Monday, March 23, 2015

Trust Your Journey

"Be Patient 
Trust Your Journey."

I saw this quote somewhere the other day and it has not left my head since. It is so meaningful to me with some of the things I have been through the past few weeks.

You can read back a few posts about how I decided to sell my mustang mare, Luna. I am here to tell you how in after doing it, everything about it felt completely wrong.

 I can't even pinpoint why. I am battling my heart and my head and the emotional and analytical side of myself and it's driving me insane. All I can do is trust my journey. For some reason, the series of events that led me to the moment of her driving away in a trailer were meant to happen, just like every other series of events in my life to this point. Most people don't put themselves in the place to worry about it all so much. Unfortunately I am one of those sensitive types to think, and think, and think about it. You can tell me not to, but I'm still gonna. So this post is mostly about me convincing myself, justifying to myself, why I did it. I will share that with you now. Maybe you have been there before.

{Before she was loaded in the trailer to her new home.}

When I originally made the decision, I had battled it for a month or more. I talked to someone who I knew had been interested in her last summer, and told her we'd talk after the holidays. That gave me more time to think about it. I came to terms with it, I grieved, but I came to the conclusion it was the right thing to do. I thought I had found the perfect place for her, and I wasn't even overly sad when she left on trial with the new family. In fact, I was sad when it didn't work out and she came back, because I so wanted it to work for her.

A month later, I decided to try again. This time I advertised her publicly on a few Facebook pages I'm part of. I was fielding several inquiries. I could tell right off the bat if someone would be a good fit for her or not, depending on what they were looking for. I was very selective. At some point in the process I had two very interested parties who had not seen her yet, but were planning to. Then I got an email from a gal and I just felt like it was the right person and situation. Everything about our communication was great, everything they said made me happy. I never questioned the process.

{My trainer riding Luna.}

I had my trainer come put a few rides on her to work out the "spring fresh" before the prospective new owners came, as she hadn't been ridden since January when the other family tried her. The first day didn't go so well, but the second day she was more relaxed and acted like the awesome horse I remembered from last summer. I even climbed on and rode- we even loped! I think a little part of me began to wonder why I was selling her. But I had no last minute changes of heart. The couple made a long trip to see her, the showing went well. They fell in love and took her far away. And my heart broke into a million pieces.

I really like the family that has her. They love their horses, dogs, and goat like they are their kids. They are so, so happy with her and beyond thrilled they found her. They aren't trainers, but good riders who are willing to keep learning by taking weekly lessons and have signed up for a clinic this spring. They want a horse they can grow with and learn. They ride, ride, ride. A lot. Exploring the countryside they live in, camping almost every weekend with their horses. I could think of no better life for a Mustang, and for Luna. I really think it is what she is meant to do. So why did it hurt so much when she left?

I can only think it has to do with my sense of being a mother. I felt like I gave away my own child. You always have that feeling that nobody will care for your horse or love it the way you do. And I battled the thoughts that maybe I failed her somehow (oh, that guilt is an evil thing.......) that maybe the fact she was green and I couldn't put enough miles on her right now would be okay, and that she could sit and wait it out until I could, and that we would figure the future out together. The what-ifs. They can really mess with your head, can't they?

So yes, I sadly cried off and on for days. I am still an emotional mess if I let my thoughts settle on her. So far, she is doing well in her new home and they love her. That does make me happy to hear, but it does not really comfort my sadness. I can only reason that her journey into my life brought something else. She came into my life as an awkward yearling and taught me so much, she began to open up my confidence with a younger horse. Then I became a real mama to a human child that took up a lot of my physical time, so she got to grow up into a lovely horse with the help of a great trainer she started her career as a saddle horse. She was to the point she was ready to rock and roll. Or that is what my head told me- "she needs a home where she could be ridden"..... "what if I got pregnant this winter, IF, ......then I wouldn't ride her. She is a good horse, but still too green and unpredictable to take the risk...." Those thoughts swirled in my head. This would have meant she basically would have sat for another year. Would that have been fair to her? But why is about what it is fair to her? Maybe it should have been what was fair to us both. Maybe a break from riding and some ground work, more grow time, and just being a horse time would have been fine for a year. Yes, she would have needed a little tune-up down the line, but with her disposition I'm sure it would have been an easy transition to make.

It is not that I didn't have good intention, but I just didn't handle the transition from singleton to motherhood very well. Yes, I started my family late in life and yes, I was a pretty consumed mama for a while, as I should have been, and should still be. But I didn't have to let the guilt about that prevent me from stealing time away from the hubby, child, work, or family commitments for time with my horses. There is no reason that can happen. It must happen. I have realized now that I need "horse time" for my sanity even more now that I have a toddler running around.

I can only come to terms with this over time. And I can only look forward. I have grown more in the last few months as a horse owner than I have in years. I have found new confidence, new emotions, new ideas and thoughts, about what I want to commit to, what I want to do differently. It reminds me of dating in my 20's and 30's. You slowly begin to grow and figure out what you want and need. Like any relationship.

{ I miss my LuLu! She was just a 3 year old here.}

{Luna as a 3 year old. I wish she would have stayed small like this. She really got huge, bigger than this 5'3" incher needs. But she did finally grow into that head!}

I can only wish Luna good luck and love in her new home. Luckily we agreed that I could be offered first to buy her back someday or she could retire here, if they wanted or needed her to go. And I plan to go visit and ride her sometime next fall. Maybe Luna's journey is to make Mustang lovers and converts out of these people, who might never have considered owning one of these wonderful horses.

That is what she did for me.

Ranch Girl


Shanna Border said...

I have yet to figure out how to juggle motherhood and my horse life. The constant guilt when I'm with the horses and away from my son and then the guilt of not working with the horses when I'm with my son (or the guilt of being away from both son and horses while at work). It's a never ending battle, so I definitely feel your pain. And now that we have a toddler, we're expecting the next little one to arrive, which means even more guilt and trying to figure out how to juggle even more.

I wish there were words of wisdom that I could share. Just know that you're not the only one. We are in the same boat. :-)

C-ingspots said...

Oh you're so right about guilt being evil as it does not come from rationality, or even good sense, but from some outside source intent on causing us to feel pain. Easier said than done, but please let it go!! Luna came into your life when you needed her. She taught you some valuable lessons, and you in turn, also gave her a concrete foundation. What a gift!!! For both of you. In life, there are so many "seasons" that we're given to experience, learn, enjoy. Some stay longer than others, but everything "comes to pass". Everything! If you didn't grieve that she's gone, then you mustn't have loved her very much, but because you cry for her now, means you did love her, and that is a beautiful, wonderful thing. It's ok to cry, but you did your very best with her when you had her, you did your very best to place her in a fantastic, loving home and with a new family who will love her as you did. She will continue on and has lessons for them as well. Take comfort knowing you did your BEST with Luna! That, in the end, is the best any of us can hope for. I wish I could give you a big old hug because I know EXACTLY how you feel, and how you grieve. I've been there, and I have those same over-analyzing thoughts and sentimental emotions that you have. I'm learning to appreciate that when I love much, sometimes I hurt more than some do, as well. I (and maybe you too) was created that way. :) and have faith, that most of what (and who) happens in our lives, happens for very good reasons.

Crystal said...

I find selling horses to be the hardest thing to do. Even horses I don't really like or have a bond with its super hard. And ya its always what if? But sounds like a good home and nice to keep in contact and the buy back is perfect. You are enjoying your family and your horses. There really is no right or wrong. I hope you find some peace with your choice.

fernvalley01 said...

I hurt for you girl! I believe you did make the right choice for you and her, but it doesn't mean it was or will be easy! Hugs!

Mare said...

I totally missed this post...somehow...

I 100% understand all of this. The denial the first time the idea pops in your head, the self-doubt when the idea keeps resurfacing, the heartbreak when you start to figure out that this is the right thing, the freedom in admitting it out loud, the pain of realizing that you've become a different person...grown, sure, but your dreams are different...

It sucks and it doesn't stop sucking, but I truly believe, at least in my case, that I made the right decision...and I'm sure you know that you did to. Neither of us is the same as when those special mares entered our lives, and that is probably the hardest part of it all. But that's okay. We grow, we change, we dream bigger and become better people. It's all part of the journey. We owe it to the horses to always make sure they have the best life possible, but we also owe that same thing to ourselves.

*Hugs* girl! Trust me, I get it.