“I didn’t want to love anything that was going to die before I did…” – Geneen Roth, author of “The Craggy Hole in My Heart”
I know that statement doesn’t make any sense but I totally agreed with it a year ago. But what is the alternative? To never love at all? The cold hard truth is that none of us have a timetable of who’s going to die when. Graves for all loved ones, people and pets alike, come in all sizes. Despite that fact, we know love is always worth it, no matter the number of days.
After losing Peachie Girl last January and Sportie just a few months before that, I dreaded going back to the stables. Their ghosts still visit me there and I now welcome their wonderful memories, but a year ago the heaviness of their loss was palpable. I couldn’t imagine opening my heart to yet another horse and I was ready to quit riding altogether.
Thankfully for me, a cute and fiery redhead named Tara trotted into my life and convinced me to stick around the stables. Tara’s owner Lisa, who boarded horses where I have a work-to-ride lease, was busy with a younger horse and asked if I could start riding Tara regularly. I love Lisa like a sister, so as afraid I was of getting emotionally wrecked once more, the desire to help her out overruled. Hesitantly I saddled Tara up, and week by week inevitably fell more deeply in love with her.
I still have Lisa’s response from last June after I had been struggling to help Tara keep her trot controlled and straight. We spent the morning working and working on it and when finally we connected, we went from having nothing to having everything in an instant. I texted Lisa to rave about how smooth and amazing Tara’s breakthrough finally was. Lisa replied:
“That’s our girl! She says good things don’t come easy.”
If they did come easy, everyone would be lining up at the stables to do what we get to do. But we are the lucky few who know the treasure – the love, the connection, the thrill of accomplishment, the one special horse – that awaits us behind those doors.