Ozzie is stabled at Arrowhead Stables where I keep my retired, arthritic paint, Moon. This commission was like a stroll down memory lane. The first stall sign. I did was for Moon when he was about 12 years old. He, also, was a handsome paint, full of life with one brown eye and one blue. (Ozzie’s also has one brown and one blue eye.) Moon was the consumate trail horse. Eager to leave the stable, he would jump on the trailer whether you had let go of the lead rope or not. Leading through water, over noisey bridges, past scarey deer, he was comfortable, responsive, playful and the best horse I’ve ever ridden. He would try to snatch leaves when my husband and I started talking and holding hands, knowing we were paying no attention to him. The only time he refused to go forward had to do with a rattlesnake. His frozen body and snorting were so uncommon, we quickly knew to look for danger.
The oak fence board came from the stable where I learned to ride, learned about horses while working there and eventually met my husband. The stable was sold to a developer and there are now houses where my dreams became reality. However, the stable owner allowed me to take some fenceboards before the bulldozers came.
How blessed I am to have these memories of the wonderful past. Beautiful trail rides with my husband and friends, ponying through puddles for those of the timid ilk. His steadfast work ethic while under saddle. A light mouth, comfortable, all-day jog and rocking horse canter. He could scoot when you needed him to, and then settle quietly to the next task at hand.
Moon will not last forever and, for that matter, neither will any of us. But for today I am gloriously appreciative of the old, the new, and the especially, the now.