Once again, this blogging thing has led to an unexpected solution to a problem. Last Friday morning, I finally posted about my big decision to find Gabe a new home, a decision that I have been agonizing over and dwelling on for longer then I care to think about. However, just a couple of hours after I hit the 'publish' button, I got an email from some people I have met a few times who live in a nearby village and have been following my blog. They are a retired couple who do a lot of horseback riding and they have met Gabe several times. They even went on a trail ride with him before I ever knew about him. The timing and circumstances were never right before, but they have had an eye on Gabe for a long time.
Ironically, Riding Buddy and I even had a conversation several months ago about them possibly being a good match for Gabe. We didn't think they were looking for a new horse though and I never followed up on the conversation, time went by and I forgot about it. However, unbeknownst to me, they had lost one of their two horses early last year to a re-occurrence of an old injury and they have been trying to find a new horse ever since. A difficult endeavor that I can deeply empathize with and the main reason I have been so reluctant to part with Gabe. A good horse is very hard to find.
When they saw my post about Gabe, they didn't waste any time getting in touch with me and came out that very afternoon to see him and discuss things. We talked about everything and the end result is that Gabe went home with them Tuesday afternoon (he had to hang around long enough to be in the parade on Monday:).
I really think this is a true win/win/win for everybody, including Gabe. The two things he loves most in life (other then food anyway) are hanging out with his gelding buddies and lots of attention from his favorite people. He doesn't get much of either here. There are no gelding buddies and I don't have the time to spend with him that he so craves. His new home has both a nice big gelding to play with and two very loving, experienced horse people who are over-the-top happy about Gabe. On top of that, he is only about 20 minutes away and will likely be visiting for trail rides regularly. Everybody wins.
I'm going to miss Gabe. His sweet nicker, the convenience of an easy ride with a friend and the stunning beauty of seeing him and Tessa out in the field together. However, I won't miss the stress and constant worry about him hurting Ramsey, no matter how accidental it may be.
This was a hard choice, but the way everything came together in just the right way, I feel good about it now. I know I did the right thing, not just for me and the rest of my little herd, but for Gabe as well. A "forever home" is one that forever takes the best interest of the animals to heart even when that means passing the torch to someone else when the need arises.