Like No Other Pet

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Several years ago, I was in turmoil over having to say goodby to an old mare that had lived with me a long while. She was the most dependable, willing, and sweet horse I’d ever known, and still is, even compared to my current dearly-loved horses. That old mare taught this elderly novice horsewoman to ride. She took care of me on familiar and unfamiliar horse trails; and when we would amble into brand new areas to explore, she had absolutely incredible radar about directions, always returned us even to remote trailheads.

I was equally determined and heartbroken while hauling this horse to where I last would see her. She long had been arthritic and in pain, barely able to move around and tired. But on this ride, like all the animals that ever have ridden with me to their last stops at a veterinarian, she seemed unusually alert, it appeared too early for her to face what was ahead. Alternately, I was in a steely state of defiance or soaking in teary heartbreak.

A friend had ridden with me to support this event. She reached toward my shoulder and said, “It’s okay”, paused thoughtfully and added, “A horse is like no other pet.”

To this day, whenever I’m around horses, I consider how horses aren’t like other pets. Watching those 1,000-lb. animals, behaving normally or getting into mischief, it’s always in my mind how vulnerable they are–to injury, colic, noises that spook them. And how much commitment it takes to care for them–having space, acquiring hay, covering expenses, adequately transporting, and experimenting with tack.

Horses are bunches of fun. They’re huge commitments, all consuming, beautiful and captivating. And to the emotions, in so many ways unlike all others.

Dear Friends: Have a lovely day. Diana

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