Sunday, December 29, 2013

What To Do?

It's the end of the year, time to take stock of the previous year and look forward to the new one.  And therein lies my problem.  No Estes and no Estes great grand-baby to look forward to.

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 dog pony.

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.


Funder said...

I know you still miss her! :hugs:

If I were you, I'd keep going with the same blog. It'll be easier for people to click back and read about Estes if they don't have to go "somewhere else" to do it.

Dreaming said...

In my opinion, the blog is your blog, telling about your relationship with horses and your experiences. Yes, much of the blog focused on your sweet Estes (and how heartbreaking for me to read about her colic - but I do love how you turned that into a learning experience for all). A new horse would be a new chapter, so to speak.
But, in the end, it is all up to you.
I hope you have a great new year with wonderful things happening!

Unknown said...

I would miss hearing from you very much if you decided not to blog anymore! I loved reading about your rides with Estes and I am excited for the next chapter in your life.
I vote to keep the same blog as a chronicle of all your relationships and experiences with horses in one place.
I hope the new year brings you new and amazing things!

GunDiva said...

Thanks, everyone.

Funder was kind enough to remind me (via email) that the blog is "Tales from the Trail"; it's not horse-specific. It's not like I named it "The Greatest Mare on the Planet" (but I could have). I don't want to lose the posts I've put up over the past five years (how did that happen?), so plans are to keep this one active, though posting might be even more sporadic than they already are.

Mrs. Mom said...

Frequency of posting matters not where your adoring public is concerned :)

We are hoping that 2014 holds many new equine adventures for you. The new horse- who I think will be a BOY horse just to mess with you (muwahaha) -- will find YOU.

It'll be interesting to see... bay? Bright shining red like Phatz? Hmmmmmm.....

Her Highness, The Queen, is watching over you, and will help YOUR horse find you when its time. This I know with out a doubt!

Love ya, sista from anotha motha!

Becky said...

I am glad you will keep your blog here! I agree that the name is not specfic, and then it is easy to go back and look at posts about Estes when you compair your new horse to her, or tell a story about doing the same trail with her, etc.

I am so sorry for your huge loss of Estes. Colic is such a hard thing with horses. I lost Odie to colic in October. Colorado weather is so hard on them in that way.

Maybe some day I can trailer up and come ride with you and your new horse! :)

GunDiva said...

Becky, I'm so sorry to hear about Odie. So many horse people are terrified of colic and with good cause. If I hadn't lost her in July, this last cold snap would have done her in. Like you said, this Colorado weather can be so hard on them.

Absolutely, when I have a new trail worthy horse, trailer up. (Or trailer up anyway and I'll borrow Washoe the Wonder Idiot from Mom.)

Once Upon an Equine said...

2013 was a difficult year in many ways. Hoping 2014 brings new joys to you and many, many people. Your blog is really good. My 2 cents, for what it is worth, is that it is welcoming to horses that will join your life. You said Estes shaped you. Estes is a part of you and her influence will blend right into new tales from the trail, to be experienced with new equine partners. Wishing you a very happy New Year!