Some decisions in life are never easy.

For those of us lucky to have had horses or at least ridden most of our lives, there’s usually some kind of crossroads you encounter where horses meet real life. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to rearrange your life, horses have to fall out of it. At least temporarily.

Riding when you’re a kid seems so simple. Even if you’re mucking stalls and begging rides from local barns, it seems like the road ahead is full of ponies and sunshine.

As we get older, more and more of our friends fall out of riding, especially during our teen years. Other girls take an interest in boys and parties and find horses too cumbersome. Those of us with grit hold on, knowing we’ll never live a life without horses—even if it means prying the reins out of our cold, dead hands.

Then, university and getting that first job comes along, making having a horse, let alone riding, even more difficult. I chose to work for my horse throughout university, then went into the industry as a professional afterwards. I just couldn’t part with having horses in my life. Seeing all of my friends who had professional jobs give up their horses tore me apart.

After years of having my own business, the professional horse life just wasn’t for me. So, I had to finally approach that crossroads I had dreaded my entire life. Not wanting to succumb so easily, I avoided that path staring me in the face and vowed to do whatever it took to keep horses in my life. I bought the horse of my dreams and worked my full-time (now corporate) career, while also trying to develop my young, potential grand prix jumper.

I ran myself ragged, both financially and physically, while also taking a major toll on my relationships. But I was determined to make horses work in my life.

Thankfully, in my case, age does come with a small crumb of wisdom. The older I became, the more I stopped resisting the inevitable and allowed myself to take a different path. Sometimes, horses can’t be your everything. Sometimes, they’re what you thought you wanted in life, but the toll of keeping them in your life is just too high. Sometimes, you have to just let go.

I’m a fighter and the thought of “letting” anything go is incredibly difficult. When I look at my beloved horse, I have to tell myself that this is not the end, that horses will make a reappearance in my life. Just right now, they are breaking me. Right now, they are tearing at every other part of my life. And love them I might, but doing what’s right has to come first.

I sacrificed my entire life (happily, I might add) to horses and no matter what I do now, it seems destined not to be. So that is why, I have to let you go and say goodbye. At least temporarily.

It breaks my heart to part with you, but I know it’s what I have to do. Letting go is never easy, but sometimes, it’s the only way forward.

About the Author

Sarah Eder is an avid blogger, horse professional and closet fashionista trying to live a balanced life with her crazy Grand Prix horse and boyfriend in tow.