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Some decisions in life are easy, some are difficult, and some are so emotionally difficult that they end up being the easiest moral decision you’ll ever have to make.
In December of 2021 I made the decision to sell Watson—my fist pony, my partner who I earned my bronze and silver medals on, the first horse I produced to the FEI dressage levels, and my heart-horse of almost 11 years. He was never for sale. Not for a single day. Money was not an influence. My love and admiration for him was just as great (if not greater) than the first day I ever laid eyes on him— and yet, I made the decision to sell him.
Because I saw in somebody else’s eyes that same sparkle of light that he had put in mine. I saw all of that same love and admiration that I had for a horse who I adored so dearly surface in somebody else.
I was originally going to bring Watson to my farm and include him in my lesson program—as he was nowhere near ready to fully retire, but also deserved a step back from training at the FEI level. I had started leasing Watson to my friend, Tiffany, a little over a year ago and learned many things while watching the two of them grow in their relationship together. The most important thing I noticed was how much Watson appreciates having “his person.” He is a horse that is very tolerant, but at the end of the day, truly prefers to have a consistent person in his life. I also knew that with teaching lessons and doing training rides all day, that Watson and I realistically would not have much time to spend together. While I’m sure he would be absolutely doted on by the riders in my lesson program and would still get plenty of saddle time, I know how much he loves to have “his person.” Tiffany is undoubtedly “his person” and is just incredible with him.
I am very lucky that Watson will remain at the same barn where he has lived for the past 10 years under the guidance of my coach. When the day comes that he fully retires, he has a pasture outside my window with his name on it. While ultimately deciding to sell such a special horse was far from easy, knowing that the decision was made in his best interest and he would be owned by such an incredible person made it the easiest decision I could ever make.
You can follow my journey on Instagram here: @painted__dressage