I'm at a little bit of a loss for words but here goes!! We are blessed with the good company and partnership of the horses in our lives and given the opportunity to care for, grow and learn with these incredible animals. When I buy a horse to be my partner it's for life.
It's true, I have bought and sold many horses in my lifetime but those I bought to be my partner have stayed in my life and stayed my partner (or will) until the end. This is the first time (since I was about 13 years old and sold my very first horse) that I've parted with one of my partners.
I bought Lyndale's Starfire as a 2 week old stud colt and waited the long 6 months to bring him home in 2002. I then raised him, trained him, rode him and bred him. He produced many fine foals for me and was an OUTSTANDING partner! We've been through a lot together and man, does this horse like to work!!! He takes pride in his job and has a tremendous work ethic. That's why, when I discovered he had arthritis in his hocks two years ago and would need to tone down his work schedule, I began to toy with the idea of letting him go to a new home.
This was not because he's not able to work for me as hard as he once did but because he deserves to work for someone! He is an amazing horse with a ton to offer still, even if he can't keep up with the requirements of his job with me. I was prepared to give him an early retirement and a forever home with me but this is not what's best for him or what will make HIM happiest. That's why, after a ton of soul searching, I am letting him go to my good friend.
I know he will make her happy and give her 1,000,000 good memories, just as he did for me, he'll challenge her to learn more, be brave and grow and I know she'll give him the "job" he needs to feel important, provide him with top notch care and all the love he can handle as well as challenge him too.
Sometimes it can be hard to do what's best for our horses and even harder to admit to ourselves that we might not be what's best... Taking a step back to very honestly look at the situation (and without letting the ego get in the way) ask yourself "what is best?", can be a challenge but actually listening to the answer takes a lot of honesty, courage and compassion. In this case, what's best for my friend Fire is a new partner who can offer him the world and who he can be the whole world to. That means letting go of a horse who's been my family for 14 years.
Fire will ALWAYS be "my FeeFi" but to truly let him shine, he will have to be someone else's partner. I know he will not disappoint his new partner and I am glad to have had such a great horse on my team for as long as I did. I send him on knowing the he is well prepared for life in the "real world" and ready for adventures. Happy trails to you both!!!