I visited Buddy yesterday. I had to drop off his Source (vitamins) and DuMour joint medicine…important to keep him up with his supplements. He’s been on Source for 30 years, and I am paranoid about being sure he gets it daily. Funny how something I started years ago still affects my psyche. I am positive that the reason he is so darn healthy is because of those micronutrients he has received. Probably not, but you’ll never convince me otherwise.
Buddy perked up when I whistled, and I was delighted to see that he began walking up the hill to come to me. Toby and Bella looked up, saw him leaving them, and followed along. It was interesting to see that the 32 year old, one-eyed Appaloosa had become the “herd” leader. He has the young thoroughbred Toby terrified of him, and the huge mare Bella responds to his body language and leadership role. What an amazing old horse he is!
I haltered him and brought him in to the barn for a mid-day snack. I noticed that there was a large amount of feed left in his bin, which means he ate very little that morning, or maybe the previous evening, too. Hard to tell. He goes in spells: eats a lot, then doesn’t eat, but eventually finishes all the food. He certainly isn’t starving, but he is lean and slightly ribby. His croup and back are strong and fleshy, so I am pleased with his appearance. I personally prefer him a little lean rather than fat, in order to protect his knees His demeanor is definitely spunky, and he has returned to listening to my instructions.
As before, I used the shedding blade on him to help loosen his winter coat. This time I was smart and groomed him outside the barn. It was a blustery day and impossible to avoid his hair clinging to me and flying into the air. The barnyard definitely offered hair for the birds to build nests with. He has much, much more hair to lose, but the weather is not quite settled into permanent spring temperatures, so it’s probably best he still has a nice coat. I am hopeful that we are done with blanketing for this year. The blankets smell and need cleaning.
Bella and Toby were patiently standing at the gate waiting for his return. I gave up on removing more hair, and led him to the gate. Toby scampered away, Bella moved over, and Buddy casually walked through the gate to regain his status as “king.” They turned away and slowly walked down the hill without a backward glance.
I always feel somewhat of a loss when I leave Buddy. I believe I could stand at the fence and watch him for hours. (Of course, I feel the same way when I leave Reo.) This aging thing, for both Buddy and me, is an experience I am not sure I relish. Aches for both of us limit what we once were able to enjoy, but we are still alive and capable of experiencing different types of pleasures. Buddy is teaching me that. It’s never too late to take on new things, to take charge. Interesting.