When Shakespeare penned this evocative farewell, whispered words of love from Juliet to Romeo that “parting is such sweet sorrow” I’m sure he never imagined that, centuries later, his words would still echo with sentiment & longing in the modern ear.
Today, after finishing the milking & then cooking a hearty breakfast for our friends who – alas – could stay no longer owing to pressing commitments back in Cambridge, it was time to bid a fond farewell….not only to them, but to our two lovely horses; whom after months of struggling with issues of love versus conscience, we decided reluctantly should leave us for a more meaningful existence. However we were anxious to find them a perfect home; & preferably, together which realistically was not a likely occurrence.
Over the past year Darwin & Rolypoly, our wonderful matched pair of black Welsh Cobs, have been languishing in the field doing nothing but get fat as I haven’t had the chance to even simply dust off the saddles & bridles & take them out for a good long hack, let alone do any schooling or serious work with them. My efforts have been doubly hampered by the weather as we endured such a miserable summer there really wasn’t sufficient opportunity to do anything as the fields were sodden & we don’t have a menage here.
However, an unexpected opportunity then presented itself. Recently one of Dreda’s dear old horses, passed away; so she had room in her stables to take our two boys. As she & Ro were coming over this way delivering goats it seemed the ideal opportunity for them to go to a new home. We know the horses will be loved, looked after, & given a more meaningful existence as they’ll get to do some ‘proper’ work at last; & we can rest in the knowledge that they’ll be safe & well with these caring, consummate professionals.
The Shetlands will stay with us – after all, they were the original reason we ended up coming here in the first place – but with the age-old problem of shortage of grazing over the Winter – plus the additional expense of feed, bedding & farriery etc – we’ve reluctantly had to let the horses go. And nor has it been fair on them; they were bred to work & find it enjoyable & stimulating, rather than being bored in the field. So at least now they’ll have lots of new friends as well as more interesting, productive lives. And we have to put their needs before our emotions.
It’s been a tough decision, though; & as the horsebox pulled out of the driveway & down the road it took all my willpower to prevent myself from running after it & calling them back.
As we walked across the top fields it started to rain. I could see car & trailer as they carefully negotiated the narrow lanes, weaving across to Blaen Bowi & out of sight. The two Shetlands galloped around the field, calling out in search of their missing chums. I turned & stumbled back across the fields & down to the cottage, my eyes blurred…it must’ve been the rain, of course.
Such sweet sorrow.