It's hard to believe that as recently as a year ago June, I had 5 horses to take care of. That was too many horses for me to cope with, and I reached the difficult decisions to downsize both the number of horses I had and also how much work I was doing at our barn helping take care of others' horses. Some of my thoughts at that time are contained in my post "Forever Horses".
So, last June, Lily and Norman moved to Paradigm Farms in Tennessee. This has turned out to be a good decision - they receive excellent care. Before they moved, poor Norman was stuck in a dry lot because our grass was too rich for him, and Lily couldn't be outside 24/7 for her heaves because of our severe winter weather and ice.
Then I lost my dear sweet Noble at the end of July - he was 30 and had lived a happy and healthy life but it was his time. That was hard, but understandable, and although I mourned him, and continue to miss him, I had expected this to happen so it was sad but not a shock.
Now, early this morning, I had to watch my Maisie get on the trailer and head down to Tennessee to join Lily (in the same herd) and Norman at Paradigm Farms. My older daughter is driving her in my rig. I spent a good part of yesterday getting everything ready for their journey - hitching the trailer and taking it to have the pressure checked in all the truck and trailer tires (and the spare!), and loading up feed and hay for her transition and stowing all her supplies (sheet, blanket and supplements) and records (health, dental and travel papers). Maisie has had soundness problems since the day I got her in 2002, and finally her issues were such that it was clear she would never be sound for riding again, although she could be comfortable in the pasture. She is also prone to laminitis and our grass is too rich for her and the winters would be hard on her legs with all the slipping and sliding on the ice. I also believe that being outside 24/7 will help her tendency to impaction colic in the winter. It was a very difficult decision to send her to Tennessee, but I know that Jason and Melissa will take as good care of her as I would have done. But she leaves a big hole in my heart - she is my sweet snuff-a-whuff mare and her beauty would gladden my heart every time I saw her. For some reason I found it harder to let her go - I had hoped to have many more years of riding companionship with her and that wasn't to be.
Now Dawn is one, with me. We've made great progress on our journey together and have further to go, and I'm looking forward to that - although my younger daughter always reminds me that Dawn is her horse and that I'm only borrowing her! Here's a picture of my "one" from this morning after Maisie left: