A HorseWoman Horseless…

It’s been 3 years that I’ve been without a horse. I had my previous pony for 15 years. It’s killed me. It’s been the hardest 3 years of my life, and that’s saying something, considering I had suicidal thoughts at 14.

I struggled with my identity a LOT. I didn’t feel that I was worthy enough to call myself a “horsewoman” anymore. I tried riding my trainer’s horses, my friends’ horses and it wasn’t the same. Not until I rode my friend’s Gypsy Vanner over a year ago. It was like sitting on my stocky little mare again. It felt familiar, and the gelding was energetic and ready to go, but gentle…just like my girl.

I’ve only ridden a handful of times since then, and I shut the “horse” part of myself down. My husband and I got married last year, and we agreed on our goals as soon as we got together: get a house with a property, get a barn up with fencing. He knew what he was marrying into, and knew that this is what I needed.

We have the house, we have the property, we have the barn. He’s currently building my stalls. My tack room is a bit dingy but still beautiful (any tips on keep spider away?). We have our fencing scheduled to go up at the end of October, and I purchased a Gypsy Vanner colt in eutero from my friend. He was born last May, and he’s beautiful. I’m a horse mom again, but I am still just…wanting to tear my skin off, bit by bit. I want to ride. I want to have morning chores. I want to have something to LIVE for again, to look forward to. I want to have purpose again, and I want to sit in my saddle.

We have to take out a loan for our fence, so my husband and I agreed that we would take out extra for a riding horse for me, which will also act as a buddy for our foal. I just have to keep waiting, keep being patient. I go through waves of being so utterly excited to just…bitter. Backstory: after I lost my heartpony, I sunk into the deepest depression I have ever been in, in my entire life. For two years. I felt nothing. I hardly remember anything from those two years except what relates to my wedding. I was a zombie. My friends got me so, so drunk during my bachelorette party and by the time I got home, I had a 3 hour meltdown where I just sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. My husband thought he was going to have to take me to the ER. After that, I got help and went on antidepressants and a therapist. Right now, I’m doubled up on my meds and I’m actually really feeling things for the first time in those 3 years. And all I want to do is ride. It hurts so much, right in my chest, to not have those daily barn visits, to not have a muzzle to kiss, to not have my pony to jump on bareback in a skirt from work and just ride around.

I know its only months away. I know that. But my soul hurts and I just want to tear at my skin and peel it back to expose how much hurts just sits there, every single day that I go without a horse. Because I honestly don’t think anyone really understands. I was meant to be in the saddle, as many days that my life will allow, and then some more. Going without that is pure torture.

3 years

The death anniversary of my heartpony is just around the corner. It’s been 3 years, and I still can’t believe she’s gone. I still can’t believe that this is my life…without her. I grieved for 2 years, and with the help of therapy and medication it doesn’t hurt so much anymore. Today I am wearing the necklace with her ashes in it. I’m not sad anymore. I was just so lost without her. I’m slowly finding my way back to “me”.

When my husband and I got together and we knew that this was it: we weren’t going anywhere; my husband promised me that I would have a horse again. I would have my own barn so I didn’t have to have the stress of boarding. We actually got together because of Angel. It was another thing she gave me in death, and I couldn’t thank her more. My husband was actually a good friend in a medieval club I am in, and he started coming over to my house to make sure I was eating (he’s an AMAZING cook!) after Angel passed. And from there…well, we got married, we bought a house with 3 acres and a huge 3 story barn. Another friend in my medieval club owns Gypsy Vanners and I bought a foal from her, Voodoo. He will be my next Angel, and I am finally feeling like “me” again – a horse person.

Voodoo was born in May and I really wanted another jumper. He jumps everything! And he’s got great scope for a little 4 month-old! And he’s so fuzzy and smart and willing. We’ll be bringing him home in December, after he’s snipped. And we are already hunting for my next riding horse.

We just got electric turned on in our barn, and we just got 50 bales of hay. It’s so amazing, and I can’t express how alive I am feeling. For 2 1/2 years I was so numb, and honestly, as bad as it sounds, I don’t remember much from the past couple of years. Depression does that to you. Once we get the fence up and everything (next month!), I am going to spread the remainder of Angel’s ashes. And hopefully by November, I’ll have my riding horse home. Fingers crossed. I want something that’s under 15 hands, because I haven’t ridden consistently and feel like I need to start smaller. Get my confidence back.

But everything is in motion. Everything is moving forward. Everything is finally happening. I’m a horse woman again, with a beautiful Gypsy Vanner foal. I have my own barn, something I’ve wanted since I was a little girl. So, here’s to a bright future, healing, and moving forward as “me” again: a horse woman, an equestrian.