Today I say good bye to Dill. Today I say good bye to my refuge. I have been quiet on him for the last month because it breaks my heart, but my body doesn’t have the energy for the drive to go and see him. He was my “first” horse. He was the first one that wasn’t just a lesson horse to me. He taught me so much. He has taught me how much work it is to form a bond with a horse. He taught me that I have to fight for the right of him to trust me. I learned how to fight against the fear that going on trails can give. He taught me that falling off a horse hurts. He has taught me how to sit out spooks and has given me a better seat for it. He has taught me that I have some skill with horses. That my demeanor works well with horses. He has taught me that I am stuck with loving and wanting horses for the rest of my life.
I have no disillusionment that he will be just at happy sitting the pasture not having to deal with humans. That is who he is. He doesn’t crave that interaction. He does crave treats though. Oh that is another thing he taught me… limit the treats or a horse can get very pestering for them. And having a 1200 lb animal wanting more treats is not what you want.
I have learned that I love ground work. I love teaching tricks and grazing him. Just sitting there watching him eat the pretty grass that isn’t in the pasture.
I have learned that horses and barns are in my blood. And once it is there, nothing will change that.
I have learned that a barn family is as close as a family. I love and adore my barn family. It breaks my heart as much to leave them. They have been with me through thick and thin. They never laughed at me when I asked for help. They were always encouraging to this green gal. They laughed and enjoyed all the silly tricks I taught Dill. I would sit in the barn for an hour after being done with Dill and him being in the pasture. I would sit there and hang out with my barn family. That was part of the ritual. That was part of what I enjoyed so much.
So now I have to go and say good bye to my beloved horse. And I know there will be another in my future, but he will always hold a special part of my heart. He didn’t make it easy for me. He made me work for everything. And while it frustrated me time to time, I am so glad he did that. I am a better person (not just a horse person) because of him.
So here is to moving forward on the path that God has created. And hoping that the joy on the other will be more than worth it.