OUTSIDE THE ARENA
A BLOG WRITTEN BY Heidi M. Foy
Perhaps my biggest challenge now will be to sit back and watch her learn from someone else. She may not learn what I want or how I want, but she will be learning none the less. And, she may not even want to continue with horses. That is where I have to remind myself, whose dream is it?
One thing I noticed was that not much had changed around there- everyone comes, eats and ropes and stays to BS afterwards. Really the only thing that felt like it had changed was me. For the past several days I was saddened by this acknowledgement.
She ran to the window to see if she could see him. I did too. I realized that I felt the same way- my heart was all a flutter. My heart is happy to know what is coming for her. I can only hope that she makes a friend like I did in Frog. That she learns to trust and to love. That she experiences loss and can do it with grace. That she experiences a “Win” and can do it with grace. I have the fondest memories of spending time with my horses as a kid and look forward to watching her do it, too.
My grandpa’s birthday is on Christmas Eve and he and Granny always had the most stellar Christmas lights at their house. We always had prime rib for dinner. I remember staring out the big window awaiting the arrival of my aunt and uncle and first best friend, my cousin. It always took them forever to get here. Grandpa would make Buford the dummy roping steer look like he was pulling a life-size Santa Sleigh. There was a bell made out of lights that hung on the barn and another in the shape of a star on the house. Back then, there weren’t as many homes in the neighborhood so there were not very many lights, either.
My retirement was similar in that it wasn’t my choice. It wasn’t my choice to be done rodeoing. When it happened I didn’t realize that I was done; that it was over.
Because, let’s be honest. You never grow out of wanting to be a cowboy.
For the first time, I am seeing the true gifts that Frog gave me. And they stretch most of my adolescent years through college and even now in this moment.
I see him clearly laying there telling me that it is ok, that I will be o.k. It is like he waited till he knew, and till I knew that I would be ok without him. I could be successful in rodeo without him. While it is still very hard for me to deal with the fact that he is gone, I was successful in his passing.
Frog’s recovery was about 3 months long and consisted of walking and hand feeding. My parents and grandparents both had a huge role in this. I was going to school full time, in Powell while he recovered back home in Casper. Without the help of my family, Frog would never have made it through this.
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