I’ve been feeling a touch morose lately, what with the state of the world at large and my own re-quarantined state. (Which will hopefully end soon.)
Last night, I lingered at the barn after a short ride, thinking a lot about my relationship with Tristan. He’s been the center of my whole world for almost half my life – fifteen years straight now. And he’s 25, and he is starting to pop up health scares semi-regularly.
I’ve talked on and off on this blog about figuring out his retirement, and I wish all those words written had helped me arrive at some kind of an answer.
The reality: Tristan is ageing and has never loved being in work. Mentally, he would adjust quite happily to doing nothing with me visiting and fussing over him from time to time. Keeping him in work keeps him limber, but not necessarily happy.
More reality: I still don’t have a good answer about the logistics of retiring him. I can’t bear the idea of sending him further away than I could visit regularly. Retiring him in place is an option, but an expensive one.
Further reality: Financially, I cannot have a second horse while he’s retired. So a true, full retirement for him means I am done riding regularly.
Finally, the inescapable one: as hard as those things are to think about, worse still is the idea of him not being there. I don’t even know what the shape of my life is without him. I don’t want to know.