Song for an Old Horse

I went to see my 30-year-old horse today. His name is Buzzy, he’s a retired Standardbred racehorse, and I’ve had him since he was 8.

Today was probably a true April Fools Day with the temperatures in the mid-60s under a cloudless sky in a part of the country where 10 inches of snow have been known to fall in May.

Today I joined Buzzy in the small lean-to in his also small corral, picking my way through the mud that is officiating whatever spring we are going to have now, before the May snow, that is. Buzzy is blind, but his ears and nose are faultless and when he heard the crinkle of the carrot bag I brought, he stuck his nose out in his blind way of moving and slowly ambled to me.

There we were, we two, standing in spring mud while I doled out the mini-carrots to him one by one. His winter blanket is still on, but I was able to brush off the caked mud on his face and neck. He likes to be groomed. I like to groom him. It’s a meditative thing – creating pleasure in a simple way for an old being. For this human, it’s soothing – watching the geese pair as they devotedly waddle together,  the wasps who have awakened from their winter nests, and the other horses lollygagging in the first warm sun of the season.

Thirty is old for a horse – VERY old – and I wonder how many more years, seasons, and days we will have together. Hopefully years, more likely seasons, hopefully, more than days.

I keep my frig stocked with many bags of carrots.

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