I miss my best friend more and more everyday. He was faithful. He was fun. He had a quirky attitude. He made me laugh. But what I think was most important about our relationship, was the trust we put in to one another. He was my most trusty steed, and he was my horse.
I got Tetsch (nicknamed Teddy) from my cousin a few months before my 12th birthday. He was the symbol of the ultimate responsibility for a young girl; caring for a 1/2 ton animal is not an easy task, let me tell you. I spent hours upon hours grooming his sleek coat, oiling my saddle and tack, and picking up his stall and providing him with the supplements and pellets he needed to sustain his active lifestyle. Right off the bat, I learned what it took to be a great horse owner and to get the most out of having a large animal as a great friend.
On the weekends, my parents would drop me off by 7am to go and watch my brother's baseball tournaments in LA and I would spend basically 12-14 hours per day caring for my horse. Trail rides, conditioning, washing, cooling down, warming up, braiding his tail and mane, scrubbing the water, food, supplement, and carrot buckets, there were thousands of things to do at a stable. And I never got tired of any of it.
The years flew by. Next thing I knew, I was 16 and had just got a car from my parents, the best gift I had ever received next to Teddy. I got so into driving around from home and school, picking up friends, taking them places, going on road trips. My typical weekend routine at the stable with Teddy became less and less of a routine until I only made it out every other weekend, and definitely not for 12 hours at a time. I could tell that my time and my passion was dwindling for the sport, and I knew there would be a point when I would have to say goodbye and make my way to college. I just didn't think it would be happening when I was still in high school, and at age 16.
The news came to me when I sat at my desk at home one night studying for an exam. My parents wanted to speak to me and about the option of selling Teddy to a young girl who was very into horseback riding and wanted a horse for her own. At first I was unhappy and did not want to give away my horse to some other girl, since I had had him as a young girl, too, and there was a part of me that wanted to hold on to him forever. But deep down I knew he would be happier and well taken care of with a new, young girl who would love him, too.
I agreed that summer for him to be picked up by his new owners and go back to Scottsdale, AZ, where he originally came from. I was able to see him a few months after they picked him up, and he looked happy to have a little pasture all to himself with new horsey friends surrounding him. He looked good too, and well taken care of, which I was happy to see.
There are certain things that you wish you could hold on to forever, like those memories we cherish and hold on to from our childhood. The hardest part about growing up and maturing is deciding what to hold on to and what to let go. It was a smart thing to let go of Teddy when I became less inclined to spend time with him and give him the attention he deserved. It was the right thing to do to have a new girl in his life and to be able to ride and care for him her own way.
Teddy got the second chance he deserved, and now he's happily out to pasture munching on grass with his buddies. I hope I can continue to make the right decisions as I continue to mature and decide what to hold on to, and what I can move on from and let someone else take on.