Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Stormy Farewell

Wednesday February 14 2007

This is why I’m not a horse trainer/trader: it’s not because I don’t know what I’m doing; it’s because it’s traumatic just selling my vehicle. My last car I sold I’d had for 13 years, and it was like watching somebody take my favorite cat away when they drove off in it. This truck I’ve had for 10 years, and I’ve really lived in it. And today someone drove it away. I’m going vehicle-less for a while… something I have not done since I’ve had a driver’s license.

If I can get that attached to a hunk of metal, the idea of selling a horse that I’d been training would be unbearable. I’d never sell Stormy.

I’ve sold my truck, stored my goods, taking only 2 bags with me… I’m leaving for places and things unknown. Well, I pretty much always do that, but this time I’m going to work for Steph Teeter and as a photojournalist, the first 3 months of which will be in Malaysia, New Zealand, and Australia. After that… who knows?

Which brings me to Stormy.

I’ve left him for months at a time without seeing him, and it seems to be much more distressing to me than it is to him. Sure, he loves me, and is always happy to see me when I get back, be it 3 weeks or 3 months, but sure, he loves the person who feeds him 3 times a day too. (But he loves me best). Leaving a person is much easier – he can pick up a phone or email. Stormy doesn’t do either.

Now, I really don’t ever say goodbye, I always say See ya later, because you always do. So, today Stormy and I had our See-ya-later ride. And he must have understood, because the ride was AWESOME!

Awesome for Stormy is staying relaxed the whole ride, and if I’m really really lucky, he’s not reluctant to go out (he’d always rather stay home and eat). And today he was not reluctant; and in fact we did some trotting much of the way out. Maybe he finally figured out that if he moves along a little quicker on the way out, we’ll get home quicker, even though we walk all the way back.

We’d trot along, rabbits shooting out from under our feet, then walk along in his big 100-mile walk, trot some more, watch the little birds (white crowned sparrows?) hop from creosote bush to bush. And when we made the turn and headed back home… loose rein, relaxed walk, stop to sniff all the poop piles along the way. He seemed to enjoy the outing.. Dang, I did a great job with this horse calming him down and getting him out on his own. (And last weekend, I rode him out with Gretchen on Buddy, and another horse joined us halfway out there, and he was able to trot along in the small group, and remain calm.) Not to say in certain situations he wouldn’t wig out, but I’ve been able to avoid those situations or present them in a way he can handle them.

I’ll walk him over to his summer pad tomorrow, leave him with many carrots and smooches.
This evening the girls and I got together for a See-ya-later dinner at Jackie’s. Great food, red wine, fresh baked brownies.

Great send-off for a new direction in life…

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