Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Rising to the Daughter Who Left Her Horses With Me

Today, someone on Facebook posted a link shared on my page.  The link, 10-reasons-your-teenage-daughter-should-own-a-horse is so emotional for me as a former teenage girl in love with horses and as a Mother who watched her daughter fall in love with horses, and is now watching her adult daughter leave her horses behind.

Everyone is different, we all know.  I am quite sure that my daughter's love of horses came because I put her on one at five.  And I am sure that I hooped and hollered with her every rise out of the little English saddle.  My dream or hers, I am not sure, but her ability to do it, love it and love the animals made it successful.  And like the writer says, it kept her mostly out of trouble.

Years later, dollars later, and oh so many horses later, I have the horses and not the dollars or the daughter.  She is in Europe backpacking and I am here, driving to Madison County feeding horses on weekends.  I have another person feeding during the week.  The horses are on a ten acre pasture and they are three and a goat.

The old show  quarter horse gelding is thick and slow.  My daughter's older thoroughbreds are quick and lean and tall.  All are grey, almost white grey, and speckled like perch only with rose coloring. They are all doing well and enjoy the retirement.  In spite of her insistence that all horses respect the dressage whip, I am intimidated by them.  I try to tell them that I am all they have, and that they should be nice.  The feed buckets just bring out the wild demons in them!  And I stand watching them race up and down the pasture.  Farm and Grey Horses

Which hearkens me back to my own experience.  I remember leaving home, I don't remember what happened to our horses or ponies.  I was ready to leave as soon as I had a driver's license.  And that meant leaving animals, belongings, feelings behind.

Now, I wonder what my parents were thinking when I left.  I surrendered my ponies to my sister and brother.  I wonder if they thought of it as a separation of the child and adulthood or an abandonment of responsibility?  What ever it was, I did not look back.  And whatever it is for my daughter, I don't want her to look back.  As painful as it is to leave your animals, once you know they are safe and you are gone, you should let it go.

She will be back and we will visit with the horses and laugh at how many times that I saddlesoaped the bridles or rubbed down the saddles.  We will look at photos of Europe and talk about her dreams and plans.  Then, I will return to the pleasure of caring for her past, while she goes on to seek her future.  The three ponies and I turning grey and white together.... because pursuing passion should not hinge on the past