We will be officially retiring Faith from her career as a show horse tomorrow morning. Some may look at it as the end of her story, but I do not. I see it as just another of her many highlights.
Once she has completed her breakfast, she and I will head out to the practice arena for some quite time together. An easy lunging session will get her muscles warmed up, and after that we'll make the short walk back to the barn to get her groomed and ready for her final public performance. Her mane and tail will be braided, her hooves polished to a glossy shine, and her coat groomed to perfection. She will then head out for the last time as a "show" horse.
I must admit, I have tears in my eyes as I type this. It could be from the joy of knowing how far she has come. It could be from an amazing sense of accomplishment that I feel. It could be from the memories of seeing this mare on the brink and knowing how hard this journey has been for her. But she never gave up. She knew it wasn't her time yet and that she had a purpose. Her drive and determination is awe-inspiring.
Her career as a show horse may have been brief with us, but after everything she has been through, she deserves a special retirement ceremony. If you are in the area, please feel free to join us tomorrow around 10am for Faith's Championship class at the Deerfield Fair. And of course, everyone is welcome back at the barn to meet her in person. :-)