Gratitude for Things We’ve Outgrown

Gratitude for Things We’ve Outgrown

On Tuesday, I cut off all of my hair.

It’s not the first time I’ve sheared myself for summer. Something about the changing of the seasons inspires transformation. The drastic change is freeingphysically and spiritually.

During my ride on Wednesday, I realized that I need to sell my horse.

I’m sick of riding westernsick of performance riding in general. My rides lately have been tinged with bitterness; we spent Monday weaving our way around the course of jumps set up in the outdoor arena while I quietly daydreamed about going over them. Then on Tuesday Ezhno half-heartedly tripped his way over a set of ground rails… and Trainer A finally coaxed me into a bittersweet (but necessary) revelation:

If Ezhno can’t jump, then I need a different horse.

Flashback to the last time I showed over fences, coincidentally on the same day I went to try Ezhno

When I bought Ezhno, I was afraid—but he made me feel safe.

He wasn’t the horse that I was looking for, but he was the right horse. He was the horse that I knew would always keep me safe: the horse that could bring me back after a bad experience in my teen years left me afraid to be in the saddle.

Ezhno has taught me so much.

He’s taught me to only buy the horse that you can ride, because there will always be trials down the road and they’re easier to face with the proper partner.

He’s taught me that a stellar personality can’t beat purpose or conformation; that it’s the horse that chooses the discipline.

He’s taught me that the best thing you can do for a horse is to leave them better than when you found themhappier, healthier, stronger, and more capable.

He’s taught me that sometimes you have to make the conscious decision to let go of the reins, trust, and be brave.

And now he’s going to teach me how to say goodbye.

I’m going to spend the next few months finishing his canter/lope, maybe starting his flying lead changes, and taking him to a couple more shows/trail rides/clinics. Then I’m going to find him another adult amateur or a 4-H kid that will love and appreciate him as much (or even more) than I do.

As for me… well, I’m back to casually looking for one of these:

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