Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Until Later, It's Not Good Bye

Two weeks ago, I made a very difficult decision to retire my show horse, Bam Bam Rubble.

I never thought I would be in this position. I always thought he would be mine forever. When I brought him home ten years ago, I had so many dreams for him. Those dreams changed and evolved, but I never stopped believing that we could overcome any obstacle in our way.

In a lot of ways, that was true. Bam Bam played with the big boys, and while he wasn't always a rockstar, a lot of times he beat the horses that were bigger, fancier and more suitable for the sport than he was. And he tried harder than any horse I've ever had.

Last night, we took Bam to his new home about a half an hour away. He settled right in like he was meant to be there. I couldn't bear the thought of selling him because the idea of never seeing him again was unbearable. Not to mention, he's a nice horse and I didn't want someone down the road to think they could make him a show horse.

Bam Bam in his new home
I've cried more tears in the last two weeks than I can remember crying in the last several years. It feels like I'm going through a break up. I've never dealt well with good byes because once someone is in my heart, I can't seem to let go. Luckily, I will be able to see him whenever I want and they even told me that I could ride him if I wanted to. While it breaks my heart to let him go, it's not good bye. If there ever comes a time when they a forced to rehome him, I have first right of refusal and I can take him home.

This horse is a special guy and I wanted so much to prove to the world that he had a big enough heart to overcome any of his shortcomings. I wanted him to shine and I don't doubt that if he didn't have some physical issues, he would have gone farther than anyone would have imagined. He may not have been able to win, but I bet he could have done the job. Deep down I really believed in him.

But part of being a good  horseman is recognizing when a horse is no longer capable of performing. I didn't call it quits because either of us wanted to. I made the decision because he's been trying to let me know for awhile now that he can no longer physically handle the stress of this level of work. It's not because he doesn't have the heart to try.

When I got home last night, Amanda, the founder of the ranch, had sent me two pictures.

BBR after a bath with the girls
Getting a kiss
That's when I knew that I had found the right place for him. His new job is getting love and in return, he'll help kids heal from whatever emotional trauma they have. I can't think of a more perfect horse for the job nor a more perfect life for such a social little horse.

I've never loved a horse more than I love Bam Bam Rubble, nor has any horse made me laugh like he does.

I hope the kids at the ranch love you as much as I do, BBR. I will miss you terribly.

Thanks for the ride, Bam Bam. You've always been a special guy.

But it's not good bye, I will see you soon.


  1. That's awesome that he's so close, and it sounds like the perfect solution. First right of refusal and everything, that's a good deal! I don't think the mantra "push harder!" applies in every situation...sometimes when you're evaluating how far you can go with something you can forget that in the big picture you've already come a long long way; you should take a little time to reflect on how great you did with him, not just what you left on the table (or didn't!) :)
    it's the same with us and races, always on to the next thing...i guess you gotta build time into life to give credit to your accomplishments!


Thanks for reading!