I have a 32 year old Appaloosa gelding that has been part of my life for 30 years (Buddy). I am an aged person, 76 to be exact, and this old horse and I have been through much in our lifetimes. I am running out of money (retired) to keep this old boy going, but he is in wonderful health, except for funny looking knees, and he is part of me, so he must be cared for and loved. He has been boarded at a nearby stable and enjoyed a good life there with a pasture and his own stall. I also have another horse (Reo) at that facility who lives in the pasture only, so it’s convenient to check on Buddy daily, while still enjoying a ride on Reo. Keeping Buddy at the boarding stable is expensive, and so I began a search for a new home for him. However, was it safe to move him at his age to a new home? I decided that it was necessary for him to move, and he would simply have to make the adjustment.
I found a private farm where two other horses live, with a small barn and a stall for him, a pasture to be turned out in, and someone who will care for him like I always have. He thought life was terrible for a few days, but then he fell in love with the big mare that shares the barn and pasture, and within two weeks he had settled in to his new home. The best part is that it is near my home, and I can go check on him whenever I want. Of course, that means I have to spread myself out if I intend to continue to ride and enjoy Reo. So, I am slowly weaning myself from going to see Buddy daily now that I know his caretaker is caring for him in an excellent manner.
What this means is that I can begin to enjoy taking time to care for and ride Reo, and stress less over the old horse. I wonder if that is what happens when old people get put into new homes? The family worries less about their care, stays away longer and longer, and finally it becomes an effort to visit them. Fortunately for me, at least for now, I am still an active woman, still feel pretty darn good (except for funny acting knees … kind of like Buddy) and enjoy most of life.
Except, of course, that I think families still worry about their old person, as I do about Buddy. When does the phone call come that says he is not well? When does the time come to say goodbye? And when that happens, will I begin to feel like it’s time to say goodbye to my own life. We shall just wait and see, I guess.