Last Thursday morning, as the cool, early-morning air hit my sunburnt cheeks and the sun rose just over the horizon, I put my foot in the stirrup, took the reins, and climbed my way onto Diesel’s back for the last time. We did what we always did on flat days. We took our time mozying around the arena working in some big swooping serpentines to warm up and worked our way into the trot and then the canter.
After we finished up with our work in the arena, I swung open the gate to his pasture and took him for a walk around the field like we always do on the days I flat him. However, this time was different. This would be the last time I would ever get to share this moment with him. I closed my eyes and took the time to memorize the sound of each of his footfalls hitting the dew soaked grass and the feeling of the cool morning air against my skin as we wound our way around the field.
As we turned around to head back towards the barn, I took some pictures to remember the view from between his ears, and I told him how much he meant to me. I told him about how much I loved him and how thankful I was for having the opportunity to call him mine. And finally, I told him about the wonderful woman who was eagerly waiting for him to arrive, how much she was going to love him, and all of the wonderful things that are waiting for him at his new home as a dressage horse. And when we approached the barn, I dismounted for the last time, buried my tear-soaked face in his neck, and then told him, “how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”.
Later that day, after all of the kids from horse camp had gone home, I pulled him out of his stall, groomed him one last time, and put on his shipping boots. Tears filled my eyes as I stuffed him full of his favorite peppermint cookies and loaded him onto the trailer. Then, I watched as the trailer pulled away with my bay unicorn inside.
Today I signed the final piece of paperwork, so I had to officially say goodbye to Diesel and write an ending to this chapter in our lives. Even though he left last Thursday, it really didn’t feel real until I opened the email containing the bill of sale with his new owner’s signature on it. That was a really bittersweet moment for me.
While I know that this is the best decision for both of us, I can’t help but feel sad that Dies will no longer be waiting for me at the gate when I get back to the barn. When I walk into that barn, there will be an empty stall where he once was and an empty place in my heart.
Selling him has been one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do – I’m even sobbing as I am writing this. He has been my absolute world for the last two years of my life and will always hold a special place in my heart. However, it was the best thing to do for both his happiness and wellbeing and mine. There were many reasons as to why this decison was made, but all that needs to be said is that he and I were not meant to be. This was made clear for me when I saw his new owner ride him for the first time. They are a perfect match in every way, and when she rode him, it looked as if he was made just for her.
Diesel has found THE perfect home with someone who will love and cherish him just as much as I have, and I couldn’t be more happy for them. ❤️ That, in itself, makes it a little easier for me to say goodbye.
5 thoughts on “A Bittersweet Goodbye”
I am not going to lie – I got a little misty-eyed reading this post. I owned the sweetest gelding for nearly 3 years. He was the absolute kindest horse I had ever ridden, but he was the absolute worst match for me. Selling him to the wonderful home he has now was the best decision I could have ever made for him and myself. (Some days I feel May might disagree and tell you that she would be much better off in a retirement home with unlimited grass and treats). It was a VERY VERY hard decision, but it was 100% the right one for both of us.
I can’t imagine how hard this was for you or everything that went into the decision, but just know that you made the right call.
Your writing is beautiful! I know this decision was so hard, but I also know you made the best decision for the situation. I am so thrilled that the right person for him came along at the right time. I know you will always have a special place in your heart for your Diesel!❤️
It’s so hard to say goodbye, even when it’s the right thing to do. It sounds like it’s the best thing for both of you though. Good for you for doing what’s best for the both of you! I’m sure Diesel will be living his best life with his new mom. And you will be too when you find your next partner.
I’m so sorry to read this, lots of gentle hugs. Letting go of them is tough but there is a wonderful horse out there for you and hopefully the new owner of Diesel will stay in touch.