Saturday, September 17, 2016

Is This What Getting "Old" Feels Like?

I look at pictures from the last 15 years of my riding career, and I realize that most of the horses in them have died.

It's..... I don't know how to describe it.... Humbling?..... Reality Check?.... Mid-Life Crisis?

The horses of my youth were all good old soldiers, and I expected that I would outlive them. You ride old horses, Schoolmasters, when you're just starting out. After that, it changes. You start to ride younger horses. You train them, you bring them along, you outlive them.

I've been training horses long enough that now I'm outliving them. I am suddenly being confronted with the knowledge that the young horses I train today will be the old horses I will have to say goodbye to eventually.

Jack was always Spider's "replacement", and I find it difficult to work with him now because I'm not ready to replace Spider yet. In the back of my mind, I also know that I will outlive Jack, and I will have to deal with this pain again.


  1. It's the really hard part of life- that we have to say goodbye to those we love. But that love is what makes our lives rich as well.

  2. :( I know the feeling. I try not to think about outliving my young horses... because I know how hard it is. Sending hugs.

  3. It's hard, but live now. Not in the past, not in the future, but now. Be there now and enjoy those horses that are there now. It isn't a betrayal of the past horses, nor an anticipation of loss that may (will) come in the future, it's the beauty and joy of the horses in the now.

    Easier said than done, but I understand.

  4. Don't rush it; you'll be ready to get back to riding Jack when you are ready. I was thinking the other day about how many horses we've had, and how many we've lost. It is a weird feeling -- I didn't really think about that part when we got into having horses at home. I look at them now and I know we will outlive them all. And we don't plan to get replacements -- the youngest are 12 and the oldest are 20. Give yourself some time; Spider was special. You can't just snap your fingers after some allotted period of time and be okay.

  5. Our biggest blessing is our biggest curse. We have our animals to love and protect for only a short time in comparison to our own lives. Losing them is always hard, but the gift of loving them while they are with us is far too precious to surrender, and so, we endure the pain. Jack will win your heart in his own way. He is lucky to have you. Let him help mend your aching heart.

  6. I've lost 3 horses myself so far. It is never easy...sigh...we just keep going on...

  7. My first trainer often made instructional videos using her school for her students, but then stopped and wasn't even able to watch the videos after a while for similar reasons. It's so hard. No sense rushing yourself tho.


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