Letting Go of Lopeh

Lopeh, the day I met her at the cattle ranch.

Right now I’m trying to practice what I preach. A while back I wrote a blog about gutting it up and making a change if you have a horse that’s the wrong horse for you. (You can read that blog post HERE.) The client involved was really an inspiration for me, as both she and her horse were unhappy and she was brave enough to admit it AND to contemplate rehoming him.

For most of us, that kind of thing takes a lot of guts. Some folks may trade horses like baseball cards, but not most of the horse lovers I know. Myself included.

I have had many horses through the years, not just a few of whom were less than a great match for me, but none of whom I passed on or placed in more suitable homes. But I have come to the conclusion that not doing so may not always be the best or kindest choice, either for oneself or for the horse.

A recent shot of Lopeh in her "I am the ultimate Quarter Horse!" pose.

Lopeh, pictured above, came home with me 6 months ago, the only unwanted member of a breeding herd of fine horses that was being dispersed for free  from a local nearby ranch. I won’t go into detail, but the ranch breeds fine cattle, and found itself in an unanticipated situation with this horse herd, with lots of untrained babies on the ground, so did the right thing and gave the horses to qualified applicants. Lopeh came to me because she was the only horse nobody wanted, and I had promised to take any such “leftovers,” in order to make sure they didn’t end up at the slaughter house.

So it’s not like I chose Lopeh exactly. But I did think I might keep her if she were a good, quiet, all-purpose trail horse for all types of riders.

But to make a long story short, she’s too out of practice to be safe for just anyone, and I’m too old and brittle to get her back into shape and trailworthy. Plus, my heart really lies with my Bella, and that’s who I want to do my working and riding with.

Lopeh went to a new home yesterday, to a sweet and very young woman who has wanted her for months, knowing all her foibles and special needs. Nikki has been around horses just about her whole life so has tons of the experience and skill necessary to help Lopeh once again live up to her full potential, plus there are other horses in the herd so Lopeh won’t be alone.

I had Lopeh with a trainer for two weeks before delivering her to Nikki, so I think they’ll have a head start on their work and play together, and I could not have asked for anyone who would be a more perfect match for this little mare.

But today I am downhearted. I miss Lopeh. And I am NOT a horse trader. So this was a new experience for me and one that has been emotionally difficult to work through.

I know Lopeh is going to flourish in her beautiful new surroundings. And I know Nikki will keep me informed of her progress. And I know I will be the first to know if things don’t work out, and Lopeh will come right back here in that case.

But the fact of the matter is, when you sell or place a horse, or any animal for that matter, if your heart is in it you really have to follow the divine adage:

“Let go and let God.”

. . . and trust in the goodness of all, and that all will be well.

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