You may have noticed a little gap in our posts here. Well, it’s true, I haven’t posted in far too long, and I sincerely apologize. I hope you’ll still read our little ramblings here, and I hope you’ll forgive me for the following diversion from our typical light-hearted stories.
The truth is, although I have been under the weather these past few weeks, that’s not the real reason. Ok, maybe under the weather is an understatement, but that’s still not why.
We like to make light of the ranch life here on this site, but it’s often hard. It’s hard work, it’s learning hard lessons, and it’s sometimes just plain heartbreaking. We raise animals for food, it’s true, but that doesn’t mean we don’t care for the creatures on the ranch. In fact, I think being a part of the cycle makes us even more sensitive to the births, lives, and deaths of animals – whether part of the herd, or baby birds in a nest, or a canine companion, or, as in this case, a horse.
All horse owners know this, but we don’t like to even think about it, let alone talk about it: part of having a horse is making a promise. It’s a promise we hope we never have to make good on, but one we make anyway – the promise that if the time comes, if the suffering is too great, that then we will stop the pain for them, that we will make sure to give them the peace that they deserve.
When we brought Elmer to the ranch, I never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares, as the case may be) thought that we would be keeping that promise within 5 short months. It was just too short of a time to spend with such a young, beautiful, gentle animal. In the weeks since, I’ve tortured myself, probably too much, with the whys and the what ifs, but in reality some things have no reason. No reason he got hurt when he should have been happily grazing in the pasture that has been a safe home for horses for 20 years, no reason for it to turn into a terminal injury. I know that there is joy in ranch life – a lot of joy, in fact. But this, this was hard to bear.
And so, I’ve found it hard to return to the blog, to visit our Facebook page, to write a funny story, or even to take pictures around the ranch. It hurt so much to see his face in our header images, or to see his empty halter hanging on the fence, his bridle sitting in the tackroom. I guess my grieving period was just not over yet. But today, I woke up feeling ready to write again.
There is so much happening at the ranch right now: Mr. HH and I are building a house, we are getting ready to sell another calf crop, along with about another dozen activities and projects which I’m sure will collide in chaos at some time or another. And it will make a great story to share with you! I have missed writing so very much, and will be happy to get back to it.
Goodbye, my young friend. I wish we had more time together. May you be at peace.