Seems like a weird title, but that is what yesterday was. I went a funeral for a dear friend who had passed on, he had lived a long life and was the husband of the owner of my barn. His family has been a great part of my life since i was 8 and moved to NC and started riding horses. I will always value my time with him and he was such a generous person.
Since leaving the barn (such a story for another day), I haven’t had a lot of contact with anyone from there. Most of the kids and parents that were such a part of my life there had for the most part moved on in life and there was really very little apart from the owners, that kept me there. I loved the barn and if they hadn’t moved to a new location i probably would still be
tempted going to the barn instead of what i do now. It was an unhealthy relationship in the end though with my trainer and i (no not sexual, minds out of the gutter people, really) and i needed to leave as i am not perpetually 12.
I took the boys to the service (which was held at a church) and my sister and niece came along as well, since my sister rode there as well for several years. It was a lovely service and all 6 of their children were there. People i had grown up with over the years. However, none of them really remembered me and i found that to be really sad. They played a huge role in my life and influenced me greatly and just being away for four years has somehow erased me from their memories. Ok not that a funeral was a place to reminisce.
However, i wound up running into most of the kids and their parents that i spent years with. Kids that were now adults with their own careers or in college and their parents. People that i have kept in touch with in some aspects, but have basically just gone on to live their lives. I can tell you that I did love seeing them and i loved re-connecting with them.
It did help finally bring something to light though. I have really been missing the barn and riding and hanging out and whatnot. Missing it to the point that it is a nagging ache in the pit of my stomach. Seeing everyone though and how they have gotten older made me realize that the times i am missing are no longer there. If i went back to riding at the new barn it wouldn’t be the same. The kids there now are not the ones that came from middle class families, with great work ethics and minds like sponges that were just willing to do everything involved with horses, not just the riding. The kids there now are rich and spoiled and don’t do hardly any work at all, they can’t even spare time to attend a funeral for someone that is in large the backbone of that family that runs the farm. I am not saying that they are bad kids, but they aren’t the kids that i want to hang out with or even ride with. I realized that the barn i wanted to be a part of didn’t exist with the family that i know and love. They have had to adapt with the times to make money and in some ways have had to change some of the things about the barn that i loved the most. That made me sad. I think that these new kids are missing out on a very rich and rewarding experience that has made all of the kids i taught well rounded adults.
Nothing can replace the memories of the barn that i used to ride with and the kids that i used to hang out with, teach and show with, but at least now i know that I am not missing out now by not being a part of the new barn.