by no stretch of the imagination would I consider myself a cowgirl
country girl, maybe?
but I love this horse!
and more than I love this horse
Cowboy Dan LOVES this horse!!!
I would even go as far to say that on occasion throughout our blissful years (ahem.)
Cowboy Dan has loved this horse at times more than me
his registered name is
we call him “DUKE”
don’t ask why.
we can’t remember.
we’ve had him just shy of two decades
he was our baby before our babies
I remember the first day Love ever saw him in a friend’s pasture
he came home and said
“I’ve found my horse.”
almost two years
he borrowed the money from a friend
and indeed he became
He was a stud when we got him
dappled, iron gray
only a handful of people have ridden him for any length of time
because Cowboy Dan is stingy with him
and speaking of riding him
he’s one of only 3 that I have ever felt comfortable riding
still to this day
when I watch Love ride this horse
“be still my heart!”
tonight when I came home and I saw Duke lying on his side in the pasture
which is fine midmorning or mid-afternoon and the sun is hot
but not at dusk when it’s cold.
it’s not normal.
and then Love said “Duke’s not doing good.”
I felt sick.
I got my coat
walked across the pasture
calling to him
munching at him
Duke’s response: nothing.
I felt the “panic” welling up in me
when he raised his head up to look at me
Love had mentioned that he had gotten cut last week
and I had seen a cut on the front of his leg but I had not seen
the bad one
on the back side
Cowboy Dan brought a halter
we lead him to the barn
he hobbled the whole way
breaking me heart.
maybe it wouldn’t have been as bad if Cowboy Dan hadn’t said
“He’s like an older person with a broken hip. Hard to recover at his age.”
panic welling in me again
“Well we’re not giving up on him yet!!”
once we got him to the barn
we soaked his foot in a bucket of hot water and epsom salt
Cowboy Dan boiled it out with peroxide
while Mighty Mouse and I brushed him and talked to him
Jake said “we need him to look handsome right momma?”
“Right, son.” (lump in my throat)
finally a shot of bute (pain med)
dressed the cut with salve and wrap
we’ve done all that we can do
and it’s going to be enough
because it’s Duke
and he has to live here