When we last heard from Justine, she was dealing with the fact she knew she had to sell Tuffy because it was the best for him, although not necessarily for her! And, my heart broke for her reading about it. There is something wrong with saying ‘I have to sell my best friend’ isn’t there?
Justine’s story continues on here. Thanks again for sharing your story with us!!
Not even a year later, I was reminded that I had made the right choice by selling Tuffy when I met Gallie, a stocky quarter horse mare I worked with regularly out at the farm in the new city I was living in.
Her owner was a college student, and had been out to see her twice in the past two years, all while the parents continued to pay board for the animal to live there.
The barn staff made sure Gallie was well taken care of, to the best of their abilities. But no barn manager has the time to dress each and every wound, treat rain rot or buy new fly masks for one horse over nearly 30 others in the barn.
I originally started working with Gallie, because our farm was in need of a good lesson horse, and we wanted to see if she could play the part.
The first time I tried to ride her, she reared up while tied in the wash rack and tried to kick me while I put a saddle on her. Over the span of several months, I took baby steps working with her and trying to get her back in shape. She’s knocked me down, broke several sets of reins, and bit me, but luckily I was never badly hurt.
The mare had seriously soured to the idea of being worked after going years without having to be handled barely at all.
Eventually, you could say I grew on her. Something clicked when one morning, I went to get her from the pasture and instead of pinning her ears and sidestepping away from me, she nickered gently and came walking up with her head down low. She’d let me love on her, scratch her between the ears and stood quietly while I groomed her. When under saddle, she got right down to business and was a pleasure to ride.
My career has since taken me to another city, and saying goodbye to Gallie was hard. I miss this mare more than anything. I can’t help but feel I abandoned her now that I’ve moved and she no longer has a person to care for her again.
My relationships with both Tuffy and Gallie have taught me something I wish more of us understood: don’t be selfish. Owning a horse is a giant responsibility. When considering to buy or sell a horse, please make sure you’re in a position to care for them for a long time.