13 years of Farley
|November 29, 2020||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
Thirteen Thanksgivings and she’s still here and so am I.
That little brown horse is still trucking along and enjoying her retirement. I did get on her a couple months ago because a high schooler that rides at the barn was going to be needing some horses this winter to ride and Farley was offered up. I figured it would be best to see if she was sound of body and mind before releasing the kraken to some poor unsuspecting creature.
And if you are confused, Farley is the kraken.
She gave me an awesome little bareback dressage ride, sound and happy and not too sassy….which is a relief since the last time I rode her 1? 2? years ago we basically had given each other the middle finger and swore never to ride together again. She’s been Fig’s leadline pony ever since.
She just doesn’t want to be ridden on the trails. By me.
I can respect that.
It was our job for so long. She’s like the doctor who sets down the scalpel after 20 or 30 years of faithful community service, and is bit horrified when she’s asked to pick it up again. It’s not that she minds a few wellness visits a year, she just doesn’t want to do another open heart surgery.
Boundaries are important.
She’s not only earned her right to a retirement, she’s earned her right to set some reasonable boundaries.
Thirteen years is a long time, but also a blink of an eye. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been that long, but also everything has changed.
Thirteen years ago…
- I was unmarried without kids. I hadn’t even seriously considered vet school or any kind of graduate skill.
- I had another horse named Minx who was a Standardbred and we were going to grow old together.
- I had never finished any 100 miler. Not on horseback, not on my own two feet, not on a bike.
- This blog didn’t exist. In fact, I knew for a fact I wasn’t a writer. That was my mom and sister – not me.
- Financially things were still really tight, but I made the things work that were important to me, like my horses.
- MerryLegs (Farley’s half sister that I own now) wasn’t born.
- Tess (my Brittany dog who was my companion through vet school) wasn’t even a thought in my mind.
- I owned a cat – my last, since my husband is too allergic to have another once she was gone. To keep us both company I had some of the best rat pets ever.
- I ran road marathons, but through ultras and trail running was too crazy.
- I was a civil war reenactor for horse drawn artillery, and was a member of a period brass band. I had a local Wednesday night fiddle jam I went to most weeks and played fiddle regularly.
- I had very few friends, and almost no social support system. I felt incredibly isolated. I lived by myself in a town that was a couple of hours from family, worked with people that were a generation older than me who were in very different spots in their lives (even though they were very nice and supportive). Even just 13 years ago the world was not quite as connected and it was just harder to find people “like me” to connect with.
- I could see out of both eyes and didn’t have a brain tumor (that I knew of….LOL!)
- I had $9K worth of student loan debt.
Life was good back then, but even though it’s different now, it’s still good.
Today I’m a veterinarian five years out of school, married, and have a five year old daughter. There’s room in the budget for things other than just bare necessities, and I’ve started to give back to the community and help others, just as I was helped. Minx is long dead of colic, and instead of $9k in student loans, I have $195k to go (and yeah, that’s a lot less than it was five years ago!).
I ride a lot less, but I’ve made my peace with that. MerryLegs and Farley make a great team and it makes me so happy that they get to live together and they are both horses I can hop on after a very long time and be able to pick up exactly where we left off (and most of the time, it’s even a little better and small resentments have been forgiven).
For some reason I never thought Farley would make it past 20 (her sire died at 20). She’ll be 22 years old in a couple of months. Every year feels like bonus time right now.
Of course, the old nag is probably going to hang on for another 13 years and suck every single year she can out of her cushy retired life. I’m a sucker for doing right by the old faithful horses and she knows it. 😂.
Happy gotcha anniversary piglet, I love you to the moon and back.