This is the post I didn’t want to have to write, but knew it was coming so therefore avoided my blog for a few weeks.
In case you’re not down with all things equine (you lucky, lucky person you) let me be up front and say that the picture of the hoof shown in this post is not normal. It’s so not normal, that the term diseased is the best way to describe it. To continue the bad news, that’s a picture of Teaspoon’s hoof… and it’s the reason that after this weekend he won’t be my horse anymore.
The logical part of me is upset about this, but knows it could be much worse. She’s sitting there slightly miffed that she spent so much money on a horse that can’t be ridden and therefore can’t be kept. Still, it’s just money. At the end of the day, Logical Lauren will make more of it and be just fine. Teaspoon is lucky to have a ton of people who love him, and his last owners are taking him back to spend his days as a light riding horse and a pasture pet. He’ll get good care, lots of love, and there will be no threat to his livelihood based on his ability to perform – most horses can’t say the same thing. So yeah, could be a lot worse.
Unfortunately, on the other side of Logical Lauren is 12 year old emotional basketcase Lauren, who has been spending a lot of time throwing her hands in the air and sobbing I want my pony dammit! The emotional idiot Lauren takes a little longer to come to terms with things. I went to the barn on Monday (to ride another horse in our weekly lesson), and thought I was okay – but I was not okay. I made it through half the lesson and then had to get sobbing. Felt like an idiot. You know it’s bad when a teenager is more mature and comforting about Teaspoon going back than I am. It’s not exactly a mark of accomplishment to be comforted by kids when I’m in my late 20’s, but it did reinforce how awesome horse people can be.
And that brings me to the crux of this post: horses are hearbreakers. I don’t know why I love them. If I could find the “off” switch, I would not only flip it but probably rip the fucker out of the socket so the horse love could never be turned on again. Horses are like crack, but more expensive and possibly more debilitating in the long run. Everyone I know who has the lifelong horse bug feels the same way. At least I chose not to have my career focused around horses, but several of my friends have and we all say the same thing. We spend more on horses than we do on our clothes, our cars, ourselves – sometimes more than our houses or children. They inevitably break our hearts by dumping us on our ass one too many times (usually at an important horse show in front of a judge and friends… and usually into a metal jump cup that might tear the ass of your breeches so that you have to safety pin it together to make it through the rest of the horse show BUT I’M NOT BITTER OR ANYTHING ELVIS).
In Teaspoon’s case, his offense was not anything mean or snarky. He simply exists as the creature mankind has bred and evolved him to today – beautiful and delicate. He got a rare auto-immune disease and it’s slowly tearing apart his hooves. He’s spent the last year doing a very good job at being my confidence builder, friend, and best hunter/jumper Belgian DraftX ever – but now he gets to spend the rest of his life doing a very good job at being a horse. He’ll be good at that.
And for me, I’m searching the internet for another horse (anyone have a free warmblood to send me for a while? plzkthx). Horse #2343423 will eventually break my heart just like all the ones before him – but the ride until the fall is just so worth it.