Probably the hardest part about the leaving process so far was telling FBR (Favorite Barn Rat). In fact, I waited a couple extra days to break the news on the blog until I had a chance to tell her in private, just in case someone at my barn does read this.
|FBR's horse taking a snooze a few weeks ago, probably the only time anyone's ever seen him lay down.|
I told her on the drive back to her house one evening, with her driving my truck after I had just taught her to back my bumper pull into its spot, which requires maneuvering it around the 6H gooseneck and a flatbed trailer.
(I won't let her drive the trailer on the road til she has her actual license, but by gosh, I will turn her into a bumper pull backing champion while she still has her learner's permit. It took her a while, and she got frustrated, but she really figured it out at the end and got it precisely in the right spot.)
|FBR talking on her cell phone while riding.|
"I have some bad news to tell you...me and Connor are leaving the barn."
I guess we were also testing her ability to focus on the road during stressful situations. (She kept her eyes on the road and didn't swerve, A+) She said "WHAT???" and then her mature, rational, 15-going-on-29 side kicked in and she calmly said, "Well I totally understand. But I'm going to miss you!"
|Same night, FBR riding bareback Connor, making him look like a miniature horse.|
Since then, the only time she's mentioned it to me was when I texted her to tell her I did some spring cleaning and there was a bag of free stuff for her to go through before anyone else. "Please don't leave :(" she sent back. Heartbreaking. I keep telling her even though Connor's moving I'm not leaving the farm. I'm still coming back for lessons and will come out for hacks with her.
She may be half my age, but she's become a really good friend, and she has a bright future ahead with both riding and life in general. Most of the time I don't feel like she's younger than me, although every once in a while she'll say something that makes me go "Oh yeah, you ARE a sophomore in high school."
It'll be sad when we go, but I hope to convince her we won't be out of her life, even if we're not boarding there anymore. Leaving the people is always harder than leaving the facility.