Tuesday, January 8, 2013

End of an Era

by Linda Benson

Our barnyard seems so quiet. In fact, it is. Other than a couple of barn cats and a few remaining mice, nothing stirs there anymore. After 45 years of owning horses, and several more owning donkeys (I had to have something equine) I made preparations to find a great home for my last remaining animals, anticipating a move in our future.

I started this process early, because I didn't want to be in a hurry about it. As it is, I found them a wonderful home, with very knowledgeable donkey owners who will keep these two boys together as a pair. They are, after all, best friends.

We decided to deliver them, because we wanted to see where they were going to live. So we hitched up the trailer,

and got the boys ready to go. They obviously knew something was up.

Where are we going, Mom?

To your new home. You'll be fine.

Looks like a pretty nice place!

And in no time at all, they were all settled in. It made my heart glad to find such a good home for them.

But I have to admit, long after my donkeys were gone, years of long habit kept me glancing out to our own pastures and barn, over and over during the day, making sure they were okay. It's a horse person's instinct, to check on their animals' well being constantly. My husband parked his tractor inside the big stall they had shared, and every single time I glanced out the window, I thought I saw them in the barn. No, I had to remind myself, it's the tractor.

I wrote a post some time ago about being a horsewoman for life: http://equestrianink.blogspot.com/2011/08/on-being-horsewoman.html and many of you reassured me that I was. (Thank you.) But my husband and I are down-sizing: smaller acreage, smaller house, and less animals, so this feels like the end of an era for me. A very long era of owning equines.

But you want to know the very best part? Right next door to our new place, there's a nice barn with several horses, who stick their noses over the fence to be petted. Guess where I'll be every day??


Francesca Prescott said...

It must have been hard to leave them, Linda. Is it far away? Can you visit them? I'm sure you will enjoy downsizing, having more time to do other things, being freer with your time and not being tied down to animals and their needs. Lovely photos, and their new place looks wonderful.

Dreaming said...

I almost feel like you could have written that post for me! I know that feeling!
I miss the animals, but I do enjoy the freedom I now have, without having to be home to feed at any certain time.
I, too, have some horses around me, so I get to see them every day.

Linda Benson said...

Thanks, Cesca and Dreaming - I've always had animals to feed, morning and night, and it lends a sort of framework to one's life. It grounds you. But yes, I'm looking forward to taking the dog to the beach and not having to be back by 5 PM or so to feed.

Who knows what will happen? Maybe we'll even go a little further than the beach - lol. I'm beginning to get excited about the changes.

Laura Crum said...

Aaw, that's kind of sad. But that's not to say that I don't think of the traveling I could do if it weren't for the critters. And yeah, every event is punctuated by needing to be home in time to feed. I hear you. If I didn't have five horses here...well, I could think of things to fill my time, that's for sure. But I'm not ready to give them up yet.

I hope your new life is infinitely rewarding. Here's to exciting changes!