Bonnie, the chestnut mare of my dreams, is busy living in someone else’s yard, carting around someone else’s friends like a summer camp horse in September, and basically not spooking or bolting or dumping her on the ground. I’m happy for her. No really.
Okay, so the fact is, I’m not sentimental about the horses. If you’ve known my writing any length of time, you know that. They come. They go. More come. More go. I adore them. They leave. I find someone else to adore. It’s possible that I’m very fickle. Some might say, it’s definite that I’m very fickle.
My old dressage saddle had a deep groove across the seat, created by my engagement ring scraping across it the last time she dumped me.
I should say the second last time she dumped me, because recently, Bonnie went head over heels for her new Mom and I’m quite left in the dust.
This is what I adore about horses – some of them have very clear-cut ideas about what they want out of life. (Most of these more opinionated horses are mares. Just saying.) A lot of horses, you can shuffle from barn to barn, owner to owner, rider to rider, and they take it all in, learn a few naughty habits to make life more interesting, transfer their affections to whoever is holding the feed scoop on that particular morning. But a few, they are willing to wait. For true love, the sentimental might say.
My feelings aren’t hurt. Maybe I don’t believe in equine true love. Maybe I’m an equal opportunity equine friend – they’re all lovely while they’re with me.
In the meantime, being the former owner of the Most Beautiful Mare in the World has come with many good memories. She was the most photogenic of my horses. She was a tourist attraction at Grand Cypress Equestrian Center. I have on my desk a framed photo of her that a random tourist took of her and had developed for me. (With film! That’s love! That’s attraction!) She was deeply affectionate and always intrigued by plastic wrappers of any sort that might contain food or food-like substances. Her tongue was very cute and she reacted quite strongly to having coffee dribbled on it. There was, in fact, once a time when you could Google her name and find a photo of her, captioned “Bon Appeal – she loves to have her tongue played with,” standing with her head over a stall guard on the backstretch of some racetrack – Delaware Park, maybe? I can’t find it anymore.
And maybe what Bonnie wants most of all is to be loved with rather more strength than my fickle heart can give a horse. I’m always looking for what’s next on the horizon. Horses live in the moment. Some more strongly than others, I suppose. Whatever truth is lurking there – about myself, about horses, about the meaning of life, etc., – Bonnie gets a happy ending. What else can a person – or horse – ask for?