Friday, March 11, 2005

Musings 17...A really old horse...

I have a horse that, this month, will be 29 years old. Now I don't quite know what horse years are to people years. Somebody said it was about 5 years for every horse year. If that is the case he is about 145 years old, so I doubt it.

He was born on our family farm on Greasy Ridge, Ohio and has lived every second of his life there. He will, I am sure, be buried there when his time finally comes. I give him special feed to eat because his teeth are all but gone. He has to gum his way through his food, but he still enjoys dinner time. His old joints are stiff and his front end don't quite work like it use to. He takes little steps and is in pain when he moves a lot. I give him 10 aspirins per day ground up with his feed to ease the pain. I know that his days are numbered, but I am hoping that he gets to feel the warm sun of summer one more time.

Some of my friends say that I should probably have him put down, but I really feel that when his time comes, mother nature, God, whoever, will take care of the problem. I had another horse I had put down when he got old and I have never quite forgiven myself for it. Besides, I've got a few more aches and pains myself.

The weather of late has been quite cold and he is having a hard time getting up and down. Horses, contrary to popular belief, lie down as well as stand when they sleep. Old horses lie down a lot. He is nearly blind but he still can hear very good. If I say his name, most times he will answer me with a slight neigh or nicker. I don't think horses were suppose to last as long as he has lasted, but he's had it fairly easy the last decade or so. I quit riding him when he was about 18, so he has had a good retirement.

I don't know his politics, but if I were guessing I'd say he was a bit of a conservative. When he was younger he did not like to share with the other horses. Now he is just happy to have his pan full of food at the end of the day. Kind of like all other senior citizens. I'm sure he is glad I didn't lose all my money with shoddy investments. If I had he'd have been in the glue factory years ago. He just wants a dry warm place to sleep and food to eat. It ain't much, but it's about the same for human beings who are on social security.


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