It’s been almost six years since I’ve ridden him. Longer still for his true and real owner, my husband. Sometime between last night when we saw him, and this morning when Barbara went out to feed, he passed over. At nearly 27, Running Moonshine, aka, Moon was not expected to live forevere. And, while there are still tears in my eyes, I can’t help but smile at the memories and lessons I learned from this smart, remarkable horse.
ENJOY YOUR FRIENDS
He loved his herd mates. Several times, Barbara tried to put him in a smaller field in a “babysitter” role, thinking his advancing age had mellowed him. He’d have none of that. He just wanted to be with the “boys” in the big field.
BE HAPPY IN YOUR WORK
You couldn’t get the lead rope over his neck fast enough when he was heading for the trailer. Didn’t matter step up or ramp, straight load, or slant, empty or one stall occupied. He was going trail riding and that ws his joy.
BE RESPECTFUL OF ALL
When under saddle, he never pinned his ears at another horse…..never kicked or bit. He got along with most horses in the field or in a large group of unknown trail riders.
DO A GOOD JOB
Never bucked or reared while being ridden. Spook…well, yeah there was that one time the vultures flew up nearly in his face when he spun around. Refuse to do something….well yeah, he froze on that fire trail right before Jim saw the rattlesnake. The confidence of knowing he would happily do what he was asked was a confidence builder for me.
And while he would do what he was asked, occasionally, just to be sure you were serious in your request, he’d give you a little test. Well trained, and sensitive, he loved to wait till we were intently talking while trail riding before trying to snatch any oak leaves while walking down the trail. Knowing he’d get in trouble, but trying to sneak it in anyway!
While my husband stopped riding him years ago, Moon would leave a pile of hay when he called to him. He wouldn’t do that for me. And last night, in spite of his tired eyes, when Jim spoke his name, he lifted his head, walked to the stall door and greeted him with a short but definite sparkle.
Goodbye dear Moon. Thank you for the wonderful memories and stories. I will keep your light, bright spirit and lessons close in my heart. We will truly miss you and the gifts you gave.