Over the weekend I headed out to Montana with my mom and five saddle horses that she had put in the sale. I was not looking forward to this particular trip. Iâ€™m not sure what I was expecting. I knew this sale would not be like the Heritage Sale, where we usually buy and sell. The Heritage Sale is almost exclusively for race bred-horses. All of the horses are stalled indoors, and stadium recliners line the sale ring where buyers and sellers of all economies come.
Instead, in Montana, it was a lot of big belt buckles, shiny spurs and big trucks. The Montana sale was definitely more of the rodeo crowd, which was why we were bringing the horses we did. Even though Iâ€™m pretty sure I could ride circles around anyone that might have thought I didnâ€™t knowÂ what I was doing, I mostly just felt out of place.
That feeling may Â have had more to do with selling the horses than the people who were there to buy them.
Horses are like people, they need a purpose. These five didnâ€™t have that at our house anymore. With about 30 head of horses at home, not every one gets ridden like they should and since we focus much more on racing, it made sense they go. We’ll likely pick up a few more racehorses later this year.
Knowing that doesnâ€™t particularly make it any easier.
Saturday three of the horses sold and with the last two going on Sunday morning. Rosie and Alibos were the hardest on me since they had both been at the track and had been Â under my care so I had grown close to them. Especially Rosie, who is the kindest, gentlest mare: her downfall as a racehorse, actually. She was too polite to kick butt.
It turned out, the horses did really well at the sale. When we got the list of buyers, Rosie and Alibos were going to the same place. A Wyoming man who had come to the sale just for La Bo, took him home and a Minnesota man got Cisco. Our mare, JB, went to Canada to a man who also made the trek just to buy her. All in all, the horses were all going to good homes. Still, at one point on Sunday before Alibosâ€™ new owner picked him up, I refused to go back to his stall so I wouldnâ€™t have to see him and again consider hopping on and riding him back to North Dakota.Â
Since most things I learn with the horses can be equated to some big life lesson, I suppose I thought Iâ€™d get some grand epiphany on letting go or saying goodbye. On the way home, I started to think I never did have anything like that.
I suppose I didnâ€™t need one. I mean, I should be used to this by now. Goodbyes never get easier. It doesnâ€™t matter how old you are or how close you are to something. Itâ€™s something you just have to do, especially if it means it is for their best interest.
Well I guess there was something I got out of the trip: I drove home. I rarely drive when we are using the big trailer. It was good practice. I only got the, “Remember your trailer!” shout once or twice.