Horse Heroes, cont.
My heartstrings twinge when I think of Utah. Another faithful children’s horse, Utah was my favorite horse to love and kiss and squeeze and talk to. He was a beautiful blood-red bay who still had a sheen to his hair despite his old age. Utah had the sweetest hint of a star between his eyes, a spot I kissed many times. It was easy to tell from interacting with Utah that he had very large, very open horsey heart. His eyes were kind and knowing, he didn’t think too much and therefore didn’t judge, and he would often approach you before you approached him. For a rent horse tired of taking tourists on rides, this was something. Utah seemed to love just for the sake of loving, without question or concern, and that is beautiful.
A majestic chestnut with certain draft blood in his veins, Tarzan looked like he just stepped out of the Dark Ages. He had gorgeous feathering around all four giant feet and a magnificent head. His eyes were shaped just perfectly to give him an incessant half worried, half knowing expression. Tarzan was very obedient, very kind, very gentle. He had a charming mustache on his upper lip that was delightful to the touch and that gave him a very knightly appearance. For some dear friends who came to own him, Tarzan really was a knight in shining armor.
I loved Rio. This sweet boy had big ol’ bug eyes that popped out the sides of his face, but behind his goofy appearance he truly had a heart of gold. Rio was probably one of the most reliable horses we had. I never worried that anything would ever happen to a rider while on Rio’s back, no matter how ridiculously the rider might act. Rio was incredibly patient; I don’t think I ever saw him mad or even ruffled. He was just Rio, steady and trustworthy to the end.
Tunka, Jag, & Comanche
Friendship between horses is beautiful. They find security, enjoyment, and satisfaction with each other, just like humans do. The bond between Tunka, Jag, and Comanche touched my heart every time I looked at them, and made me thankful for my own close friends. Comanche was a gorgeous light buckskin, tall and narrow with a long head. He was old and kind, as most older horses tend to be. Something about aging must soften them. Tunka looked just like a stuffed animal turned to life. He was a positively adorable red quarter horse with a wide blaze, whose every feature seemed rounded and cartoonlike. Jag was a prettily-built red sorrel with a striking face marking that gave him his name. To me though, it always looked like a star pouring a stream of light down his face.
A special tribute is also owed to:
Dillon- An adorable buckskin with large brown pools for eyes and an incredibly sweet heart.
Bandit- A precious paint who looked like he was just begging for a little cowboy to love him and play with him.
Dude- An overweight flea-bitten gray with a lot to love, and boy did we love him!
Popeye- A wild-eyed albino with beautiful blue eyes and a high spirit.
TaTunka- An enigma of a horse with very long, coarse, dark hair who reminded you of a teddy-bear . . . not very smart but incredibly sweet.
Beauty- A magnificent black gelding who was both strong and spirited.
Scout- an adorable red and white paint pony with a wonderfully calm, sweet spirit.
Sierra- a pretty flea-bitten gray mare who was tough enough to handle all the geldings around her and sweet enough to handle all sorts of riders.
Fabio- A stout golden palomino with a gorgeous mane and tail.
Pacino- An adorable dark bay with a scar across his face and an enormous heart.
To all the above horses and also to Big Mac, Sponge Bob, Jane, Wesson, and many others . . . you were loved and appreciated more than you knew.