The Orange Bowl

Choco - the horse we belong to!

Choco – the horse we belong to!

He is attached to us now.

His head pops up, ears in a full point as we approach the gates. He hears us and knows who we are, races to one of the gates.

Is it the joyful clip in our step as we walk toward the pasture or is the bright orange plastic bowl that he knows will produce carefully cubed ripe fruit – pears, apples, carrots?

The family laughs at me. I cut out the stem and the core, all of the seeds and any bad spots. He is spoiled. I don’t know what might hurt his stomach, so I take him only the best.

He has grown in height, something unusual for a horse his age. We knew he looked poor when we bought him and that he was likely starved for salt and minerals.

In the pasture we brought him home to, the other horse had licked a cavity in the salt lick. Choco didn’t take time to lick it; he bit it off in chunks. The vet said not to worry, he would only take in what he needed.

He was only as tall as the other horse in the pasture and now he stands at least a hand taller.

“Is that possible?”, we asked the vet since we had him aged at almost seven.
“It’s very rare, but not impossible. I’ve seen it before.”

He’s put on a lot of weight and is growing his winter coat of fur. I really like the fuzziness about him – his chin whiskers.

He likes it when I scratch behind his ears and low on his chest – I suppose the places he can’t get to.

The other horses follow him to us. They know what the orange bowl represents too, as they will always get treats when he does. They get a little pushy and we have to take Choco out of the pasture because he is jealous of us – or protective – we don’t know which. Maybe it’s a little of both.

After we have brushed him and checked his feet, doled out all of the treats and kissed each other – that’s another thing, we kiss each other’s noses and sometimes he chews on my shirt or nibbles my cheek – we put him back with the others and he tries to beat us back to the gate. He wants to go with us – follow us.

My husband says it’s me. He follows me.
The old dog follows me.

We get back to our house, put the dog up and the cat out and what does the cat do? It doesn’t run off to the pond or chase a squirrel. It follows me.

“What is it between you and the animals?” he asks. “They all follow you!”

“Must be the orange bowl,” I say.

“But you don’t feed them from the orange bowl,” he corrects. “You just have a way with them.”

Or maybe, I think, they have a way with me.

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  1. I love your post, but can’t get the picture to open. (sigh) Probably something strange going on with my computer.
    That’s great that Choco is flourishing under your love and care! Just shows what nurturing can do.
    Our current kitty, Sundae, is Miss Independent, but our previous kitty, Beezy, was my “kitty soul-mate”. My hubby said he’d never seen an animal love someone as much as she loved me. 😦

  2. Ah a woman after my own heart. It’s you they follow and love. My animals are the same way. I love this picture. It makes me want to ride away in the sunset. Thank you for sharing your beautiful horse with us.

  3. This past spring and summer I have fed an abandoned calf, first with a bottle, then with grain. He learned the sound of the Kubota, also orange ;), and would meet me at the gate. Now he’s been turned in with the other weaning calves, so I’m hoping our bond will be somewhat broken before market time.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving the address for your friend. Stop in again, soon?

    1. How wonderful! Baby calves are so adorable and you sound a lot like me – turning them into pets. I’ll definitely stop by your site again and hope you’ll visit again soon.

  4. Choco sounds like a true gentleman in the making. A horse’s nose is just about one of the softest things in the animal kingdom. It’s amazing how tough and resilient a horse is and yet their nose be so soft. You must have a loving soul for animals to be so attentive to you. I like that special gift in a person. Choco’s photo is awesome. 🙂

    1. Thank you – he has a lot of promise. I think you are right about horses – they are tough and tender simultaneously. He may realize that he is in a good home. At least I hope he does. Choco was supposed a gift for my husband from our son and me for Father’s Day, but everyone keeps saying he’s my horse – including me! I guess we’ll have to share him.

  5. Thank you MJ. This reminds me a bit of the post you recently had about humans being the only creatures who don’t act on their intuition all of the time. I’m hoping his intuition tells him that he is in the exact place he needs to be.

  6. What an absolutely beautiful and delightful post. I’m hooked. Your horse story couldn’t have been any more pleasing. I never was a “horse” person, but in recent years have become interested, entertaining the idea that I might one day have a horse, or two–when my circumstances will allow. I have taken to combing Craigslist in recent months, for an array of items, and always check out the horses for sale–just for dreaming purposes! You deftly told this story with touching humility. Fabulous.

    1. Thank you for that beautiful comment. There was a connection with him the first time we saw him – intelligence in his eyes, the wish to please. Yet, he was skiddish and obviously not getting what he needed nutritionally. To see him grow has been such a gift. It’s like he is growing into the animal he was born to be. Guess you can say I’m attached to him as well.

  7. Oh, I love this! Animals definitely bond with people, but I also think that sometimes the bond is unique between two beings…they recognize something special in their human, much more than just a caregiver. I also think they have a recognition of a mother figure. Sweet and lovely post! Thank you for sharing! Sheila

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