Monday, August 20, 2012

The Agony of Making Tough Decisions

It's been awhile since I blogged. Life has been...busy.

You're probably asking yourself why I'm blogging in the middle of the day instead of working. Well, I'm taking a much needed vacation/relaxation day. I'm also catching up on Rizzoli and Isles. I have priorities.

Love this show...

Things have been very emotional for me for the last week. I've made the very difficult decision to retire my show horse, Bam Bam Rubble.

My first horse show with Bam in 2008

I have a habit of hanging on to the people I love way longer than is healthy, even when the relationship has gone downhill. When I love someone, I can't let go of them. The same goes for horses.

The difficult thing is that horses are not pets. If non-horsey people knew how much money I spend on just housing and feeding Bam, they would fall over in shock. Let's just say I could drive a really, really nice car. Really nice. Bam Bam is the reason I never have any money.

He's even gotten to be a model for a tack store.

Bam is a little worker bee and loves having a job. Unfortunately, as we're going up the levels in dressage, it's getting way too hard for him. And he's been letting me know in not so subtle ways.

It's gotten to the point where, as much as I love him, I have begun to dread riding him. He's struggling and I'm struggling and I can't keep asking him to do a job he no longer enjoys.

My favorite picture of us.

Last Monday, a few days before we were supposed to leave for a horses show, I made the difficult decision to retire him. I literally cried for 3 days. I knew I was making the right decision when not a single person that knows him said I should keep trying. At least 15 different people have told me that it was time to move on.

BBR in his own private jungle.

I truly never meant to get so attached to this horse. Show horses are not pets like dogs and cats, but I fell in love with him anyway. I still remember the first moment I saw him when he was a baby and I said, "if that horse moves well, I'm going to buy him." That was in 2001.

I've had him for over 10 years and until now, never gave up hope that we could do it. In all honesty, we got him farther along than most people thought that we could. I even managed to get some decent scores.

But he's no longer happy. I'm not happy. Not only that, but pushing and pushing him is going to lead to one of us getting hurt. And it's most likely going to be me.

There's a reason Tara sent this to me for my birthday...

I'm hoping to find him a home working with kids with disabilities. I think that he would love doing that. He would still have a job, but it would be low pressure. I'm also told he would get non-stop attention and treats.

 There are two places near my house. They both have open door policies where I could come visit him whenever I want.

I truly never thought that things would spiral downward so far that we would have to quit, but he's had some physical issues in the past and this work is becoming too hard for him. And like the people I love, I hung on to this horse much longer than I probably should have.

This is the first time in 10 years that I stopped believing I could make him a show horse. And I cried like I was going through a break up... in fact, just writing this is making me cry all over again.

I truly love this horse. Dealing with all of his surgeries and issues over the years has changed who I am as a person. He's taught me on more than one occasion the meaning of being selfless. I have to do what's right for him, and that means finding my little worker bee a job that would actually make him happy.

So yeah, marathon training has taken the back seat for a week.


  1. My fiance watches Rizzoli and Isles. One day when I have time, I'm going to try to see what all the hype is about.

    I'm so sorry for your difficult life decision :-(

    1. Such a good show!

      And thank you. The last couple of weeks have been heart breaking, but someone told me that I needed to make him happy, even if it broke my heart and I know, deep down, that she's right.

  2. I'm just catching up on blogs and wanted to give you a virtual hug. Sorry that you had to make this tough decision!

    1. Thank you... it's been really rough. I love that horse, but this is what is best for him.

  3. Just catching up on the blogosphere and this post broke my heart. I don't know much about horses but I'm beyond attached to my dog (I'm an animal person for sure) and can't imagine what you're going through. Sending you another virtual hug!

    1. Thank you, I can use all the hugs I can get right now. I'm trying to distract myself by getting myself psyched for the DL Half. ;)


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