Letting Go

MediumJPG_15CS9218_Dwan_TerriMiller-(ZF-3600-62173-2-003)My magic pony, Finn (Far Above Par), has a new owner now, and I am running the gamut of emotions, swooping madly like an out of control roller coaster, both delighted that’s he’s got a great home, and desolate that my special pony is no longer with me. Gone to a new owner! Not mine anymore.

All who have loved and had to sell a horse know that feeling of aching loss.

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Last moments with Finn before loading him in the trailer for his new home.

Why then did I sell him? Sometimes you have to. My chronic and worsening lower back and his bouncy trot were not doing well together; it became clear that if I was going to have a long riding career I needed a smoother horse. It took me many months to get there emotionally, but when it began to hurt every day to ride, I was certain it was the right thing to do. I began telling a few people I would put him on the market in the early Spring. Lo and behold,

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Finn says, “This vet check is getting boring. I’m tired of flexion tests. Let me taste this chain now…”

the grapevine (no advertising yet) very soon produced the perfect owner. I wasn’t quite ready for that – so soon??? –  but I couldn’t pass up this perfect match. They were right for each other and looked quite happy together.

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I learned so much from Finn, and I’m so grateful.

And so I let go. And continue to let go of the most wonderful pony. Oh, quirky, yes, he has his little quirks (lots of pony personality), but he made me laugh.

Robin Hood and Finn

Dressing up for Halloween: Robin Hood and Finn. “Give me your treasure or Finn will step on your feet.”

He taught me so much about dressage, and we had fun together, too! We went on the trail and over jumps, to clinics, dressed up for Halloween, and  learned a little piaffe and passage. What adventures we had! And through it all, always safe and sensible, and so beautiful. Truly an exceptional pony, a wonderful New Forest Pony.

A woman at my barn said, “Did you tell the buyer that magic sparkles fall from his hooves when he is ridden? Because they do…” Yes, they do, they really do. Always a place in my heart, Finn.Dwan_Far Above Par_15CS9297_TerriMiller-(ZF-3600-62173-2-001)

14 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. OMG i am tears reading this. Just the thought of it. This seems to be a fairly common occurrence with horses. We don’t hear it with dogs or cats really. Maybe it’s the expense. Quite different with our 1,000 pound family members. I am so sorry you had to do this. I would actually like to be in touch with you. Is that possible?

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    • Thank you. I am sad. Really sad. It was therapeutic to write about it, and because I’ve written so much about Finn in this blog I felt I needed to let people know where he was now. I couldn’t suddenly show up with a different horse one day…but meanwhile, my life is one BIG BLACK HOLE of NO HORSE. I miss Finn and I just plain miss being around horses. I’m going to start riding other horses and that will help. Some.

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  2. Oh nooooooooo! My heart is breaking for you, and selfishly I am so sad there won’t be any more Edie and Finn updates. I have SO enjoyed following your adventures! You two were so inspiring to me. No doubt that was a horribly tough decision for you, even though it sounds like it was the right one. I can relate, having passed along several great horses and ponies over the years (can’t keep em all!) to new owners (to whom they were ultimately much better suited. But knowing they’re in the right hands doesn’t mean you don’t miss them terribly!) The horses of our past make us who we are and teach us invaluable lessons. I’m so grateful for every single one I had the privilege of being “mom” to.

    A couple years ago I sold my “dream horse” (a HUGE, chromed-out chestnut Thoroughbred…he was so fancy that we were asked to be in a commercial!) because I was suffering whip-lash every time he would spook (he was quite dramatic…), and I just couldn’t picture keeping him forever and retiring him as my kids’ backyard/trail horse (just too big, too hot and unpredictable–even at the ripe age of 12!) I found him a great home where his spunk and pizzazz is appreciated more, but BOY was it tough to wave goodbye to the fanciest horse I’d ever owned. However, that sale cleared the way for me to search out my REAL dream horse, which turns out is a 14.1 hand precocious but safe pony with plenty of athletics and plenty of brains. 🙂 No more whip-lash, and he’ll make a GREAT kid pony when he retires (after we go to GP together…;))

    Do you plan on searching for your next dream horse, or are you taking a break from horse ownership? Hugs to you during this tough transition!

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    • I am already searching for the next horse: a nice SMOOTH Spanish horse (andalusian or Lusitano) for dressage and trails. There will be plenty of updates about the process (probably) and definitely about the result! Stay tuned.

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  3. Lots of us older riders don’t get to ride the spectacularly moving horses of our younger days and I am one, too. My spine is happy with my smooth and sensible Haflinger and I hope to keep riding as long as I can by switching to a different kind of horse. Hey, look at Queen Elizabeth. She has done the same thing and still rides! My big desire is for USDF to allow Masters riders to ride all levels at the rising trot. That would help enormously those with aging spines. If they can accommodate those with more obvious disabilities, why not older riders, too???

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    • Yes! A large part of my problem was the requirement for all aspects of the dressage test to be done at the SITTING trot. So hard on an aging back if the horse is at all bouncy. I think your idea of allowing rising trot is an excellent. One easier on the horse as well as the rider!

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  4. Oh, Oh, Oh! My heart goes out to you! I’ve sold just two horses, and while I was happy to find the right home for both of them, and VERY anxious to close the sale, I still cried both times when the trailer left. It’s such an emotional thing, to let go of a horse, a friend, and training partner.
    So glad you found just the right rider fit for him. He’s a special guy, and I imagine there was a lucky new owner showing up in no time. A win-win situation for all. But horribly empty for you for some time…

    After this 3 year drought, and more recently extreme rain fall, my barn is a swamp. I still invite you to come out one day if you’d like to take a little road trip. You could try my pokey grey mare (who is extremely kind despite being so young and green) just for kicks to feel how the Half Andalusian trot feels to your back 🙂 She’s larger than Finn of course, but the swing doesn’t feel as jarring, as say, a Trakehner (gasp!).

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    • Thank you, Elinor. A road trip would be fun some day. I’m sure your lovely mare would be so fun to ride! I am looking for an Andalusian or Lusitano, by the way, for my next horse…if you hear of one with amazing movement and an equally amazing temperament, send it my way.

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      • You will find one, take your time!!
        I worked for a year at a high-quality breeding and show barn in Somerset, Dorado Andaluz. They’re all quality, papered, well handled and with great sport horse movement.
        Most sell as young, under 2 years, horses, but there’s aways one slightly older in training and showing still there… Definitely not a rip off, backyard sort of place !

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