There’s a certain amount of relief that comes with making the decision to let go. I felt it back in June when I decided that I should sell Ezhno. Once the emotional exhaustion wore off I realized I wasn’t ready to rush into a sale, but I’ll never forget that initial feeling of coming up for air. I’d finally given myself permission to acknowledge that Ezhno had taken my education as far as he could—and that was okay.
The aftermath of Ezhno’s almost-sale left me in an awkward limbo. I fumbled to try and find a new purpose for Ezhno in my life. Should I keep working on his western? Or maybe we should try some dressage? Some days I was happy to ride him and other days I was frustrated. Our relationship had changed.
Getting a glimpse into what Ezhno’s life would be like if someone were to lease him made me feel better. I liked that he was appreciated and taken care of without me having to micro-manage his day to day life.
When I put Ezhno back into training, I did it with the intention of taking him off of my plate for a month. With Raglan back in working order and my schedule on the verge of hectic (I picked up a side gig to help pay for board—more on that later!), I needed to find a way to keep him busy while freeing up some of my time. But more than that, I wanted to have a chance to really bond with Raglan without having to swallow down feelings of guilt and nostalgia every time I switched back and forth between him and Ez.
I’ve hopped on Ezhno a few times over the past month and it’s been… hard. Every time I tried to ride I wanted him to be stronger, faster, bigger, better, etc. I found myself turning what should have been a good ride into a borderline angry set of trot to lope transition drills. I’d ask him for more effort, deem his attempts “not good enough”, and then feel horrible for being so unhappy with a horse that I owe so much.
Something needed to change, so I took the leap and listed him for lease on Facebook—and there it was again: inhale, exhale, relief. Suddenly we can both breathe again.
Knowing that Ezhno’s training will continue with someone else takes a huge weight off of my shoulders. The day after I posted the ad I went out to the barn, tacked him up western, and was finally able to cavort around the arena with him with a light heart and a grin on my face. It felt so good to finally be able to enjoy my horse again without having to quietly worry about what his future holds.
I can stop trying to do double duty as his trainer and just be his friend/owner instead.
Ezhno’s ad has drummed up a good amount of interest without me really putting much effort in (there’s something to be said for having a horse with unique coloration; as much as people act like it doesn’t, color matters). I’ve got a family coming out to look at him tomorrow (with their trainer in tow, fingers crossed!) and if things don’t work out with them I’ll cross post to Craigslist/DreamHorse.