My mare has reached retirement age. I thought this would be a happy time for her, filled with lesson-free pasture time and fun. I quickly realized she wasn’t quite as happy as I believed she would be.
She nickered as soon as she heard my truck coming up the barn driveway and ran to the fence gate. She pawed and carried on almost begging me to come get her. She gave me the “stink eye” whenever I rode another horse.
She again taught me something. Her life was with me. She wanted to be included. She still had the desire to work along with me. Her age and soundness were definitely not quite what they used to be so we adjusted.
Every day I tend to her first. I groom her, pamper her and ride her. We take a long trail walk adventure and I notice a true happiness within her. The snorts, the nickers, and pep in her step reminding me this is the life she wants.
Sometimes we truly believe we are doing the best for our older horses. But sometimes we are wrong. Sometimes they want to stay in the game. They still want to spend their time with us. After all, that is what they spent most of their lives doing.
I believe we act with the best intentions thinking they would prefer to be as free as possible. But they aren’t wild once we take them into our ways. They adjust so easily to what we want from them and live in our world our way. Let’s not forget this and hear what they show us. They spend their lives as our willing partner and we owe them a happy forever home. For most that happiness will always be with us.