We got Gus the horse last March, shortly after we moved into our new country home and a woman we met said she had a horse who would love to live on our property. For years we'd talked about having a place where we could have an old horse and some goats, and now we did, so we gladly accepted him.
We knew absolutely nothing about horses. I bought books and consulted the Internet treasure trove frequently, and we kept Gus alive and healthy.
But it turns out that having a horse is a lot of work, and I wasn't finding the time to learn to ride him, and we really didn't have a good or safe place for me to ride him. So we called his owner last week, and she came and got him this morning. He was thrilled to see her, and he's gone to a good home with all his old horse companions waiting for him.
In the picture above, Gus is pointing with his head at the shed at the bottom of the hill, where I'm supposed to go feed him. In the next picture, he starts toward the shed, figuring that although I'm obviously an idiot, I should be able to get a really pointed hint.
He continues down the hill....
Then he realizes that I'm not following, and stop to give me The Look.
The Look means 'you don't know nothing about taking care of horses, lady.' I've gotten that look a lot since March. I know, Gus, I know.
His owner commented on how great he looked when she picked him up. That's my husband's doing. He's shouldered most of the burden of horse care this last year. He's fed him twice a day, picked a mountain of poop, and worried about him when he's done something we didn't understand, like lie down in the middle of the pasture. And he did it for me, so I could realize a childhood dream of riding. He didn't really want a horse, and he's had health issues that have often made the work difficult, but he never complained, and didn't even let me know he'd be happier with Gus gone until I brought it up. He's a special guy. Thanks, sweetie.
Now we can take trips...and sleep in on the weekend...and let the wounds to the earth from those big horse hooves heal.
But I'm still glad we did it. We stretched ourselves, learned new things, and had the experience of knowing a majestic creature who is profoundly different from us. There's nothing quite like looking out the window and seeing that beautiful animal in your own pasture. I'll remember that forever....but when I imagine it, I'll also see in my mind's eye a steaming pile of poop beside him, and that special glint in his eye that means he deliberately put it someplace where it's hard to get.
Who says horses don't have a sense of humor?...