Do I keep the blog active or shut it down?
Is it fair to a new horse to have a "recycled" blog, or does the future horse deserve her own blog?
I just don't know. A big part of me is leaning toward keeping this blog up and posting periodically, as I have been doing. I guess right now, I'm just going to let the new horse (when I get her) decide whether or not she gets her own blog. It will be months before I even start looking for a new one; I'm thinking May/June time frame. Of course, there's always the possibility of AI-ing Audubon in the spring as well, so who knows?
Enough of the bleh stuff, let's take a look at what 2013 was like.
Her Highness moved from winter pasture down to fat pasture. She needed to put on some weight and wasn't able to up at altitude.
Her Highness stayed at fat pasture with her buddy Paint and his seeing eye
Got a phone call that Ida needed to move the animals off of fat pasture by the end of the month. I scrambled and found a place close to home, thanks to some amazing friends. For the first time since Estes became mine, I was going to be able to spend time with her every day. I'm so glad it turned out.
Estes and I started Ease into 5K and she became quite the demanding personal trainer. And then we got a freak snowstorm that derailed us. I managed to get the first ride of the season in between snowstorms.
Estes' Great Escape happened in the middle of the month. Apparently, the fresh green grass and new dandelions were much more tempting than the hay I had in my arms. Winter continued to linger and linger up at the Lodge and it wasn't until the end of the month that we were able to move Her Highness up the mountain.
Bill and I went for our annual Father's Day ride with my son Digger on Washoe. A couple of weeks later, Her Highness and I went on what ended up being our last ride together. It was magical.
On July 2, I put Her Highness down. It was the right thing to do and I don't regret it at all, but it was a very difficult time made so much easier by all of the support I received from my blog friends. After putting her down, I put together a post of things every horse owner should know, based on what I learned during that difficult time. I feel it's the single most important post I've written to date (on any of my four blogs). It was not an easy post to write, but I wish I'd had something like this to refer to. Just a couple of weeks later, I got a call from Ida that had me in happy tears.
Even without Estes, she still shapes me. I had an idea to write a book about my years as a wrangler, but it was always a "one day" project. Losing Estes spurred me to finish my "one day" project and on the 31st of August, Tales from the Trail (the book) was published. The book gave me a chance to see, for myself, my growth as a horse person and a great deal of that growth was thanks to a headstrong, opinionated mare who allowed me into her heart.
Not such great news - Audubon didn't take, so there isn't going to be (at this point) an Estes great grand-baby.
Our very cold spell in November really made me very happy that Her Highness had already crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Never thought I'd be thankful for that, but I can't imagine how miserable she would have been with temps below zero, not with the trouble she had keeping weight on. I miss her, but it's not heartbreaking any more. I can enjoy our memories of our times together and not feel sad. Instead, I'm so grateful I had her in my life for so many years.