Friday, July 2, 2010

These old bones.

I have written and rewritten this post several times. The words are getting stuck in my throat or I end up writing a novel. Either way it doesn't particularly work.

I'm not really sure how to convey the melancholy that's washed over me this week to a group of readers that largely don't understand - not because you can't, but because it would take the knowledge of pieces of my life I haven't really delved into on my blog dedicated to jewelry.

I will tell you this.

I was 17 and stubborn when I acquired Zeus. I decided that even though I could barely control him he needed to be mine. He was a wary, apprehensive horse with a penchant for being difficult to catch in a field and running off with whomever was on his back. He had deep scars and deeper fears. I saw a broken horse that needed fixing, and thought for sure that I would be the only one capable. He would be mine and I would be his and no one could touch the understanding between us.

It was the stuff of movies and books and fairytales and I took it as a sign that he just happened
to be large and bay and gaited...all things that ended up on my horse buying criteria list somewhere along the way.

I came close to selling him a couple of times in the first few years, but something kept pressing me to forge ahead. I did. And with time, he came around. With time I could get on his back without him immediately trying to run away. With time we were going out on the trails, his forte. He lit up under saddle - he wanted to go, he wanted to ride, and he wanted to explore.

Over the past few years, though it still seemed he had the drive, his body began to feel more stiff. His ribcage wouldn't bend around my leg. He became more difficult to control and evaded my attempts more and more. With age came creaky bones and arthritis.

On Tuesday it came to a head, and although he seems just as mobile as always galloping around the pasture, he told me loud and clear that he was done riding.

I'm heartsick over it. I love that horse more than anything and I feel like there's this huge disconnect if I can't even get on him and casually walk around for 5 minutes.

I've been preparing myself for this for the last 4 years, but it doesn't make the final decision any easier. I thought we'd always be able to go out for a ride around the fields. After the 8 1/2 years I have had him, I feel as though our journey has come to a very significant end. I always thought the day he stopped enjoying rides would be the day he died.

It'll take some time, but I'm sure I'll adapt to our new phase. He's stupidly happy in retirement (or the semi-retirement he's had til now) - eating away and hanging out in a big field. Galloping around when he feels like it. Being spoiled. I suppose at age 25 he's entitled to such things.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jessi
I can understand and feel for you. He will have a good life and 25 doesn't have to be so old. There is a ponny at the stables where I ride that is 36! He just hangs around in the pasture with the big horses and loves it. Thinking of you,

Anonymous said...

Jess....that is so sad, but you really conveyed the feel of it in your blog. You are a great writer. I so enjoy your descriptions of everything! I hope you can adjust to Zeus not being there to ride, but there to impart his wisdom to you in other ways....right? Joanie