Thursday, March 11, 2010


It's interesting to see how something will make you remember the past.

I saw an article that talked about a race horse owner getting into some legal trouble for having a bunch of malnourished horses - he whined that he hadn't even seen the horses in several months and that it wasn't his fa-ult.  Stupid jerkwad.  It IS your fault.  You are the owner, you are the one that is ultimately responsible.  So maybe you should have looked in on these horses that have made you so much money.

*deep breath*  But anyway, I didn't start posting in order to eviscerate someone with words, as satisfying as that can be.

I started posting because the malnourished horses reminded me of one of the horses that I had as a young teenager.  His name was Cody.  He was a beautiful sorrel gelding, part thoroughbred, part quarter horse, and was TALL - 18 1/2 hands high.  He was my first 4-H show horse, which meant that I had to learn to mount him without holding on to the saddle or the saddlehorn - Hah!  I was much more limber back then, but it was still a challenge to get my foot that high in the air without leaning on something.  But I did it because I was awesome.  Well, if not awesome, then at least dedicated.

But he wasn't always like that.  My aunt, who at that time lived in Colorado, went to buy a horse from a woman.  She was looking at the horse that was for sale, when she saw an emaciated horse with feet the size of dinner plates, standing dejectedly in a muddy pen, nose to the ground.  She asked about the horse, and the woman was dismissive of him, saying that he used to belong to her ex-husband.

My aunt was never one to tolerate an animal being abused or neglected, and that is what this was a classic example of (starving and neglecting a horse to get back at a man - really!)  and made arrangements to take him.  I wasn't there - but I think that I remember that she offered the woman a small amount of money to take him right then and there, along with the promise that she wouldn't turn her in for animal cruelty... as long as she could take him out of there.

The woman, not being a fool (though an idiot in so many other ways) agreed, and the horse was loaded up into the trailer.  He was so weak that he could barely stand on his own, but when he saw the back of the trailer open up, he leapt in unassisted, he was so eager to just get the hell out of there.  I can't say that I blame him...

The rehabilitation took awhile, from what I understand.  My aunt made arrangements to have his feet taken care of right away, though the farrier was half afraid to lift his feet for fear that he would fall over in his weakened state.  She gave him food, and clean water.  He started to fill out.

This is where I enter into the story - I was out visiting her for a month, and Cody was the horse that I rode while I was there.  He was gentle and placid, for the most part, and was a good horse for a kid that wasn't confident around horses yet.  He was my mount when we went riding in the Rocky Mountains for a 12 hour trail ride.  It was a fantastic experience, and one that I will never forget.  (Though ask me to tell you about the handglider guy crashing beside us, and its fall-out, sometime.)

After the month was over, my aunt told me that I could keep Cody as my own - we loaded him up into a trailer and drove across Kansas back to my parents in Missouri.  We lived in 30 acres at the time, and I already had one horse, Prince.  There was more than enough pasture to support two horses.  Cody grew positively plump over the years, on that good rich bluegrass.

I have never understood people who are willing to starve, neglect, or abuse an animal.  I don't trust them either - I can't help but to think that if they're willing to mistreat an animal in such a way, that there is something about them that is broken.  They're probably also likely to mistreat other human beings, especially those in subordinate positions to themselves.

I'm sure that karma caught up with that woman at some point.  It's too bad that I wasn't there to see it.

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