Monday, 8 July 2013

Letting Go

When I turned 12, my dad convinced my mom to get me a horse because girls who are into horses are too busy to be into boys. I proved that I have plenty of time for both.

While I was in love with Toby and his incredibly bouncy trot from Day 1, he was definitely not so in love with me. He would buck every time I put my leg on him, was terrified of barrels (ruining my rodeo dreams in the first week I had him), refused to cross any ditch or stream or bridge, ran for the hills every time I came into the field to catch him, refused to get in the trailer, bolted away from trot poles, and spooked at his own shadow almost constantly.

With time, my riding became much better (well, it had to otherwise I would have been killed by this maniac!). My trainer began calling me sticky butt because somehow I would magically sit Toby's shenanigans. Eventually, Toby began to trust my judgement and was less of a pill, but he has always maintained a bit of unpredictability. Of course, we had good days and bad, but he began to love our rides and time together. Or maybe he tolerated our rides only because there were carrots and apples waiting for him at the barn.

Either way, we became partners and fell in love. I would say Toby was my first true love with all the ups and downs that brings.

I was lucky enough to keep Toby through my undergraduate and master's schooling through a series of leases by some wonderful women, including my horsie mother, Martha. That meant I could come home on vacation and ride Toby as if I was never away.

But last week, the time finally came for Toby to find a new family to torture/love. I've grown too tall for Toby and my leasees have moved on to bigger and better things. It's not fair to Toby to hang around for the once or twice a year I come back to visit him (oh...and I guess I visit my family as well). Thanks to a Craigslist miracle, Toby's found a new family with 5 kids and 2 other horses to love on him day in and day out.

From what I've heard, Toby hopped straight on the trailer, calmly hopped off, and has been following his new pasture-mates around. He lets the kids hop on and pet all over him. I'm still convinced they picked up the wrong horse.

While I'm still heartbroken and tear up thinking about letting Toby go, I'm so happy for my sweet boy. I hope his new family (and the 5-year-old girl who has claimed herself as Toby's new owner) learns as much as I did on Toby and that Toby has a wonderful, long retirement. Here's to you, Toblerone!

(Here's Toby at his new home)

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