Bittersweet Horse Moments

This has been an eventful week for me.  I am back full steam working on pet and horse commissions. ( This link will take you to a new blog I am working on. ) It feels good to busy with commissions.  This week I  began reducing my 'herd' of 6 horses. This feels bittersweet. 

My art business is growing thankfully.  My kids are active in school, church, sports and social events.  That is good and appropriate for them at this stage in their life. 

2 years ago I owned 3 horses- 2 arabs and a pregnant tb mare.  Not long after I bred my mare I brought back home 2 horses in need.  Boomer was a rescue and Flicka, my daughter's kid horse who we loaned out to a little girl.  The family moved and couldn't take horses so Flicka came home again.  I was glad to be able to take them back.  I feel its my responsibility that I do what is right for the horses which for these two mean protecting them from auctions or neglect due to their age or condition. 

All of this added up to a busy, hectic schedule and an over crowded barn once the baby came along. 

This week I placed two horses in new homes.  Flicka was adopted by 2 adorable little girls into a 'horsey' family who are aware of her limitations due to age and value her wonderful attributes.  They promise her a forever home.  I got word back that Flicka has settled in well and the girls LOVE her.  I was thrilled this family wanted her and was able to take her into their lives.  The bittersweet moments came in reflecting back to all the wonderful memories I have of time spent with my daughter and Flicka.

The real tough moment came when I sold my 1 1/2 yr old tb/Hackney Horse colt, Ricco.  I've only had 4 foals in all my horse years, 3 of which I still owned until yesterday.  Ricco is a beautiful creature with a long graceful neck, big sloping shoulders, athletic, good bone, height, style and topping it off is this sweet, puppy dog personality.  I loved to look at this horse, loved to love on him and just enjoyed his sweet nature and kind of goofy personality.   My heart told me this horse was to be with me forever.  My head though knew that I was not going to be able to give to this horse what was in his best interest at this time in his life. 

When I bred my mare I did not anticipate the extra horses coming back into my care.  I also couldn't of predicted how my art business was to grow.   My life, my work and my family were heading one way and Ricco's needs were requiring what I knew realistically would not happen without giving up something. 

Up until last month I was going to make it happen, one way or another.   At my farrier's regular visit he asked if I was interested in selling Ricco.  The thought never occurred to me because I was his forever home.  I learned more about what my farrier was looking for and his commitment to a young horse.  I could see he was ready and able to give to Ricco what Ricco needed to ensure a good life for a horse ( good care, good training, attention ).  So I made a difficult decision to do what is best for Ricco and for my family and work.  And me even if I don't want to admit it.  This was hard to do because I love that horse!!!  What makes it easier is I can see my farrier really likes this horse and is ready to open up the time he needs during this critical period in his life.  My farrier sees lots of horses and is offered many to buy.  He's been looking for several months to find the right one.  He said he knew it was Ricco the first time he saw him.   I thought about what was best for Ricco during the time between his two farrier visits and came to the realization that selling Ricco was a wise decision.  Yesterday was a hard day though.  My husband kept asking me what was I thinking about.  I told him 'my handsome boy' and left it up to him to decide which 'boy' I was thinking of!  LOL! 

I still have 4 horses who need my care, training and attention so I still have plenty on my horse plate.  I had a great time this fall riding and am hoping to do more riding (and less scooping!!) as soon as the weather breaks.  Riding cures much of what ails me.  I am going to enjoy my riding horses and look forward to seeing Ricco blossom into the great horse I know he is destined to be!   Thats the plan!

Ride on!
animal artist
pet portraits


Alli Farkas said…
Hah! I get to post the first comment! I can't imagine how I would cope with having to "give up" a horse--I had a hard enough time with two cats when my (then) husband became allergic to them. At least you made sure their new homes were good ones. Soldier on! The tough stuff makes us stronger (and sometimes gives us more time to do the things that have to be done).
Unknown said…
So sorry that you had to give up Ricco, but also glad that he went to a good home. And he went to someone with whom you are in regular contact, so you will be able to get updates and possibly visits.

Can't wait to see all the new art! Missed you at the gallery this week!
Alli, It IS hard. I cried my heart out but at the same time I am excited for Ricco because I could not of found a better home I don't think. This horse without a doubt was a very special one to me. I got to imprint him and got him off to a great start so now I am passing the baton on to someone who can take Ricco were I could not. My fear would be that I would hang on because the moving on would hurt too much. In a way I had to go thru something similar when my kids went from homeschooling to the school they are at now. There came a point in time when the school could do more and to not have them go was more about me and not them. They went, thrived and are doing things I could not of done myself.
Thanks BZTat. The regular contact was definitely a factor in the farrier's favor. Plus he's a nice guy. I know he is going to have fun with Ricco so I can enjoy vicariously.

This week I painted at home so I didn't have to move wet paintings around. I'll be back at my studio soon-- just needed to be someplace quiet so I could regroup after having kids off school for 1 month and the mini term class I did last week. And the horse stuff of course.
Angela Finney said…
Sue, truly bittersweet. You did good though, congratulations on finding good homes with the added benefit of knowing how they are doing. Life often seems to be about moving on/not what we planned, exactly. I envy that you have after Christmas commission demand, good for you! Thank you for another great heartfelt post.
Thank you for your kind words! I appreciate you following along with me. With my horses at home I find having this outlet to talk about them to be very nice.
Pebble Creek said…
I recently had to sell my horse who I had for eight years. He went to a great home and has a lovely pasture, but you're right, it is such a bittersweet feeling.
Thanks Pebble Creek for reading and understanding.

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