Sunday, October 11, 2015

One Last Ride

When do you know it's time? When do you know you're satisfied when you know it's your last time experiencing this moment? When do you tell yourself that you have to stop? When do you know you're ready to say 'see you later?' 

You don't. At least that's the conclusion I've come to. You just don't know, you just do it. Because not doing it is just delaying the inevitable. So you savor every single milisecond of that moment. You soak it all into every fiber of your being. You put a permanent hold on that smell, that feel, that sound so you'll never, ever forget it.

Never have I ever had a ride so full of tears. So flooded with emotions and memories. Never have I ever watched the last 26 years flash before my eyes while the wind blew through my hair and the warmth of my gelding radiated around me. Never has one moment been so full of love, memories, smiles, laughter, sadness. Never has my face been so drenched in tears but my heart full of so much promise, hope and clarity. Never have I ever been on a roller coaster quite this thrilling and scary.

For old times sake, I took one last ride on my partner for the last 26 years. One last time around the pasture just like as a kid. One last time as just him and I, the wind, the birds, the quiet of nature. Lost in our thoughts, his breath, his warmth and his smell. One last look between those big, fuzzy ears to see the world from a different angle. One last hoo-rah before his new journey begins and ours ends.

Growing up I was always the "crazy horse girl" the "horse lover..." I wrote "I love (heart) horses" on every assignment in school. My friend, Amber, and I pretended we were horses galloping around the school yard during recess. On the weekends, I was off to my grandma's. Some weekends we had horse shows, so I was out of school on Friday's... other weekends, as soon as I arrived at the farm, I jumped on my gelding bareback and we rode around his private pasture until sundown. I still remember the sound of my grandma's voice from the living room window "Brandyyyyyy! It's after dark, you need to come inside now!" But I always rode around just a few more times, pushing the limits, until I knew it was time. 

There were even times, during crazy thunderstorms, I would run outside as fast as I could, heart thumping in fear of the lightning, just to pull Flame inside, safe, out of the storm. He always gave me a look of disappointment and annoyance, as if to say "come on now, it's just a little lightning!" But I would be lost without him. I would cry at night at the thought of not having Flame, even as a small child. I was scared to lose him, scared of what it would be like to love another horse. Flame was all I knew. 

Fast forward and here we are. 26, nearly 27, years later and the closing of a chapter. Feeling his breath on my skin, his muzzle pressing me forward, his warmth beneath me as we soar, my hair trailing behind me in the wind with tears stinging my eyes. As we come to a stop, I know it's time. I'm ready. I've filled my cup, I've raced through the memories, I've set in stone the familiarity of his movement. I'm OK. I'll be OK without him. He will go on to do amazing things and live out the rest of his life in blissful harmony, it just won't be with me.

So my ole guy went to his new, forever home on Wednesday October 7. I'm still feeling an array of emotions but I know in my  heart that it was the right decision. He is going to make his new little girl very happy. He is going to be so loved and so spoiled! I'm very excited to follow his journey from here on out!

I need to take a moment to thank everyone who has been there for me with words of support and wisdom through this process. I know it's not over as I still have one horse with an undetermined future... but those of you who have cared enough to reach out and virtually hug me through these difficult decision deserve a gold medal. I'm so lucky to have such an amazing Horse Show Family!

Until next time, friends

Friday, October 2, 2015

Closing Chapters to Begin New

I've deleted this post to start over several times now... I just don't know where to begin. I've neglected my blog for a very long time and I'm resolving to change that. I've had a lot on my mind and I know writing it out will help me further process everything and find 100% clarity.

Sometimes we find ourselves at a fork in the road. You can go to the left which leads you down a scary path you're not quite sure you're ready to endure... To the right, it's full of familiarity, safety, no pain or heartache... But, if you go down that path, you're also "stuck" in your present and not able to focus on your dreams for the future.

Folks. I'm there. Actually, I've been here, stuck at this fork in the road, for over two years.

How do you admit to yourself that your passion for something is dying? You love it. You care for it. You enjoy it... but your intense passion is dying. How do you admit it? How do you face it? How do you put your feelings aside to do what is best for everyone around you, including said "thing" when it's breaking your heart into a million pieces and making you want to turn the other way and run, as fast you possibly can, away, screaming? How?

I'm so thankful for my Horse Community... they get it. I've been so fortunate and so privileged to be apart of this amazing community for nearly 27 years. I have watched friends sell their horses to look towards their future with starting college or starting a family. I have watched friends mourn the loss of their horse due to a magnitude of unthinkable's. I have watched friends triumph as the "under dogs." I have watched friends celebrate their championships and gracefully bow down to their disappointments.

I, too, have been on all sides of that spectrum; except for one. The side where you sell your horse to look towards your future.

For over two years I have gone back and forth on this decision... always returning to the same conclusion. I burst into tears every time, but it's finally time to face the music. My heart is in the show ring. My passion is there. My horses have a love for it too that you can clearly see... They're not as happy when they're not doing their job. As much as I miss the showing, with 3 kids, my life is in a much different place. Either the time isn't there or the money isn't there... But recently, I've also found the passion isn't there like it used to be and that, my friends, is a very hard chunk to swallow.

We have future goals and no matter which angle I look at it, the horses aren't fitting in anymore. Admitting this to myself was hard... but admitting this to the public? Even harder. We desire at least one more child, if not more. I have finally, at the age of nearly 27, have realized what I want to do and what I'm meant to do "when I grow up." My passion is in the Birth Community... Pregnancy, Birthing, Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Car Seat Safety. That's where my heart soars. Empowering women to birth the way they desire. Inspiring women to tough it out on the worst days while breastfeeding. Educating parents how to install and use their car seats properly.

That's where that passion is buried... Right there. I get all "school girl" giddy when I talk about it.

As exciting as our future is, selling our first home and purchasing a new one, starting the process to become a Birth and Post-Partum Doula, the desire to become an Independent Lactation Consultant, the passion to begin using my CPST certification to the fullest by hosting community events... It's exciting. Scary at times... but so exciting to *finally* feel like I've stumbled upon what God meant for my life.


But, in the same breath; it's sad. It's heart wrenching. It's tear-inducing. My horses need to go on and do great things, but it won't be with me. They deserve much more than I can give right now. They deserve to be loved on more than they can handle. They deserve to go and do great things and take someone far. Help someone learn and grow in their skills. They deserve focus and passion. I just can't give that any longer... and that, again, is so hard to admit.

Our family deserves a guilt-free momma who can focus on the daily task of being the best mom she can, the best wife she can. Our family deserves a home in which we can flourish and not be contained in 2 bedrooms. Our family deserves a momma who can focus on her goals and new-found passion in life...

I just can't do it all. As much as I wish I could, I just can't. I want to be the person who can succeed in everything... but there is just not enough *me* for it all. I've been forcing it for so many years and that is selfish of me. It's time to give everyone what they deserve, so the conclusion I've come back to time and time and... time again, is to sell the horses and walk down that path to the left.

Losing the only non-mom identity you have left is scary, ya'll... Who will I be without the horses? Horses have been a part of every fiber of my being for nearly 27 years. There has not been a single day lived where I didn't have a horse. My boys are everything to me. Seeing them everyday makes my heart flutter. Riding gives me so much joy. But the harsh reality is... They just aren't fitting into our future.

So my boys are up for sale. We are in the process of buying our dream home and our first home just went on the market. Two years ago we tried this whole selling thing but it wasn't time. It wasn't meant to be... This time, we're sure. We've never been so sure in our lives that this is the way it's supposed to be. We are meant to live in that house. We are meant to close some chapters to start new ones... I'm excited to watch my boys go on and make their new owners very happy. I'm excited to watch them succeed, teach, learn new things themselves, and be loved on until they want to hide off in the corner of the pasture!

I'm excited for what our future holds. It's bright and full of so much happiness and new experiences.

So here's to the future.

I will update more on everything else, for now I'm at my emotional limit.



Until next time, friends