Friday, April 20, 2012

My Little Big Man.

I received an email today from my old polo boss. There were no details in it, just asking for me to call him back when I had time.

...I'm just staring at the email. Over and over again.

I have a feeling I know what it's about. A deep, sinking feeling.

You see, I fell in love with one of his geldings back when I was grooming and riding polo ponies for him.

A little nondescript bay.

Known as "Hobo". Ran as "My Little Big Man"

Who probably is about 17 or 18 years old now. And ready to retire from the polo scene. You know...this season.

I can't say for sure that's what this is about, but I have a pretty good feeling. A very good feeling.

And I actually feel a little nauseous.

For starters, my history here is not good. He can literally convince me to do just about anything. Seriously. He's one of those people who's so skilled at circular conversations that you find yourself agreeing just to get out of it. And wind up stuck in the middle.

Then there's the fact, that I'm at a terrible cross-roads.

I'm not ready to keep horses at home. I can't. It will be a year or more before I can. And when I do, I'm pretty sure my first choice wasn't going to be a senior OTTB that's run polo hard and fast for the last 15 or so years.

I really can't afford board on two horses. I could, but I'm not willing to give up Moon's quality of board, my opportunity to show this summer, nor the work I want to do on our land. I won't. Not for any horse.

I don't have the time to ride two horses properly, regularly. So someone would be left out. I CAN NOT have that be Moon. I can't. I won't. He's my heart horse. Hobo might be a wonderful lover of my past, but I can't neglect the wonderful one I have RIGHT NOW.

But I know, I really truly know, that Hobo is a wonderful horse. A sweet and kind and gentle horse. The perfect packer. With tons of energy. Probably in really good shape too, since he was still running polo last year. When I used to ride him, I swore that someday, when he retired, I'd want to buy him. He'd be my first horse. The love of my life. My trusty steed. And now, that chance has come. And he still has lots of life left in him, just ready for a new career.

Only, I don't think that new career should be with me anymore.

I desperately want to call to find out if this is why he's calling...but desperately don't want to call so I can avoid being put in a place where I have to decide the fate of a dear and special horse to me.

If he goes to a bad home, I'll feel responsible.

But I kinda don't want to be that good home either. I'm not ready. I have my heart horse. I moved on. I fell in love again.

The truth is, I'm not responsible for providing homes for horses of people who use them till they're all used up and then want to pass them along. I'm not. I can't be. If I were, I'd have a pasture full of half-broken down horses, munching hay, getting fat and not being ridden.

But I'm still human. I'm still horse-obsessed. I'm still forever thinking of that nondescript bay that took me from lesson barn student to real rider. Who I learned to love the movement of a good gallop, the value of hard work and most importantly, the truth that there ARE heart horses out there.

I hope, nay, I pray, that wherever he goes, he finds happiness. And I hope that his owner believes he owes him that much, and even with my "no", still works hard at finding him the right forever home.

Because they all deserve at least that much. They all do. And I? I already made that promise to my Moon. And I'm not gonna let him down.

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