That's what a friend told me the other day when we were talking about Courage.
When I met him, he needed a soft landing and I needed someone to soak up the tears from the looming inevitable.
I loved him. I wanted him to be my horse, the one that I trusted to take me places and do all the things. He was gorgeous and intelligent and good minded and oh-so-athletic.
When I needed him to be quiet and put the pieces of a shattered heart back together, he was there.
But when I asked him to be the horse I always wanted, he exited stage left. Repeatedly. He gave me one good season. One giant champion ribbon. One serious education in what it looks like when a horse tries his heart out for you, but he just can't do it anymore.
I rode through his antics. I learned to work with his quirks. I gave him a solid education in life beyond the track.
It was hard to understand at the time and it's only a little easier now.
|just another day
I cannot overstate what he did for me and how he taught me to think through every step. To ask hard questions. To become more than myself and go beyond what I thought I could do. It wasn't always fun. It was never easy. It was blood, sweat, and tears, but the person I became because of him is someone I'm proud to be.
|and i will always love this photo
I see now that in some ways, I did the same for him. He came off the track mentally broken. Failing at a demanding career. Discarded by the people who took the most from him. Wearing physical reminders that he'd never be the horse he once was.
|his last win
He was never going to be the performance horse I wanted, but to be the horse he is now, he needed an in between time to learn that he could try again.
I felt like a failure when I admitted I couldn't make him be what I wanted and I couldn't make myself want what he needed.
|there were a lot of years to get here
But sometimes life isn't about me. It's about giving an old warhorse a chance at a life he earned a thousand times over.
When I met his new person, I knew he'd hit the jackpot. He stepped off the trailer at his new home and landed where he was meant to be.
|not gonna lie, i'd like to live in his barn
His owner is a private person and I respect that. I get photos of him once in a while and they make me so happy for him. He's wild and woolly and goes on trail rides in the mountains and never has to jump a jump or do dressage again.
|it's a good look for him
No primping and preening and trying to make him what he's not. No more failing and disappointment for a hard knocking campaigner who gave his all.
It's not that I failed him or wasted my time. It's that there were things we needed to teach each other before we were each ready to be what we really needed to be.
|forever summing us up
Happy trails, my friend. You deserve them.