19 October, 2010

There are days when I hate how quickly horses can wriggle their way into your heart. Today is one of them.

For those of you who don't know this, I'm really into horseback riding. Besides the exercise it provides both me and my equine partner (because yes folks, horseback riding is a sport.), it never ceases to fascinate me how close a bond a rider can form with his/her horse.

There's a horse at my barn named Bates. He's the sweetest thing on four legs. He loves people, and he loves to snuggle. He's not too old, maybe about sixteen or so, but he looks it. Bates is very skinny, despite eating nearly half a bag of senior feed every day, and no one can figure out what's wrong with him. Beth, his owner, got him from someone who was going to euthanize him four years ago, and she's worked hard to make him get better since. But in the past month or so, Bates' kidneys have been starting to fail him, and he hasn't been able to go outside with the other horses at all because he gets too cold, even with a big warm blanket over him. Bates is being put down today, and as I finished chores for the morning, I saw a few cars pull up at the lower barn. Some girls from Beth's high school riding team had skipped school to come and say goodbye to their friend. One in particular has been his only consistent rider since he's been at Stoney Brook. She loves him so much, though he's not pretty, though he's out of shape, though he's a mess in the ring. And he loves her too.

So here's to Bates, the cuddliest horse I have ever met. I'll miss you, buddy.

No comments:

Post a Comment