goodbye my friend




i recently said farewell to a beautiful horse.  he didn't die, he just went to live elsewhere. it was an incredibly bittersweet goodbye. Stetson was, if nothing else, drop dead gorgeous. sometimes we called him Ken, because he looked like Barbie, only he was a boy.  long blonde mane, big bold shoulders, head held high...the boss man.  literally. he bossed everyone around, including me.  he never hurt me or did anything terribly terrible {ie; bolt, rear or buck}, but he definitely knew how to get my goat and could easily take advantage of his {less than} fearless leader...that would be me.

he always seemed to have a bit of a stud-complex, and, come to find out, he was gelded {cut, fixed, stripped of his manhood etc} later than i had originally thought.  that would explain it.  but he could also be sweet and calm and a pleasure to ride.  my daughter and i would often lay across him bareback, run and jump on his back while he grazed, or just sit on the ground near him while he nibbled the grass around us.

Stetson was the clear, no-doubt-about-it leader of the herd.  one, almost imperceptible, look and the other horses moved out of the way.  he actually made feeding our oldest horse, Buddy (20+ years) rather difficult as Buddy was as fearful as Stetson was fearless.

in spite of my love for him, i realized that it was time for Stetson to move on this past summer. or more accurately, move back.  i was able to contact his previous owner, who it turned out, had agonized over the sale of him.  the timing was right, for all of us. and Stetson returned 'home'.

i think my difficulty in letting him go was due to the fact that i felt like i'd failed. i didn't accomplish all that i'd set out to with him.  there were definitely times where i had let fear get the better of me and i'd let him 'win'.  and yet, i'm also fully aware of the fears i did overcome, the victory's i did win thanks to his patience  and my persistence.  i'm grateful to have been given the gift of 4 1/2 years with Stetson.  i grew as a rider and as a person because of him.
...there are still moments when i think i catch glimpses of that beautiful blonde mane through the trees.