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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