The above horse is Thunderheart
I wrote this post on Saturday but I felt like it wasn't finished for some reason. On Monday I found out why. On Monday our spotted horse (Appaloosa for anyone who cares), Trouble passed away with colic. Anyone who has had a baby with colic knows that you are up walking them all night or day long. You have to keep the horse on his feet because if he lays down you have to pull him to his feet. Colic is not much different with horses, still gas. The big difference is that colic can easily kill a horse. I spent all day on Monday walking through the sand in the corral. This is like walking through dry beach sand in flip flipflops; tough on the legs. Massaging his quivering belly, pulling with everything I had to get him to his feet, and succeeding twice. Still, he was an old horse probably in his upper 20s. We rescued him from a guy who couldn't afford to feed him anymore. He originally was a police horse that had been retired and sold. Before that who knows. I am exhausted and sore. We postponed our trip until Wednesday. Below is the post I wrote on Saturday about Trouble and our newest horse Thunderheart.
Horses are one of the most fun pets to have. They are pets, tools, and transportation all rolled into one. Most of our horses are retired. We do not believe that just because a horse is old and cannot be ridden that it should be put down. So when we have room and we come across a horse who needs a place to stay we bring him or her home for good.
Right now we are staying at Tom's father ranch. As I mentioned before Brae and I are staying with relatives until Tom is finished on the vineyard. Its been tough not having a house. I don't have my things, our routines are messed up, but there are really great things about spending so much time with family after such a long absence. One of the things that makes not having a home less hard is the horses. I have loved horses since I was a little girl Brae's age and I begged my mother for one for years, but never got one. For me horses are the ultimate symbol of freedom and strength. I always fantasized about riding bareback on a chestnut horse with my head thrown back and hair flying behind me. My arms thrown open as if to hug the sky or the freedom perhaps.
Tom's dad, Bud, was born in 1929. Can you believe that! My mind is boggled by the experiences he must have had in the last 80 years. Bud adheres to a morning and afternoon feeding schedule like clockwork. I think the horses are as therapeutic for him as they are for me. The horses are so happy to see him coming. They stomp and whinney, throwing their heads around and running around their stalls in excitement.
Brae has never lived with horses before. She doesn't seem to be too scared of them. Their size is intimidating, of course. They even scare me with their size. She loves to fill up their water buckets, brush the sand off their coats and comb out their tails. Tom has grown up around horses. He owned 9 of his own at age 14. He made money (and got more horses) as a teenager buying or trading for roughed up, ungroomed or badly trained horses. He would fix them up, make them healthy and sell them to responsible owners at a profit.
The above horse is Trouble
The spotted one's name is Trouble and boy can he be a bowlful of Trouble! This retired police horse threw me off his back after deciding that he wanted to check out a pretty mare in heat and he wanted to jump over two giant bushes to get there. I had never jumped a horse before. I made the first jump but I slid down the side of the saddle. I didn't have enough time to re-adjust before the second jump. I fell off the side and rolled like I was taught in kiddie soccer landing mostly on my lower back. I couldn't walk for a week and I couldn't sit normally for almost 3 months. I still have trouble sitting in hard chairs. Really, it wasn't his fault, it was mine for not having control of him and my friends for not telling me that her mare was in season. He is a really sweet and gentle horse that I ride all the time.
They are such expressive animals. I could stare into a horse's big eyes for a long time. Their eyelashes are long and luxurious, lashes that any supermodel would be jealous of. They may not talk like people but if you pay attention you will see them toss their heads to say hello, nuzzle you with their nose, lick your hand like a lollipop, stop their feet, run around their stalls, buck, or do this...
He gives you "the butt", its like flipping you off. Its rather irritating to be given "the butt". Its like being mooned. He is saying, "you were ignoring me and so now I am ignoring you". Or "you are not feeding me you jerk".
I am happy that Brae has the opportunity to help take care of them. We haven't been able to get her a pet to call her own yet so it is good for her to have something to feed and brush. She has a blast feeding the horses handfuls of hay. Well this is a long enough post for one day! Until tomorrow!
The other horses are in mourning. Its so sad to see them. They look sad. Its obvious.
I love the innocent emotions of animals. Only babies have that innocence :)