When you own animals you go into it knowing that they won’t be with you for the rest of your life. That being said, it’s still a shock to your heart when that time comes to say goodbye.

As a fellow horse owner, having a horse is one of the most amazing experiences you can have. No matter how old you are when a horse comes into your life or you might come into theirs, it will be unforgettable. Some of us were lucky enough to have our first horse when we were a young child. If you were one of those lucky one’s you might remember those long hot summer days laying on your horse bareback. Your chest is resting against the curve of their back, your head laying on her rump and your cheek pressed against her hip while your arms are dangling down at your horses’ sides. A perfect pillow, a bit hairy but otherwise perfect! Those were some of the best naps ever! You never fall off because she re-angles her hips to correct your ever increasing shift of weight. Your horse has now become the baby sitter.

Some of the best picnics have been with my horse. After riding on a hot summer day it was always wonderful to come home to a freshly made PB & J on white bread and an ample serving of Cheetos and share it with my horse! The best part of eating with your horse was to blow softly in their nose so they could smell your peanut butter breath. It was almost clockwork, you blow gently in your horses’ nose and they would stretch their neck raising their head high in the air and lifting their upper lip showing their teeth! It made them look like they were smiling!

As a teenager you want to ride fast! Everywhere you go it has to be at a run! When you get home from school, your horse is waiting at the fence looking for you even sometimes neighing at you! It’s time to go ride and race through the pastures!  The bond between a teen and their horse is something that is hard to describe. You just want to be out in the corral brushing them, braiding their mane and tail. Your horse loves being brushed, she leans into you with every stroke sometimes she’ll turn her head and nuzzle your arm. Your horse is your confidant in your teenage years. You can share anything with them and they aren’t going to judge you or tell on you if are making poor choices. They are your best friend. You need them as much as they need you.

You don’t realize it but time has gone by. All the sudden you notice the white hair showing up in your horses’ face. She’s not moving as fast as she used to and your conversations have changed from sharing your teenage secrets to sharing your dreams and accomplishments. She just rests her head on your shoulder while you stroke her neck and rub the tips of her ears or just gently rub her velvety soft muzzle. She listens intently while loving every minute you spend time with her.

Soon you are checking on her at night when the weather is bad or really cold out. You are now the babysitter, watching, caring, preparing for her every need. You begin to realize your best friend is now nearing the end of her life and you need to prepare yourself to let her go.

Quality of life not quantity is so important to keep in mind when you are an animal owner. You don’t want them to be in pain or so stoned on medication that they don’t know where they are. This is when owning animals becomes such an incredible responsibility. You love them unconditionally but you have to be able to let them go when it is time. They will always remain in your heart and in your dreams.

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