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….


Fantastyk Voyager said...

I understand your grief. I cried for months when my Beighley, Scout's mother, died. It will get better eventually and you will cherish the memories.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I understand your grief. I cried for months when my Beighley, Scout's mother, died. It will get better eventually and you will cherish the memories.

Grey Horse Matters said...

It will take as much time as it takes for you to stop actively grieving for Buckshot. He meant so much to you and was your partner for five years. The happy memories of the time you spent together will always be with you and eventually help you to love another.

I'm happy to hear that you are still riding. I rode English Equitation classes for years and loved it. Also did the hunters. And look at you starting to jump! How much fun is that. I miss jumping at times and wish I had a horse capable of doing some courses. Maybe Blue...someday. We will see.

Buckshot taught you so much and you are honoring his memory by continuing to ride and interact positively in your new riding endeavors. Good luck Jan.

Anonymous said...

It is very hard to lose a good horse. I understand - I lost my wonderful mare Promise in 2001, after having owner her for only a year - she fractured a leg in turnout. It was very hard to move on and ride other horses - but being with horses, and working with them, is so important - Buckshot gave you that and it's wonderful to see that you're honoring his memory by working on your riding.

Hope to hear more from you soon.

Wolfie said...

So nice to hear from you. Buckshot was your heart horse, no doubt. And it will take a while before the sadness is replaced with happy memories. He gave you so much and I have to wonder that if you hadn't had Buckshot in your life, would you be taking hunter/jumper lessons now? :-) He's never far because he's in your heart, right?

Carol said...

So good to hear from you. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I think you're smart to give yourself time to get over this loss.
Also, I'm so impressed that you're starting to jump. You inspire me! I think I want to do that too.

juliette said...

Oh Jan, it is good to hear from you. I am still thinking healing thoughts for you and I am happy to hear how you are honoring and remembering your special Buckshot. One of a kind horses are always on our minds. He and his memories will be with you everyday.

It is good to keep riding as you are ready and how fun that you have moved to a new location and are riding in a new style for you. That surely will help with the healing. Just the sweet breath from horsey nostrils can help us heal.

It is smart to go slow and take your time. Good luck - we are all pulling for you here!

Anonymous said...

Jan, I was just thinking about you this past week and so went to catch up on your blog and was so sorry to hear about Buckshot. I loved riding him the few times that I did and you were so perfect for each other. I hope it gets easier each day. I let Jan C. and Rick know today when I was at the barn and they send their condolences too. -Christie P.

Once Upon an Equine said...

I'm sorry about Buckshot. It is nice that you have found a new barn so you can continue riding and meet good people and good horses. Sounds like a great barn.

By Way of Salem said...

Hi, I came upon your blog from another horse blog I follow. I lost my girl in 2009 - several months after I had an injury on her and I never got to ride her again. Long story, but I still miss her and can barely think of her because I just lose it. You're not alone and you don't need to stop grieving. For me, a psychologist told me that I should get another horse like her, same breed, color, etc. who "needs" me so that I can nurture her and in turn, she will nurture me. It's never easy to get over your trusted partner. Riding is a good thing though. Take care! Jeannine

Momof3 said...

Hi Jan. Thought you would want to know that Ava passed away in her sleep Sunday evening/Monday morning. She had a month of unexplained weight loss where Clarke tried everything from worming to senior feed, etc. before ordering a blood test. The test showed liver failure. She lived another month comfortably and never lost her voracious appetite. She didn't suffer. She was only 16 so that was hard but there is nothing one can do about genetics. Liver disease often doesn't display symptoms until 80% of the liver function is gone. I will miss her but still plan on riding with Jan C. One of my friends at the barn has a new horse Twizzler or is a 4-year old thoroughbred that she is anxious for me to also ride. Clarke said he has an excellent "free" horse for me from a friend but I think I am done with horse ownership for a while. Have three boys to put through college!

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