Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

More Thoughts about Finny

Yes, it's been 6 months since Finny has been gone. I need to finish what I started writing about last night. I just didn't get all my thoughts from the last 2 days down, as it was late and I was tired last night.

I spent all day outside yesterday. My 2 boarders and I wormed and vaccinated 10 horses in the morning. This year, we vaccinated for rabies as there have been 3 confirmed cases in our county in the last few months.

Then I spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon clearing and burning brush. I wanted to get organized in my barn office next week, and my husband and Jacob hung 3 cupboards for me. Jacob, Amber and Caden stayed, and friends came to have hamburgers on the grill. Afterwards, the 2 little ones rode their horse while big sister led them around.

I know that I'm still battling with all my inner thoughts of when Finny died. I know, deep down, that I cared for him as well as I could have. With hindsight, I know there were other things I could have done. But hindsight gives us knowledge, and I need to take that knowledge and move on.

I will quit beating myself up with the "what I didn't do" and the "what if's". I know now what I could have done different, and Finny still could have colicked. I could have been home and he could have colicked.

I guess the guilt is taking a long time to process. I'm not sure if the guilt will ever go away. Someone told me that I didn't fail him, that he and I did what I wanted him to do. Maybe then I'm more sad than feeling guilty, knowing that he was in pain. I know I made the right decision to stop his pain, and allow him to die peacefully, with me petting his neck. I hope, no, I know, that brought him some comfort.

So I'm still sad, and I know that will remain. As I talk to some friends that have lost favorite horses, they are still sad and get tears in their eyes, years later. Maybe I'm finally starting to heal, deep inside, as all the other emotions turned to sadness. I hope so, as I can deal with sadness. It was almost unbearable to deal with the guilt and anguish that I felt for a long time.

I can also start remembering Finny with fondness, as I always have this past 6 months, and not with the cloud of guilt over my head. With fondness, I can smile and remember our good times. As tears stream down my face now, this early Sunday morning, the emotions are coming out instead of staying bottled up inside my heart. The sadness can be replaced with acceptance of his death. I will always be sad, but now I can also start enjoying my memories of our rides, instead of always wanting to cry as I think of those rides.

Finny and I shared some awesome moments. We had wonderful rides. Finny took me a step further in understanding horses. We rode together as one. I left him lead and I matched my riding to his movement.

I will take what I learned from Finny, and give that to other horses. Now, I can start to have a part of Finny in each horse I ride.

Until we ride again....


Tammy said...

Nice post, Brenda. Its still fresh... it will take time. Don't expect anything less - he was a good horse.

The last picture is beautiful.

Pony Girl said...

What a good reflection on Finny. Don't be too hard on yourself, there is no time limit on grieving. It sounds like you are going through the process. The guilt is awful. I lost a pet bird and I felt so guilty because I did not know he was sick and then I went out of town for a few days and when I returned, he'd died. That was 7 years ago but to this day, I still feel guilt.
Not sure if you've heard of this but here is a book that I once read, it really is wonderful and parts of it help with dealing with the loss of an animal. I passed it on to my aunt who lost her horse George in a tragic accident. It is a tear-jerker, be warned.
I don't know how to do links in the comments section, sorry! You'll have to highlight and paste it in to your browser.
Hang in there! Love the pictures of Finny's handsome face!

Horses Are Our Lives said...

thanks, tv, I can't believe that it feels like it just happened yesterday, and not 6 months ago.

Pony Girl, thanks for all your kind words. It's amazing how we feel about our pets. I will have to look for that book. Brenda

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm so sorry. Finny will always be in your heart...and that's the way it should be. He was one of those very special ones.


Horses Are Our Lives said...

thanks, Lisa, for understanding.


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