I like to look at horses. I don’t ride and have no desire to, I just like to look. There was a beautiful honey-coloured horse with a creamy mane and tail who used to live in the field behind our house. I looked for him the first thing every morning and watched him off and on all day. He was a handsome fellow by the name of Aksa. His original name was Hacksaw. It was a highly unsuitable name for such a beautiful animal so his present owner renamed him Aksa. Much better, in my opinion. He lives elsewhere now and I miss him. He essentially made my day.
I have ridden a few times in my life when I was much younger but I don’t think I would do it now. They are very tall beasties and rather intimidating. I remember one trail ride I was on that turned out with the horse doing whatever he wanted to while I held on for dear life. We were crossing a stream and my mount, usually a lumbering old thing who plodded from point A to point B, decided he wanted a drink. Nothing would change his mind. Down went his head and he slurped to his heart’s content despite my best effort to get his head up. The trail ride leader kept yelling: “Get his head up!” I tugged hard on the reins to no avail. Finally she came riding up along side of me, grabbed his bridle and with a hearty heave succeeded in raising his head and persuading him out of the stream. That was my last horseback ride many years ago.
Aksa’s companion was a lovely black horse with a sense of humour, may he rest in peace. He got out of the paddock one day and the owner had much trouble getting him back in. Every time the man would get close enough to grab his bridal the horse would dance away. It was as if he was laughing at the man. He was certainly having a good time. The man gave up and went and called the original owner who came over with a box of Skittles. That was the end of the game. The horse became as compliant as a well-trained dog and followed the owners back to the barn and the paddock.
There’s a much more manageable horse just down the road. He patiently stands with his right front leg raised as if to pull the buggyful of plastic flowers harnessed on behind. I’m not sure where he’s going but I guess he’s undecided too as he hasn’t moved for at least three years. He lost that raised front leg to the snowplow one winter but he bravely stood on three legs until the snowbank melted the next spring. Lately he went through reconstructive surgery and his leg is restored, and his flowers are refreshed for another season.