I'm a big believer that experiences come into your life for reasons you can't always understand. Often, it's not until the very end that you get a glimpse of the meaning that was hidden in the folds of the experience.
In the case of my journey with Cibolo, today I found out why I'm on this journey with this horse.
I was holding him for someone special.
Just not me.
Do you remember this? The note from Cibolo?
It was from Stephanie. And, starting Sunday, Cibolo will be hers. As I told her, "He always liked you better than me."
She's got the firm approach he needs. And somehow she's always seemed to build his confidence. And she loves him.
Now she's ready, finally, for a horse of her own.
I realized, after reading so many stories from so many with much more experience than I have, that what I was going through was not really unusual. It wasn't anything to feel ashamed of, or to feel like I was "wimping" out.
Every story shared was powerful. But one question that Aarenex asked just kept ringing in my head:
Ask yourself: Do you envision C, 10 years hence, having been perfectly trained for the event, standing at the start line and eager to go forward for 50 miles of tough terrain?
I closed my eyes and I thought of Cibolo. In ten years we'd go through a lot together. We'd probably find a way between us for him to trust me, and me him. We'd be at the start of an endurance race.
And he'd be dreading it.
It hit me like a ton of bricks. This really isn't his thing. He'd do it. Because he is a good horse overall. But we're not a good match - not in expectation (from both of us), not in interests.
I've been on two horses who loved to hit the trail. You can see it in everything they do as they head out. They couldn't wait to leave the barn, to move into a new place. They were bored to death in the arena and only did the work there because they had to. It was Spirit and Woody.
And while Cibolo is not spooky and a decent trail horse, the energy of those big trail rides is very overwhelming and anxiety producing.
So, at the cost of my ego, the cost of one darn fine saddle that I imagine will probably not fit another horse, and for the sake of both of us, I'm letting him go. To the person who I just know he belongs to.
Just like with Canyon, I feel like I'm sending this horse back home - to his heart home.
Speaking of karma, I numbered all 31 individuals who posted over this journey. And when I win the lottery we're all going to go riding in Ireland.
But until then, I can only draw one winner. Jill, from Buckskin and a Bay was selected by random number generator (because you can find anything on the Internet).
Karma continues - I got a sweet award from Nuzz - Girl, I'm getting on that this weekend. It's so wonderful, and I'm with you, I wondered where all the viral awards had gone.
Thank you for all your support over the last few months. I know I'll find the right horse. I just don't know when.
And frankly, I'm pretty gun shy.
But I'd be lying if I didn't say I hadn't been looking.