Just ask just about any non-horse partner of a horse person and they’ll tell you-DO NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO SEPARATE THAT HORSE FROM THAT PERSON. It will be something like trying to peel their skin off while they are still living-very difficult, very painful for all concerned, and, in the end, the result is not worth the effort.
Why is that?
Hmm, hard to put into black and white words, but here goes-we bond with horses at a very deep emotional (some say spiritual) level. Whatever it is-it is psychically deep and very satisfying-not to mention more addictive than any drug I’ve ever run across. Horses do reason and have emotions-a fact which startles some people. I’ve watched them figure out a puzzle, respond to complex spoken sentences, grasp concepts that you would not think possible, and make mistakes-then not make the same error again. I’ve also seen them show rage, grief, depression, confusion, and love-both for each other and for humans. I’ve been the target of some of it. The problem lies in the communication barrier sometimes, but they make huge allowances for our clumsiness and lack of awareness. (Humans should learn such tolerance and forgiveness.)
So losing them is not exactly like losing a family member but more like losing a part of yourself. It rips out a huge chunk right in the middle of you-one that will never be replaced. Over the years (I’ve been at this for over 50 years), I’ve learned that you never ‘get over’ losing a horse. You just don’t. You also don’t ‘replace’ a horse. You can add one to the list of horses in your life, but replace? Nope. Doesn’t work that way. It’s not the same and will never be the same-each one is different and should be seen as different. Otherwise, you gyp yourself and the new horse by contaminating the relationship.
The wise non-horse partner recognizes all of this-and just realizes that it is part of the deal. It is the same thing as marrying into a family, the fact that the other person has some mental, emotional, or medical problem, or is obsessed with lunchboxes and owns a collection suitable for the Guiness world record. It is what it is. We are this. We are horse people.
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