Saturday, July 13, 2013

Update Since Buckshot's Passing

It’s now been six months since Buckshot’s passing, and I still miss him terribly. The first few months were a blur of tears, sadness, disbelief at losing my riding partner, friend, light of my life, Buckshot. I printed out many photographs of him and put several in frames around my house. I created a thick scrap book of many of his photos as well. Sometimes I just look through them and remember what a wonderful horse he was. I looked on the internet for help about losing a horse and found some comforting poems that I printed out and read occasionally. I think he is in heaven with my mom (who passed away fifteen years ago) and a sister I lost last year. I love the poem about the Rainbow Bridge and envision he is there as well. Sometimes I look at the sky and know he is up there, cantering around happily.

I kept going out to the farm he lived at, on Saturdays, with my other sister. And after a few weeks I rode a school horse, but after just a few minutes, my tears started and I got off of him. I waited a few more weeks and was able to ride a school horse and do okay. I brought all of Buckshot’s tack and gear and tools home – that was a sad thing for me to do but I had to do it. Now my second bedroom looks like a tack room . I know that I am still grieving him and so don’t want to look for another horse yet. At some point, I’ll know when I ready to do that, and I think I will. Loving Buckshot, looking after him, fussing over him, the absolutely wonderful bond and relationship that we had, and how wonderful it was to ride him, was a gift and treasure to me. And maybe I’ll have something akin to it again with another horse. I really loved him and I loved that he was my horse. And he was such a treasure to me. I valued my time with him so much.

I have kept riding horses since his passing. For a few months, as I mentioned above, I rode school horses at the farm I boarded Buckshot at. But I knew that I wanted to go somewhere else. Partly due to my memories of him there, it was never the same there after he died. So I found a new riding stable much closer to my home, where I have riding lessons now. They have a lot of good school horses, and have adult riding classes, and they offer leasing and boarding, in case I want to do that in the future. They teach hunter jumper, which means I have transitioned from riding western to riding English. I have an English saddle that I bought years ago when I first got Buckshot. So I dusted off this saddle and took it with me to the new stables. I have gotten breeches, and paddock boots again, and also some bicycle shorts I wear under my breeches to pad that area (a great idea that has helped me a lot). The other students are very nice, the instructors are very nice, and I am relearning English equitation and have even learned to do some beginner jumps! Imagine, me, at 57 years, I have now jumped horses!

I think Buckshot would be proud of me! And he taught me a lot, so it is an extension of his training. He taught me a lot- how to trust your horse, and because of that, to have self confidence, how to treat your horse with gratitude and dignity and attention, and if you’re lucky, your horse will respond to you. I think that in the months to come, I will realize even more about what Buckshot taught me while we had our five years together. But it is taking me a while. I’m not hurrying myself, or trying to “get over it” or “move on with things” because I realized shortly after Buckshot died how huge a loss it was for me. So I have been moving slowly, enduring the sadnesses along the way. And remembering what a sweet, wonderful horse he was (and is, in the heavenly pastures). And I am also growing a little bit, learning English riding, and getting to know some very nice new people and horses. I’ll try to write more on my blog going forward. But for now, thanks for listening….