Last night I sold a good friend. Today I am grieving.
My husband is no longer able to ride. His horse has been in the field, unused, for two years– the period of time during which Hubby has had both knees replaced and his heart rebuilt. The companion to his horse is Sugar Baby, an ancient but healthy mare that was my riding horse until last year, when she tore a muscle in a field accident.
During the course of Sugar Baby’s recovery, I bought a Racking Horse named Jake to ride. Jake is gaited and riding him is easier on my battle-worn body — I have a history of multiple falls from horseback, so my body is beat-up and sore.
But Sugar Baby will always be the best horse I ever had the privilege to ride. She and I were so well matched that she seemed to read my mind. She always did what was asked of her and always took care of me, her rider. On mornings, she would stand in her spot at the fence and stare toward the front door of the house. The minute she saw movement, she would neigh, asking for breakfast. When I worked around the barn, Sugar usually supervised, nickering softly when I talked to her.
In these erratic times, we are like many other households in the United States. We have our own economic downturn going on in our personal finances. At the end of October, a reckoning of accounts demanded austerity. Logic dictated that two horses that were going unused must go.
Maintaining a horse is expensive. Beyond the cost of food and shelter, there are farrier, vet and grooming expenses. Not to mention winter blankets and the like.
So the mares were sold.
I don’t have the attachment to my husband’s horse Missy that I do to Sugar Baby. Even in advanced age, she is beautiful in my eyes. And she caught the eye of someone else. I find peace that she has a home. But I am grieving that she’s gone.