I always say that my horse is my therapist. I’ve had one person in the past respond to that with, “Well that’s not a fair expectation to put on your horse. He didn’t ask to be your therapist.”

That bit of info was strictly for comic relief, because the rest of this is a bit depressing. My apologies in advance.

I haven’t ridden my horse since November 29th, which happens to be the exact day my mother went into the hospital and never left. In fact, I was sitting on my horse’s back when my sister called and informed me she was bringing our mom to the ER. That was 106 days ago. Fun fact, when you’re sitting in a hospital room for months on end, for holidays, for snow storms and relevant news events. When you walk into the hospital and the security guards greet you by name and ask you how your mom is feeling, if she’s going home. When they stop checking you at the door because they know you have yesterday’s visitor’s pass….you start doing weird things. Like counting how many days you’ve been there.

My mom, in four months, has gone from fully functional to the throes of end stage pancreatic cancer on hospice. This is life, I tell myself as I stare at pictures of me and my horse competing last summer and wonder how things went from so bright and awesome to so dark, so very fast.

I haven’t ridden my horse in 106 days. And I’ve seen him three times since that first day. That last ride we had was a good one. He was responsive, spunky, and seemed to realize that I just needed a good fun ride that day before we took the winter off (even though I had no intention of taking the winter off).

But that’s ok. He’s still there, my amazing farm family and best friends are sending me pictures of him covered in mud and CLEARLY thrilled to be doing absolutely nothing but eating and sleeping (*eye roll* Haflingers). And he’ll be there when life turns around and I’m able to go back and heal from the trauma of what’s been happening.

And I know that when I get myself back to the farm, back to a routine, that he’ll be there to be a non biased listening ear and friend to lean on. And I count myself blessed to have that waiting for me on the other side.