How to Move on From a Horse
The hardest thing an equestrian will ever experience is losing a horse – whether having to sell your horse or saying goodbye through unfortunate circumstances. Woefully, horse owners will have to go through this at one point or another. In this post, I’ll be talking about how to move on from a horse.
At 13 years old, I begged my parents to buy me a horse (I had been asking for quite a few years but got more persistent with age haha). When they finally agreed, I started the search. After a few months of trial and error, I came across the most beautiful paint on craigslist. That horse would go on to endure my crazy, YouTube shenanigans for the next couple of years.
Unfortunately, Legend was diagnosed with a disease called EPM in 2018 and I could no longer ride him. Heartbroken, I decided to keep him and just work on Liberty. I went on to buy a second horse (my current horse, Theo), and a year after Legends diagnosis, I made the harsh decision to sell him as a companion horse to a large farm.
I had a hard time bonding with Theo as I felt guilty for “replacing” Legend – at least that’s what everyone had told me I had done. It took me another year to feel at peace with my decisions; however, it cost me stepping back from Social Media and moving barns entirely.
In this great time of constant prayers, I lost a lot of joy; who knew one horse could have such an astonishing impact on my happiness and livelihood?
It’s been a few years now, and though I sometimes reminiscence on the “good ol’ days”, I no longer carry those regrets. Here’s how to move on from a horse.
Give yourself time to mourn
This is the step that’s going to hurt the most. You recently parted ways with your horse and now feel like you’ll never love any horse ever again. Now it’s time to embrace your sadness and that’s okay.
Set aside time in the day to mourn the loss and reminiscence on the happy times. Trying to suppress your emotions won’t make them go away, instead, they’ll patiently wait until you can no longer hold it in. I always felt better after a good cry – it is sad, after all.
Time is the best medicine.
Make something to remember your horse
Something I’m incredibly grateful for? Our YouTube Channel. Being able to go back and watch all of our adventures is so special to me. Instead of slowly forgetting all of our memories, I’m able to view them over and over again.
Whether you have a lot of videos, photos, or souvenirs, put them all in one place so you can go back and look at them when you find yourself missing your horse. This will help turn your misery into thankfulness… thankfulness that you got to spend all of that time together.
A change of scenery
As I stated before, I did eventually move on; however, at the cost of changing barns. Legend and I made many special memories at my first barn… so much so, that the sun didn’t shine down on the arena the same way, or instead of the rain bringing laughter, it just felt cold and brittle.
This wasn’t a result of loving Theo less, instead, I couldn’t let go of my baggage and regrets while stepping into the same aisle that brought the disheartening news. So to stop reminding myself that things should’ve been different, I stepped away from the situation altogether.
At the new barn, I started to feel like an equestrian again, like Theo was finally my horse.
If it’s a possibility for you too, I recommend changing your point of view, to truly move on from your horse.
Learn to love your new horse
I believe you’ll meet more than one heart horse in your lifetime. Most equestrians say their first horse was their heart horse, but this is just because there’s something special about your first horse… a start to new adventures!
A lot of people in my life – YouTube subscribers and ‘friends’ – made me feel really bad about buying Theo. They said he was just a replacement, that he would never live up to Legend, or that he was too much horse for me. This hurt me in many ways and gave me a lot of anxiety when handling Theo.
Despite me literally having a broken shoulder, I could handle him just fine but would freeze up for the farrier or when people would watch me work with my new horse. I was scared that they were judging me or thinking that I was way over my head.
Between the guilt I felt over Legend, and my anxiety caused by other people’s harsh words, I struggled to grow a bond with Theo.
Want to move on from a horse? You need to fill that void with an overflowing love towards your new horse. Yes, you made many fantastic memories with your previous horse, but your horse NOW is waiting on you to make memories with him.
You DO get to LOVE your new horse and you DON’T have to feel guilty about it.
Want to know my biggest regret of all? Spending so much time pondering the past when I could’ve been focusing on my future with my horse.
Be grateful for those good ol’ days
I promise that you have a bright, bright future ahead of you. While it’s okay to mourn for a little bit, don’t neglect the days that are coming. Being an equestrian is incredible really, seeing that you get to form connections with thousand-pound animals ; )
So go forth and exclaim: “What a life!” and be thankful for those good ol’ days.
Tell me, have you ever had to part ways with your horse? If so, how did you move on or are you still moving on?
All the best,
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