It's been over six months since I sent Penny, the first palomino I ever owned, my "dream horse," to her new home in another state. She'd injured her suspensory to the point that she'd never be rideable, even for trail rides. And I wasn't about to breed her. The days of raising foals was over for me. But because of her bloodlines and her fantastic, metallic golden color, she was highly desirable to breeders of working cow horses and reiners. Once I got her pasture sound it wasn't hard to find her a good home. In fact, I got to select just where she'd go, and she ended up at a wonderful ranch where she's well fed, valued and gets to roam a large grass pasture. And she's already in-foal. She looks happy. But I still miss her.
Even though I have two beautiful horses that are sound, safe and fun to ride on the trails, I still get nostalgic thinking about Penny. I know she's often on my mind because every now and then, when I go to halter or bridle my current palomino mare, Lexi, I accidentally call her, "Penny."
This whole issue comes up because I wandered over to the website of the breeder who owns Penny now and there she is, a lovely photo of her on the page devoted to the ranch's broodmares. I admit it. I got teary-eyed.
So, how long do you stay in love with a horse? What is it that makes us hold on to the depth of emotion that bonded us to a particular equine? Why is it so hard to let go, to embrace the new horse, to wistfully say, "Ah, that mare (or gelding or stallion) was a grand animal, one I'm thankful that I was blessed with," and then move on?
I have photos of Penny. I have memories. But I guess I'll also always have a soft, empty spot in my heart for a horse I'll never stop loving.
If you have a special horse you'd like to tell me about, just click on the word "comments" below or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org