By Genny Macy
I will openly admit to being one to anthropomorphize my animals, especially horses. It was easy with Olive, my mare, because she was affectionate, and truly loved people. I found myself thinking of her in some ways as a kindred soul; she was transparent, sweet, and just dying for love. She was a huge baby about any “ouchies” or things she didn’t like. Simply a more emotional creature all around. I thought she was the yin to my yang and all that, so when I sold O in 2016, I figured that I would struggle to find another horse whose personality meshed well with mine. I loved to be needed. I loved to hold her hand.
My current lease Dee is literally the opposite of everything I’ve written above (except the sweet part, she’s still very sweet). She is confident, independent, and used to being correct. She does not need me. In fact, she humors me by allowing me to monkey around on her. She sees every ride as a task, and while she’ll relax for a nice hack outside, it never alters the fact that she’s the kid at school, rolling her eyes because her Mom is making her hold hands. It cracks me up.
I call her a professional. And honestly, even though I adore the horse, what we have is a professional relationship. I don’t need to baby talk to her about how big and brave she’s being (even though I do), and I don’t need to remind her how good she is. She knows. I also don’t need to melt into a gooey pile of mush about how much I love her all the time.
We have a really good thing. I adore her, I watch out for her, I give lots of rewards, I ride her well, and I respect her. In return she tries to keep me from face-planting myself into the dirt. I love to ride her, and will be eternally grateful for the confidence and joy she’s bringing to my life. I was joking last week that what I have with Dee is one of my few high functioning adult relationships. It’s true.
At the end of the day, she’s not mine, and she has a whole family who love her to death. She will never want for anything, nor find herself in a bad situation. As much as I want to ignore time passing, and pretend I don’t noticed, I know that come summer she’s off to her next adventure in a new city with one of her girls. While I will very badly miss having her around, I know that when she leaves I will also be able to be happy for her. If anything, I think that tells of the success of our relationship.