Month: November 2015

Moving On

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When I bought TJ 10 months ago I thought he’d be my forever horse. I guess in the back of my mind I knew it was possible for this day to come. Fall is here and the air is crisp. TJ’s Thoroughbred ancestry is starting to show itself more and more. I’m missing riding time because he’s so wired. I can barely get him brushed and saddled, let alone get on. I’m seriously out horsed. I never though this quiet, sweet big goofball would turn into a horse I could barely handle when he recovered. I have the ability, but because of past (very) bad experiences, I no longer have the confidence. I told TJ he was up for sale and why. As much as it breaks my heart, I think it’s time for TJ to move on …

I started writing this a few weeks ago and I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. It was the end of the line for TJ and I – my heart was breaking. I really love this horse, but I wasn’t able to ride him anymore. What am I supposed to do? I left it in God’s hands. If I put TJ up for sale and he sells, I’ll know he’s not supposed to be with me. If he doesn’t sell, I’ll know he’s my forever horse. So I put an ad together and posted it on several horse sale sites, our website, Craigslist and 10 +/- Facebook groups and prayed every night for God to do what’s best for both of us. I waited and waited.

Friday was supposed to be unusually warm for November in PA. Mid to upper 70’s was unheard of. I decided to take advantage of the warmth, take a half day off and give him a bath. He managed to lay in a pile of manure and he stank! I couldn’t show him to anyone like that and I certainly wasn’t dealing with Mr. Stinky all winter. Koko also desperately needed a bath so Greg decided to take time off and meet me at the barn. We bathed Koko first since she has a much heavier coat and it was going to take her longer to dry. They were pulled off the hayfield a week or so ago so it was just the two of them in a 5-6 acre pasture. Koko was getting too fat and the hay field proved to be more protein than TJ could handle. Koko was finished and we went out to get TJ.  He was half way down the pasture. I called him and to my surprise he came up. Just as I was putting his halter on, his buddy Harley called from the adjacent hay field and TJ took off like a rocket. So I walked down to get him. As I approached, Harley (who is a retired racehorse) took off up the fence line and of course, TJ had to accept the challenge of a race. I was mad as hell. He desperately needed a bath and I couldn’t catch him. My attitude changed when I realized he was galloping up and down the fence line with Harley and doing sliding stops at the end of the fence without a bad step. He even jumped a downed tree branch without missing a beat. He seemed to enjoy the competition of giving enough gas to beat Harley in the race, but by no means flat out. He’s fast! Of course we both left our cell phones in the truck so they wouldn’t get wet! After 4-5 hard runs up and down the fence line, TJ was finished playing and let me halter him. I’m thinking he’s going to limp all the way up the pasture and it’ll be days before I can ride again. There was not a trace of a limp and I almost had to run to keep up with him. My arm was tired from trying to hold him back! It looks like that shoulder is 100% healed. He got his bath and both of them grazed until they were almost dry. When we turned them out, we were prepared with cell phones in hand, on video in case he took off to be with Harley.

TJ’s sale ads have been up for a couple of weeks. 200+ views on one horse sale site, 150 on another and quite a few likes on Facebook group posts resulted in one inquiry from Craigslist. Someone wanted video and asked a few questions. It’s been 5 days and I never heard back. I had my answer to the question that’s been troubling me for a few weeks. TJ is supposed to be my forever horse! What a huge relief. I was tearing me apart to think of him being with someone else. I quickly deleted all of his ads.

Despite the chilly, blustery day yesterday we ventured to the barn after lunch. Heavily overcast, windy and in the mid 50’s. Far from a perfect day to ride. TJ was up and nervous, but I dealt with it. We did slow work and things to make him think about what he was doing instead of everything around him. He relaxed. After our ride I told him that I took his ads down and he was no longer for sale. I told him that nobody wanted him ….. except me. I told him I loved him and wanted him to be my forever horse. And that he’s never be put up for sale again unless he specifically told me he no longer wanted to be my horse. He put his forehead on mine, lipped my hand and put his muzzle to my face for a kiss. And people think a horse doesn’t understand what you tell them …..