I had some sense of how hard it might be to say goodbye today. We bond to these animals so completely. They occupy a place in our hearts, despite our best efforts to keep our distance. Last night during evening feeding I couldn’t even look at our mare without tears streaming down my face. The clock was ticking down to the moment she would leave for her new home. It was coming. Loss was bearing down in me. The timing was moved up a bit, and I spent hours scrambling to get her cleaned and brushed out. It was all to soon time to say goodbye. There is no way to know just how much horses understand. I know they read our moods, but our words? It is a toss up. Some words they understand. I have a weird habit of not talking about them leaving, least not in front of them. I don’t want them worried and confused. I am very careful to not talk about it near them. It was no different with momma. She didn’t know she was leaving. Sure, she understood something was different because she was all clean and fluffy. In those last minutes I told her she would be okay. That a wonderful family was waiting for her on the West coast. And in a blink she was gone. I can remember clear as day the moment we met. The very first time I laid eyes on her. The first time I ran my hand down her shy face and told her she would be okay. She was a special horse. Shy and worried when she arrived. She always kept her quiet ways, but had needs. She was quick to tell us what she wanted. I will miss that. I will always remember the wonderful moments we spent together. The three fillies that were born here. Those priceless moments when the little foals knickered to her. Her wonderful mothering. She was terrific. I guess I just lost it. I thought of all those incredible moments spent with her. I thought of all we have given up to keep this place going. I think of all the days I regret selling the last personal horse. I miss him, and it never seems to get any easier. He had to go so we could get out from foreclosure the last time. I had to give up something so close to my heart. This is no different. It is another sacrifice. In a very long list of them. I didn’t know this is what our life would be about. I didn’t know it would hurt so bad. I’m not sure I can stomach this. What is next? What else of value can we find to get rid of? Stripping down, inch by inch. What is left of us in this process? I just want to curl in a ball and pretend this isn’t happening. I have cried until there are no tears left to cry. It isn’t just for this beautiful horse we just said goodbye to. It is for the life we have accepted, and all we have lost of ourselves in the process. What will be left? I know tonight I feel as small as I have in a very long time. Nothing but tears remain.