Thank you, Abbey.

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, 2020 has affected all of us one way or another. This year has presented many challenges, lows, highs, and taught us all life lessons. The biggest lesson I could take away from this year is to be thankful. This year has taught me to be thankful for all that I have, to be thankful for all that I have achieved, accomplished, to cherish my friendships and to always thank Abbey. I always made it a point to thank Abbey after each ride, because let’s be honest, she could throw me off or kill me at any point if she so choose to do so.

2020 was also the year I had to say good-bye to my first horse, to my best friend. The wind-whirl of emotions I have gone through leading up to this point is enough to drive anyone mad. Now that the time has come and Abbey has left to go to her new home in New Brunswick I am devastated.

I have been in denial, avoiding this as much as possible for the last couple of months. I knew once she went lame that she would have to retire from the job that I had originally bought her for. And since, I am not in the position to have her live on my own property yet, I had to start my search for a new home for my girl. It’s been hard and point blank – it sucks. Especially since the last month before she left, she was sound. It was making everything so much harder when it came time to let her go. I went back and forth 100s of times; do I keep her, do I let her go, do I stop riding all together to care for her. I was so lost and so torn on what I should do.  

Without a doubt Abbey’s care comes first. I always want and strive for what is best for her. That’s what helped bring me to my decision of finding a cozy retirement home for her, at least until I am able to (hopefully) someday provide a home for her right on property with me.  

Having to retire and re-home your first horse, your heart horse, all in the same year is hard. There is no other way to describe the emotions that come along with it.  I have been feeling pretty down about the whole situation; feeling down about so many things, but also feeling unaccomplished. I kept thinking about all the things I wanted to do with Abbey, all the things I’ve been cut short on. But then, I took a step back and looked back on all the times I have had with her.  I may not have accomplished what I thought I wanted to accomplish with her, but in fact I have accomplished so much more. 

The last two years have been filled with many up’s and downs but, the last two years have been filled with, happiness, learning, and personal growth. Abbey has taught me so much about being a first-time horse owner. She has taught me things about myself, she has shown trust and given me the confidence and the tools to carry on with. The learning and accomplishments we have made together outweigh everything. She has given me and taught me more than I could have asked for in our short time together.  

Abbey has taught me patience. Abbey put me through all the tests when she first arrived. She tested me like no other. I remember having countless rides where I was left thinking to myself, “She’s trying to kill me, she hates me, she isn’t the match for me, she is too much horse for me.” But she taught me that patience is key. I kept mounting, I kept showing up, I kept trying to bond and learn with her, and I did just that. We became so attached, she would snuggle and come to the sound of my voice. We worked through, and continued to work through all the kinks and quirks that came our way. We worked together, we worked hard, and we became a team.  – Accomplishment 

Abbey showed me the value in hard work.  One of our first times off property went so bad. It was horrible.  It was our first time at this venue and Abbey was unbelievably defiant. She was feeding off my nerves, and that set her off. It was a constant battle the whole day.  It was beyond embarrassing, we never made it around once and she was refusing everything. My Mom came to watch for the first time ever, along with my Aunt.  A month after this, we went to another off-property show and it started off just as bad as the last one. I had a horrible warm up, fell off in front of some people that I admire (this was also my first time falling off her as well). I ended up getting disqualified and we broke a jump. I was basically sitting there on autopilot and Abbey did whatever she wanted.  I left feeling embarrassed and upset; I just felt let down. I felt like not only did I let myself down, I let down my coach and Abbey. BUT we went back to both venues a few months later and redeemed ourselves. We had worked so hard the past few months and it showed.  Seeing all of our hard work paying off, made me feel incredible.  We made it around in all of our classes at both of the venues, we worked together, I stayed alert, stayed on, and had FUN.  Looking back on the videos from the first time we went, to the second time, you can see major improvement. You can see how hard we had worked together; how hard we were trying. – Accomplishment 

Abbey taught me to fight through my fears. She gave me the confidence back that I needed. This, within itself is the biggest accomplishment I could have ever had happen.  She gave me the trust I needed to work through the fears I had. Abbey gave me the right push at the right times, and fought back when needed. She showed me that, trusting her is hard and trusting myself is even harder. But letting go of the fears, and letting go of holding myself back, is so worth it. – Accomplishment 

From the bigger to more small accomplishments, it makes me so grateful for everything. Makes me grateful for the help I had in getting her here to Nova Scotia, the help I had during my lessons, the help I had in not giving up and to keep trying.  

From blogging about our time together, to the countless hours of video, pictures, memories and stories I am left with, I am happy. Even though I am still struggling if I made the right decision or not, I am happy with all that we have accomplished together.  

I couldn’t thank Abbey enough for showing me the way. There really are no words for how happy, grateful and fulfilled I actually feel from our short time together. As sad as I am about it all, I am beyond forever grateful for her. 

So, THANK YOU ABBEY for all you did for me. Thank you for allowing me to swing my leg over and for dealing with my breakdowns, my “I can’t do this days”. Thank you for and showing me the trust and love that I needed, when I needed it the most. And, I can’t wait until I see you again! ❤

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