I am not a horsewoman. I am not comfortable around horses in any way. They are big, very big and I am intiminated by their size. In spite of this, I somehow have ended up caring for horses for my friends when they go on vacation. My friends have left me in charge of feeding and watering their horses knowing full well that I am afraid of the critters. My quality of dependability overrides my lack of experience and skill. Some have been family pasture pets, others rodeo favorites and even a fancy horse with insurance. These many years of experience horse sitting have honed my observation skills by default. Lucky for the neighbor’s horses.
Just this week I looked out and noticed that one of my neighbor’s horses was clearly walking with a problem. I quickly walked up the road to take a peak at the critter, through the fence, allowing me to observe bleeding and a cut on his hind leg. I called the neighbor at work to report that 3 socks was injured, that is not his name mind you, but the number of white feet allows me to tell the horses apart. Lucky for 3-socks my neighbor came home and hustled him off to the vet who was able to save him. This injury was quite a bit more serious than I thought, and it was touch and go. The horse is now confined to the stall while he gets care for his long-term recovery.
Yesterday at 7 am we looked out the kitchen window to see to Socks (4-socks) walking down the road. My husband who rides a bit for work, headed out to head the horse back home. We needed a rope and horse face-mask, neither of which we have to do the job properly. The horses owner’s had left for the day, and I knew that the saddles and other tack were locked up. I placed to a call to my neighbor’s cell, which of course was out of service, to ask about getting the required tack to lead him back to his winter pen/pasture. Getting no help, I then called another neighbor who is a retired cowboy, to ask to borrow the required tack. He quickly showed up with the necessary equipment and some grain. Together he and my husband returned the horse to his place. We walked the fence, found one loose spot we tacked back up.
My life list includes getting on a horse and riding without fear. It isn’t very high on my list, but is one of those things I figure a girl who has lived in cattle country in Colorado and Montana should have at least done that. Both my neighbor’s horses are quite friendly, and I have gotten to the point I can give them an alfalfa cube in my bare hand and pet them. Of course this is all done with a fence between me and them. It sounds silly as I write this but this has been a big step for me. There may be a possibility that I can cross rising a horse off my list if I live to 150, though the fear part may never go away.