Sometimes, even the right thing to do is a very hard thing.
We realized months – no, make that years – ago that we had too many horses. Only two of us ride, and our herd had grown to four. For people who can barely find the time for the basics of horse ownership, having two extra horses to keep in shape is just not practical. Besides, one of them was just beyond our abilities to ride: Moonshine.
I have probably mentioned in the past that I work for a veterinary clinic. One of our clients just happens to own a rodeo business. My best friend and co-worker, Shari, thought he might be interested in another bucking horse. You might also recall that bucking is kind of a specialty of Moonshine’s. After a few weeks of trying to get our heads (and hearts) around the idea, we finally called the rodeo guy and he was indeed interested in a good bucking horse, particularly a pretty mare with papers. He just happens to specialize in paints, and Moonshine is a solid-bred paint. So one Saturday in July, we brought her over to his huge, beautiful farm. It was so hard to do, but it made it easier that she went to a place that loves horses and cares for all of them. We also learned that they are just like us, and keep horses pretty much forever, whether they need them or not.
Three months later, we are happy to report that Moonshine has successfully fulfilled her role as a rodeo bucking horse. At the farm, she joined a herd of three other horses that had never let anyone else into their group, and the four are inseparable. Strangely enough, she isn’t the boss of her new little group!
The boys missed her for a couple of days…or at least missed the familiarity of her being around. They seemed to adjust very quickly to her absence. Cash took the opportunity to declare himself herd leader, but I suspect that’s only the case in his own mind. I’m sure the real leader is Romeo, but he’s the quiet tyrant type. He lets Cash think he’s boss, but slaps him down now and again when Cash gets too overbearing. Valentine and Jazzy just try not to get in the way, as usual.
So that’s where our herd stands for now. We are planning to make one more cut – Cash – but we are in no hurry. The only way we can part with a horse (or dog, cat, goat, chicken, etc.) is for the new place to be a perfect fit. If that comes along, we’ll let him go. Otherwise, he’s here for life, with the rest of the misfits.