Mourning the loss of an animal is immanent, but at times, letting go of your horse can be in every one’s best interest. You are the eyes, ears and voice of the animal you cherish, and you are the one to make even the toughest calls. Sometimes you must choose when and how to release what is no longer working. When you see yourself as a steward and care-taker more than an owner, than the question is not “when does it no longer work for me” but “when does it no longer work for the animal”. You will feel sadness in letting your old horse go. Tears will help you release your attachment, while opening the space in your heart for a new relationship.
Your horse, on the other hand, lives in the moment. Horses don’t worry about their future, don’t care if it is spring, summer, fall, or winter and whether they still will be here tomorrow. They simply adapt to changes in their situation by moving on to greener pastures while enjoying the comfort of the herd. Only in captivity do they stand and suffer in silence, confined, restrained and kept from socializing with their friends, however, once the human gets their message from behind the dull eyes then change may come in response. As their steward, you may have to either humanely euthanize a much beloved horse that’s too sick to live out a pain free life, or find a good home for a horse that has served you well in competitions before purchasing a new one that’s capable of taking you to the next higher level. You will feel sadness in letting your old horse go but your tears will help you release your attachment and open the space in your heart for a new relationship.