Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ~ Thomas Merton

Monday, August 29, 2011

And Then Again, Maybe Not

Well as it often happens, the best laid plans have gone astray.  But it's all good.

I've decided not to move Cricket.  I don't know who's more relieved - me, the barn owners or all the other folks who come to the barn.

I've worked out an arrangement where Cricket will have 24/7 pasture access and I will be able to offer free access to hay in a slow-feed environment. This set-up will be shared with another boarder - a sweet, goofy gelding named Dillon.  Dillon's owner is 100% on board with this and I think it is going to work out just fine.

It's funny how things just seem to be working all towards the good lately.  The stress and the anxiety seems to be melting away and I see the sunshine more and more these days.

Cricket is still lethargic and I think it's going to take some time to work out the anemia issue.  Fixing her forage will be a major first step and then we can go from there.

This will be a fun adventure and I'm still looking it as a learning opportunity to begin taking ownership for the care and stewardship of my horse in preparation for the day I bring her to my own farm.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Taking the Next Step

The decision was made to let go of Bleu.  She will be leaving on Tuesday to return to Mobile this coming weekend.  One difficult choice made.

Now onto the next steps.

I've decided to move Cricket from her current facility.

This is another one of those choices that was easier to make than to execute.  I've been at my current boarding barn for five years.  The owners are good friends.  They have been there when I needed them and gone out of their way to accommodate me.

I have come to believe that a dry lot situation is not in the best interest of the overall health of my horse.  My current boarding facility uses dry lots during the day with turnout at night.  It is unreasonable to even ask for the entire operation to be turned upside down at the whim and request of one boarder.

I am going to find a a pasture board situation where I can create an environment that balances Cricket as an easy keeper with her need for constant access to forage.  I've been researching paddock paradise and slow-feeding and I think it's the way to go, especially for Cricket.  It may be a lot of work at first but I feel the health benefits will far outweigh the effort.

I'm also looking at this as an opportunity to develop my skills at managing Cricket for the day I move her to my own place.  It will be like having training wheels!

I am nervous and excited.  I am fortunate that my barn owner is trying to understand and has told me I'm always welcome to come back.  I know I have a safety net and I'm forever grateful for all they have done for me.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Making Decisions

I have made the incredibly difficult decision to send Bleu back to her guardian.

I am so fortunate to have had her in my life.  She is an amazing mare and she deserves more than I can give her at this time in my life.

It's hard to put into words what I'm thinking and feeling right now.  The past several months have been unbelievably stressful for a variety of reasons.  In trying to keep all the plates spinning, I'm running myself into the ground.  The time has come to make some difficult choices.

In her short time with me, Bleu taught me so much.  She helped me see that being a leader is far more effective than trying to be a leader.  She taught me to see myself more clearly, both my strengths and weaknesses.  She graced me with her gentle spirit and her sweet kindness.

Though this ends in a way I never imagined, I am forever grateful she came into my life.  Every aspect of my life has been affected by her and I thank her for the gifts she gave me.

I thank God she has a soft place to land and I hope, with all my heart, she finds the place she belongs.  She deserves it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What Would Happen If?

What would happen to your horses (or other pets) if something happened to you?

Do you have a plan or are you hoping the good will of your family will suffice?

This has been bothering me for several days, ever since I engaged in a small discussion following a status post on Facebook.  The comment thread took the general tone that it is up to the surviving members of the family to ensure the safety of surviving pets.

I just don't agree.

What would you think of parents who failed to name suitable guardians for their children, choosing to rely, instead, on the surviving family to decide what was best?

For my horses, I choose to be more proactive.  I choose to make sure they have a soft place to land, no matter what.  I am fortunate that Bleu, through her original owner, already has that safety net.  I owe it to Cricket to give her the same.

I have mapped out several options for Cricket should something happen to me.  I have a good friend and Parelli Professional who has agreed to take her.  As a last resort, she has a place with an amazing equine sanctuary where she can live out the rest of her life, in peace, just being a horse.

Not only have I planned where she will go, I'm working on providing for her care as well.  Partly because she's a bit of a special case and partly because it will ensure she receives the care she needs, she has an inheritance, so to speak.  At present, it's simply a bequest in my will.  As soon as I can get the details worked out, I will set up a pet trust.  For some basic information on Pet Trusts, including states with currently enacted Pet Trust laws, and alternative options, check out the Pet Trust Primer from the ASPCA.

This is not a commitment I made for my lifetime but rather one I made for the lifetime of my horses.

Many have forgotten this truth, but you must never forget it.
You become responsible forever for what you have tamed.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery