Haley and I found ourselves riding together in the indoor arena of the barn in late 2009. Through various rides and conversations we found we had much in common. Both of our pasts included lives as professionals - we had both been there and done that.
Although we ride different disciplines, we found our thoughts follow many of the same channels with each knowing instinctively what the other is thinking. We've come to call each other Kindred Spirits.
Yes, Haley and I have been fortunate to have more than one horse. And although we love them all, we've both only had one Soul Mate.
Harley was diagnosed with Cushings about a year ago. Haley has done anything and everything to make sure he's been well taken care of. But about a month ago Harley became lame. The bad news - Laminitis.
Since that time Haley has continued to do anything and everything to make sure Harley is comfortable. The great efforts she's made have taxed her time at the barn and we've tried to catch up as best we could.
I saw Haley briefly on Monday. We passed at the arena gate, she leading out SVK and I coming in on Elvis for a lesson. We greeted each other...but there was something in her voice that caught at me (Kindred Spirits catch those type of things). I didn't press it at the gate, sensitive to that pitch of her voice and not wanting to ask the unasked question.
Yesterday morning came a text message from Haley. The battle for Harley was being lost and very soon he would be leaving. My eyes filled with tears as a lump grew in my throat. It's bad enough to have to put down one of your horses but to put down your Soul Mate? Unexplainable. A few words of condolence and support were about all I could muster on a return message and they all felt so wooden.
Visions of my Soul Mate returned yesterday. Oh Barnie - all those great rides. The places we went and things we did that I've never since done with any of my other horses! How I loved you.
Late yesterday I sent a text back to Haley telling her she and Harley had been in my thoughts all day. I assured her that she was doing the right thing and that I knew how difficult it was to say goodbye to your Soul Mate because I had done the same thing.
I know what my Kindred Spirit is going through and I'm there for her. Yet I will wait quietly until she tells me she needs me. And like the Kindred Spirits we are, I know that when this is all said and done and I next see her that I will cry. I will cry tears of joy for what she had and tears of sadnesss for what she's lost.
Harley...Barnie is waiting there to greet you.