Old Horse Tag

The high-class mare who graces my fields is a welcome sight every morning when I walk down the lane to feed. She leads the thundering herd of three if they’re in the east field, cantering into the dry lots with a vision of beauty I never get tired of witnessing. High necked and curvy she reinforces my belief that the beauty of a horse has touched our collective memory for many millennia.

Recently I came home from a trip into town and drove down the lane to check the horses in the awful heat of the late afternoon. I found her lying down and sweating profusely. Jumping out of the car I was through the fence and to her in an instance. I got her up, and lead her to the barnyard. Checking all her vitals she was still, not looking at me, very dull and within herself. I knew we were dealing with stress from the heat and a possible colic in the works. The vet was summoned and while waiting for him to arrive I walked the high-class mare around the barn after rinsing her off three separate times. She began to brighten up finally. By the time the vet arrived she was grazing and aware of her surroundings. We went ahead and treated her for colic. I turned her out in the paddock and went back and checked her again that night. Her coat was cool and sleek; she was high-necked and gazing at me with her bright slightly white ringed eyes wondering why I made an appearance in the dark of the night. Back to a normal for a horse who has never been sick that I can remember. I checked her papers the next day while working on some registry paperwork and discovered she’s 18 years old rather than the 16 I have been reporting for several years. I guess that qualifies her for an old horse tag. I can’t imagine not seeing her everyday in my life.

I will never for the life of me figure out how people get rid of their old horses.