horses!! This poem brought me tears, but now I know I'm not the only one who lives for their horse relationships. Thanks AGAIN!!
                    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                    • #11
                      Wow, for me this kinda goes along with the thread on feeling guilty about not riding.

                      I think this shows that you can 'hang up the bridle' but you don't have to give up the horse.

                      BTW, I still have tears in my eyes from reading this.

                      I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


                      • #12
                        I need a kleenex now.I am 58 and want to keep riding for as long as possible.The "last" ride will be so hard.................................


                        • Original Poster

                          I loved it and wanted to share! I sometimes get overwhelmed and think it would be so much easier if I just gave it all up but I know I would feel the same way as the author and I just keep on keeping on....
                          There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse-Robert Smith Surtees
                          Breeding TBs, Connemaras and TB/Conn crosses for eventing


                          • #14
                            Wow,,,thanks for posting. I'm sitting in the library all teary eyed.


                            • #15
                              that was wonderful. i needed that. As a full time college student in my senior year im finding it very difficult to stay in the saddle. Ive been riding since i was six. i did all the shows and i had never ever taken a hiatus from riding. starting my sophmore year i slowly started spending less and less time in the saddle. I still have 10 mouths to feed and 10 stalls to muck daily but i miss my time on the back of my horses. I have a boyfriend of 2 years and it just always seems like a project to get on.

                              Ive gained 15 pounds, lost all muscle tone in my legs that i developed over 15 years, and ive outgrown my custom chaps. Somedays it just seems like i will never be that rider i once was and yet everyday i kick myself in the ass because thats what i have done for the past 15 years of my life...everyday....and its not the same.

                              But everyday i remind myself that while i may never show like i once did or ride as much as i once did; i will always find time here and there to spend time in the saddle and no one or nothing will ever change that. after all it is my life and it is what keeps me going on a weekly basis and thats all that matters to me.


                              • #16
                                Thanks for sharing ~ enjoyed the read very much !
                                Last edited by Zu Zu; Nov. 23, 2009, 11:25 PM. Reason: punctuation
                                Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                                • #17
                                  This poem was posted in a discussion for students of University of Guelph's Online Equine Courses by "Christine". Then,Kathryn Minor responded with this:

                                  "It is a very emotional poem Christine but it isn't the way I will go. I will groom, tack up and ride until I can't do it any more. My daughters will groom and tack up and put me up and lead me around until I can't keep my balance any more. My husband will take me to the barn and bring my horse in, and I will stroke him and hug him while my husband brushes him. Then we will take him out to eat some alfalfa before we put him back with his buddies. When I can't walk in the barn to do that anymore I have children who will push my wheelchair in the barn and they will get my horse and he will put his head in my lap as I stroke him and rub his ears until I'm not here any more. And now I've made myself choke up!---Kathy"
                                  Founder & Donor/Account Advisor
                                  Brennan Equine Welfare Fund


                                  • #18
                                    Thank you for this, I just sent it to my dad who has been asking me why I don't sell my horse since I don't ride as much as I used to.

                                    Very powerful poem.
                                    Katie Ruppel & Yellow Rose Eventing *Website* & *Facebook*
                                    Email for Questions/Clinics/Sponsorship