So, here I go again. I have been thinking this over, off and on now, for two months. Should the Old Horse Buddy stay where he is, or should he join me here where I think he belongs? I have decided he belongs near me in his ending years. He is well-fed at my friends; but he is not cared for; i.e., groomed and given treats, and checked for sores, and so on. Are those things important to the Old Horse? I truly don’t know, but they’re important to me. I want to perform those things for him.
I visited him yesterday, and he appeared pleased to see me. His knees were definitely stiff, but he walked strongly through the tall grass and rocky terrain. I led him to the barn and into his stall, and he relished finishing off his morning senior feed. He really enjoyed my grooming him, as he quietly stood while I scrubbed off his dusty loose hair and dried mud with the bristle brush. Hair and dirt flew over his body and onto my clothing, and into my nose, causing me to sneeze. When I stopped brushing, he bent his head back and rubbed my hand to continue on, which I did.
Suddenly he heard Bella in the pasture behind the barn, and he became agitated at his separation from her. He nickered, and nudged my hand to encourage me to lead him back out to the field. I fastened the lead line to his halter and he gently pushed me aside as we approached the gate. He did, however, take the time to nose my pocket for hidden treats before he walked through the open gate to join Bella and Toby.
I began to think that perhaps he might be more relaxed and content if he didn’t have to worry about that mare all the time. He was much more relaxed when he lived with only geldings. I wish I could ask him if being “love sick” all the time wasn’t a burden on his psyche? And then I remembered how Reo was so uptight when he was around mares, and became so much mellower she placed with only geldings. My thoughts are that perhaps Buddy also would be more relaxed living with Reo and his pasture mates. But would the trauma of separation be too difficult for a horse his age?
I’m going to find out and move him up here to live at StoneRidge with Reo, where I can check on him a few times a week rather than once a month. I think I’m doing the right thing. Time will tell.