Sometimes when I turn Runkle out at the end of the day I stay parked against the fence after I lock the gate. I watch him drink for ages. His ears twitch when he swallows, it's really cute. He rolls ungracefully, always making at least one full rotation all the way over so he can get both sides. Maybe grinds his face into the ground too. There's occasionally bucking and farting and galloping away.
Most of the time though, he comes to say hi where I'm perched at the fence. He ignores his friends and the chance to get muddy to hang out with me. He knows I don't have food. But I scratch his ears, face, crest, anywhere I can reach and that seems to be enough of a perk for him.
It's been a year since I bought this horse.
It wasn't the year I imagined at all.
I also wasn't expecting to win dressage. Like, ever. I hadn't imagined a horse who could make me laugh as much as he does every day. A horse that was patient and even excited about trick training. I hadn't anticipated that jolt through his body when he learned how to really use himself over a jump. Or how much I'd come to love his little fluffy black rimmed ears.
I wonder when I'll go through a year that doesn't see a host of changes I didn't anticipate. I really hope it isn't next year, because how boring would that be?
If you've been around me at all at the barn, you've heard me say (often with exasperation) that I am NEVER EVER getting a baby horse EVER again. There are a litany of things Runkle does to prompt this exclamation. I swear it happens three or four times a week. But this past weekend as I was sitting on him for his very first time in the start box, I realized I was living the best moment of my life. And only he could give me that.