When I buy my horses, I buy with the intention that I will own them forever. Some people might think of them more as an investment to sell later, or even as a kind of sports equipment, although adorable and sweet sports equipment, but to me, they are pets. Pets that I go on adventures with. Pets that I spend hours with, bond with, and when they grow old, they live out the rest of their lives with me.
Which is why I have shocked myself by selling Berry. I love Berry. Berry has been my rock for years. I owned her for 11 years, since she was a teeny little 2 year old. But I can’t do it – I can’t give her the love and attention she deserved. Having human babies unfortunately does take away from horse time. There’s just not enough time in the day for both. Something had to give, and sadly, it was Berry.
If she had just been happy hanging out in the field doing nothing, I would likely have just kept her. But she’s bored. She wanted something to do. She informed me of this by messing with the fence and breaking out. I’ve discovered one of the most frustrating things in life is having three children who are screaming and/or complaining, wanting to be fed and needing attention, and also having to go catch an adventuring horse that’s exploring the neighborhood.
It had been years since I’ve been riding her regularly. With two pregnancies and three kids, it just became too much to handle. All my personal issues, combined with the ever increasing cost of keeping horses, led me to the decision to sell her. I really needed to reduce the herd, and out of the retiree, the pony, and the one in training, she’s the most sellable, as a ready to go, uncomplicated horse. She is a great horse, ready for adventures, I’m just not able to give her them.
I sent her to training and she was put back into work. Honestly, I was so proud of her being a good girl. She was a little unsettled at her world suddenly turning upside down, but after about a week, she went back to being her awesome self. She was highly praised, and put right into the lesson program, carting around beginners and more advanced riders. It’s feels really good to have trained this horse to this level of being able to take care of her riders.
She was put on the market, and sold almost immediately. She did have to get shoes put on her – she was a bit foot sore from going from complete pasture to back in work, but her new owners fell in love. They were the first people to see her, and they wanted her immediately. She’s now owned by an adorable 13 year old girl. I can’t think of a better home for her than a horse crazy girl.
Before she was sold, I went to her barn and took some portraits of her. I haven’t been able to go through them fully yet, but she looks like the goofball she’s always been. Hopefully she will continue to delight others with her personality. She was always a joker, chewing up trees, messing with water troughs, and moving around anything not bolted down.
The day after they picked her up, it hit me that she’s not mine anymore. It’s too late to change my mind and pull her back to me. She’s gone, and I can’t get her back. Will I ever see her again? I kind of doubt it, unless I make a personal visit to her farm, and I have no rights to demand that. She’s not mine, and I can’t make the decisions for her anymore. I can’t even comment on someone else’s decisions with her. She’s not mine. It’s not up to me anymore.
It does hurt to lose her. She was such a good friend to me, and we had so much fun together. I just have to hope this was the right decision. I try not to think about it too much, as I feel the pain of it so much more.
But by allowing Berry to move on, it’ll make my life so much easier. Maybe I’ll even have time for the other horses I still have. I feel a bit of shame for being upset about losing one when I still have three others. That’s still a lot of horses for one person. Hopefully this will allow me to spend time getting my kids riding the Pony, and maybe I’ll even be able to bring Stu home. Hopefully this isn’t the start of me being out of horses, just a step towards managing my time better.
I’ll miss you Berry. I’ll always remember and think about you, and I hope you love your new life.
Sorry to see the tree eater go. I know you will miss her. I will always remember her first attempt at jumping a fence. Good times!
Can You Be an Equestrian and a Parent? - An Equestrian Life
[…] I still have three more, though. If there was ever a first world problem, it is certainly, “I only have three horses instead of four.” But I loved her as my pet, so it hurts just like losing any pet. But this isn’t really about Berry – feel free to sympathize her loss with me here. […]