Let me tell you about my horse. My Ohia. I bought him 10 years ago when he was 13 months old. He was on Oahu and I shipped him here on the barge. It is quite a journey - it takes 24 hours and you have to be there at the dock so early.
The night he was traveling, I wrote a short essay entitled "Ohia's Traveling" which was published in a collection of teacher writing (which is MUCH less of a deal than it sounds). I haven't thought about that piece since the publication came out, but now that Ohia's made another kind of journey, it comes to mind.
When I picked him up, he was with another yearling who had at least 2 hands on him (a warmblood filly) and he was such a funny little guy - he stuck out his tongue when he was standing around and looked like a goof.
He was so small, he just walked out under the stall pole and headed out north - trying to get home, I guess. I was at work and my husband hand to trudge through acres of waist high grass trying to find him.
I still have a scar on my hand from when he pulled the rope through my hands when it came time to geld him. We thought we'd keep him intact because he was a good-looking and good-natured fellow, but he started to take exception to my husband and (for some odd reason) our car. Oh, and one of the six pine trees in the front yard - just the one, never knew why. Gelding took the hatred for the car and the tree out and left the good nature.
He never got over sticking his tongue out of his mouth and he retained his basically kind and loving nature. When I rode him the first time, there were no fireworks - he basically looked around like, "What're you doing up there?" and didn't want to walk in case he hurt some body. He figured it out some - I never had any fireworks with him.
Unfortunately, rides were infrequent because of his chronic laminitis - he developed it when my boss' horse broke my fences and took her baby and mine for a four hour run. But he was always kind and willing and patient. He would greet me any time he saw me and he would follow me around like a dog.
When I scratched his neck, he would loop his head over my shoulder and try to scratch mine, too.
When I said good-bye to him yesterday, he rested his head on my tummy, like he always did and kind of made his whuffle at me. He was so sick, but he still had such a good spirit. My poor boy, I hope you are in peace now - out of pain and running free somewhere.
I will miss you so much.