The end of the ride
Mary Lynne Carpenter’s article “The Next Journey” (True Tale, EQUUS 490) touched my heart because I am right where she is in my lifelong love affair with horses. I have retired my 24-year-old mare, Candy, from riding, and at 72, with no immediate family to look after me if I get hurt, I admit I no longer have the confidence to break in a new trail partner. Candy has a home with me for the rest of her life, and I hope to enjoy her company for many years to come. I’ll miss riding, but I have so many wonderful memories of blissful days on the trails with my beloved horses. I have found peace in the saying, “Don’t be sad it’s over. Be grateful it happened.” Nancy Christie Winston-Salem, North Carolina Next Journey." Mary Thank Lynne Carpenter you for beautifully “The expresses the struggle of facing the end of not only a beloved horse, but also the end of one's horse-keeping life. I, too, am facing the end of my beloved mare's life. She is my last horse at home and likely the last I will own. Like Mary and Bear, we have grown together over time years as we have challenged our skills and worked to build a trusting relationship. Knowing that the end of this delightful journey is near makes every manure-mucking, hoof-picking, fencechecking, bale-opening, treat-giving minute bittersweet.
Carpenter’s final sentence sums it up so well: “Of all the places my horse and I have gone together, this retirement journey might be the one for which I need the most courage.” We’re not sure what life will look like without our horses, but may we rise to meet this challenge, too. Our horse life might just have given us the very skills necessary to meet this unknown. Walk on! Jennifer White Montevideo, Minnesota
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