What are you thankful for this year? That’s the question we asked EN readers for the 2018 Thanksgiving Challenge from World Equestrian Brands, and your responses were numerous and heartfelt. Over the holiday weekend, we are honored to share your special stories.
I’m thankful for twenty two years … and still counting.
It is your typical love story: he was a deep red 6-year-old OTTB that the kids at the barn were a little scared of. I was just out of college, about to start grad school, had no money, and would ride anything anyone would let me. When I finished school I took over ownership.
I had previously done equitation and hunters but the spring in his step was not going to fit that type of round. So we played around for long while until we found eventing. At home I could get some decent flat work, but no matter how many field trips we took I could never settle him down off-site for a pretty dressage test. I tried to convince him it was not a timed event, but he figured that if the other two phases were; than this one must be as well. But that was OK; I knew he would bring me home safe from cross country. By then I had a full time job, a husband, and a kid so that was more important.
He is my best friend and closest confidant. I can’t even count the number of hours we have spent together; the good, not so good, and everything in-between. The past two years I’ve been lucky enough to have my daughter on her pony next to me a lot of that time.
I’m thankful for twenty two years … and still counting but slowing down.
28 is tough when you’ve always played in the pasture and been ridden your entire life. Arthritis, deteriorating teeth, and Cushing’s don’t help. This summer we rode a couple times a week. But when were stuck in the indoor it is more difficult. It isn’t large and that makes for a lot of corners. His balance isn’t as good. He trips. But he’s stuck with me and we will still spend time together. He seems to be OK with a good brushing, treats, and then going back out to play.
At some point our time together will end. I know that. I will pretend to be strong and, if need be, make the tough but compassionate decision. It will crush me. But I will be thankful for all those years.