Think of the one thing you always wanted. The only thing you ever dreamed about having. Growing up, daily fantasies were projected in your brain whenever things got slow or boring. A place to retreat and dream and wish desperately for because it was the one thing you’d do absolutely anything to have.

When I was four, instead of Barbie’s, my parents bought me Bryer Horses. For my eighth birthday, I asked for a halter and lead rope, despite lacking a horse to fit them to. The Black Stallion and Black Beauty were my favorite movies, as well as the Australian family classic The Rogue Stallion.

My favorite day-dream was the one I would have whenever we went to Long Beach’s most popular horse stable. They had pony rides and gave horseback riding lessons. Whenever we would go, I had this dream of some poor, inexperienced tyke who loses control of her pony and is in desperate need of rescuing. Because of my insane amount of skill, I jump the next available horse, turn him on his heels and speed off like lightning to rescue the child from imminent death. Of course, I always triumphed and as a reward for saving the kid’s life, the overjoyed stable owners give me the horse.

When I was twelve, I would sit in my room and become so overwhelmingly bitter at my lack of having a horse of my own, I would take my pillow, hold it against the wall, and punch it countless times until I didn’t feel like it anymore.

A horse was the one thing I always dreamed and longed for. Imagine my joy when my parents told me they had bought one. I was thirteen. The feeling of happiness was also of ridiculousness. Had I imploded, no one would have been shocked.

Now, about five horses later, the one that has meant the most to me has been offered to a woman in Redmond. She has an eleven year old daughter, 20 acres, and four other horses. I just found out about it today. I didn’t even realize mom or dad or I had even begun to put Tuffy up for sale. Mom called me and after she told me about the lady, I was both reassured that it would be a wonderful place for him, but also devasted that I couldn’t keep him forever. And I cried really hard after I got off the phone wth my mom.

I think I’ll always consider Tuffy as technically “mine.” Even though I think I’m more bonded to him than he is to me, I still believe he loves me. He follows me around and hugs me from behind when I’m not looking. Yes, horses do give hugs. Strong ones.

Saying “goodbye” is going to be one of the hardest things I’ll ever have to do. Because even though I wanted A horse my entire life, Tuffy was THE horse for me. It’s the fear of never finding another one like him that makes the “goodbye” seem so difficult and so bitter.

Technically, he’s the only one I’ve ever had a “long-term” relationship with. It’s like we’re breaking up. And I’m crushed.

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