Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Dating Game

Sorry I've been bad about updating this thing lately, but I've found myself completely unable to actually post a blog entry since Will died. This blog has always been about the horse thing, and the horse thing has been pretty bleak lately. Don't get me wrong, I've still been going to the barn, and Riley has even returned to Heronwood. But Riley's little tootsie is not feeling well (he's always been a bit of a wimp about anything going on with his feet) so any riding I have actually done has been on borrowed ponies. And borrowed ponies just aren't the same.

Little Riley has returned and has been happy to fill the void in his big brother's old stall.

Since I finished finals I've been helping Julie out in the mornings and going to my summer class in the afternoons. To be completely honest, a lot of days it's REALLY hard to get out of bed and go out to the farm in the morning. I often spend the drive home crying because I miss Will so much- sometimes it's because there's no horse like him (and although I love Riley, he's not like Will and is special in his own adorably goofy, ill-mannered way), some days it's because I just can't handle being around horses, and some days I just can't explain it.

But onwards to the point of this post- right after I lost Will, my family and I made the quick decision that we had to find a new equine friend for me. We've technically been looking since the beginning of April, but it seems as though almost no one has horses for sale. I longed to go horse shopping right after I lost Will- I wanted it to take my mind off of things and give me some hope for the future.

The longer I wait, though, the longer I find that it's harder and harder to keep riding and to keep up with the horse thing. Since about age 14, I haven't seriously considered quitting riding (and even then, it was just a silly one or two week teenage phase), but I've found myself giving it a lot more thought lately. The emotional side of me finds it hard to imagine it being fun again without Will. (The intellectual side of me says that's a load of crap, but we all know how good emotion is at winning the fight.) But my mom, ever the cheerleader, has been doing a very good job talking some sense into me.

She wisely compares horse shopping to dating. I may of loved and lost, but plenty of people are able to find new loves. She says that yes, it's very hard to get myself out there, on the dating (or horse shopping) scene again, but that I need to keep doing it because there's someone out there for me. When I get really down, she reminds me that I was lucky enough to find John. As a side note, I'm SO lucky I have John, because it's been a long time since I've gone dating, and if it's anything like horse shopping, it sucks.

So here we go, and Equine Mingle: Twenty-something single female rider longs for a tall, dark, and handsome gelding who enjoys long walks in the woods and exploring new places. Must be athletic, love the outdoors, and enjoy going for off-road jogs. Should be sweet and have good manners around the barn, but have a fiery streak when we go out to ride. Looking for a long-term relationship with a horse who is young and talented enough that we can grow old together.

So far I've found one horse that I really like. He's big and talented, and while he's missing the dark element of the ideal tall, dark, and handsome equine man of my dreams, he might just have enough handsome to overcome that. I just don't know if he'd be the type to go on long walks in the woods with me, and a horse to hack out by myself is definitely a must (I sincerely loved my walks with Will). There's also a filly at the Secretariat Center that I'm eagerly waiting to try as soon as my adoption application gets approved (she's gorgeous, tall, and dark, but neither handsome nor a man). I'm trying to not fall in love with the first pretty guy I meet, but at the same time desperately hoping that the horse of my dreams will come along. The aforementioned guy might fit the bill, but I just don't know if he's going to be the one to successfully fill in the hole in my heart. Everything fell in place perfectly when I bought Riley and Will, and the prospect of things not going that well again terrifies me.

In the meantime I guess I've got to follow my mom's wise advice and just keep at it. There are lots of fish in the sea, and there's bound to be one out there waiting for me to find it.

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