In the nearly 16 years we spent together, my often silly boy left me in hysterics. Here are just a few of the funnier moments I still love to remember…
“The Hose Monster”
While watering the indoor arena to control the dust, I’d let Buddy loose in the arena with me, to stretch his legs. Mostly, he wandered a few steps behind me, my large, furry shadow. The barn phone rang, so I shut off the hose, set it down, and ran to answer it. I was only away from the arena for a minute or so, but in that time, Buddy had rescued me from the terrible Hose Monster! I guess I hadn’t shut the hose completely off, and it was still spraying a little. Buddy fought the hose, and killed it, by stepping on it, and stopping the spray. When I approached him, he was wearing a victorious expression, and was covered from face to feet in water spots.
“Hide and seek”
Upon returning home from a week long horse show, I had a very tired horse, and a whole trailer to unload. I let Buddy loose in the indoor arena of the barn, while I started to unpack. He meandered around, probably saying hello to all his other barn mates, not paying much attention to me. The front of the barn had large doors with a wooden bar you could slide across, to leave the doors open, without horses being able to escape. It was a nice day outside, so the doors were open wide enough for a horse to stand between them. I made another trip outside to the trailer, when Buddy finally noticed I wasn’t within eyesight. He nickered and trotted around looking for me, then popped his head out the open doors, saw me, and gave a huge whinny, as if to say “I found you!”
After a long day at a horse show, we often stopped for a meal on the way home. Buddy had a full hay net, and would stand contentedly in the trailer while we ate. He preferred Bob Evans though, because they have a yummy fruit plate, and if we’d had a good day, I’d get one to go for him. He wasn’t sure what to think of the big decorative bib of lettuce it sat on, and the yogurt smelly funny, but he loved the fruit! I’d cut it into smaller pieces for him, which he would devour, sending sticky fruit juice flying in all directions, and delighting anyone in the parking lot who happened to see it.
“The leg wrap dance”
Whenever we took Buddy for a ride in the trailer, we wrapped his legs for safety. We used a pillowy quilt rectangle underneath a long wool bandage. This protected his legs from getting banged up or cut, and offered support for long trips. Buddy though, thought we were trying to torture him, every single time. He would start with one leg, holding it up at an odd angle, and shake it, trying to free himself from the wraps, then the next leg, and the next, until he was finally willing to admit defeat, standing awkwardly and looking frustrated.
Buddy was always fond of women, and never had trouble wooing them. One day he did encounter a new lady friend, who was a little harder nut to crack. In a showmanship class with our friend Jared, was where Buddy first laid eyes on “Blue,” Jared’s dapple grey mare. I suspect it was largely due to his not having seen a light colored horse in a while, but the moment Jared turned her to trot her back into the lineup, Buddy snapped to attention, gazed, and nickered a clear, “hubba hubba” in her direction. Blue hardly gave him the time of day, but after we completed our pattern and returned to the lineup, he only had eyes for her, and nearly tripped over me in the process! Any time after that class, when he’d see her, he’d stop, stare, and whisper more sweet nickers in her direction… which she turned her nose up at. Poor Buddy, all that flirting for nothing!
I think we’ve all had horses that have colored our lives in one way or another. There will never be another Buddy, he was one in a million. Some swear he was part human, sometimes I think he thought he was a lap pony, but he was all heart. Everyone who met him, loved him, and he loved them right back, except that one time I let Gary Trubee ride him, yeah, he wasn’t a fan of Gary’s… he cried like a little girl that day, but generally speaking, he was a lover. I miss him every day, and I’m so thankful he was a (huge) part of my life, even if it did feel like it wasn’t for long enough ❤