This article was published with the Progressive Farmer’s Our Rural Roots column.
Our horse, Lou, is 25 years old. We know that his days and his rides are limited. I can’t think too much about it or my eyes start to leak.
He’s a bay quarter horse that has done it all. He is one of those horses who can back into a box and come out flying or slowly plod down the country road with multiple kids on his back.
He’s been roped on at the World Series Team Roping in Las Vegas. He won my brother his first roping buckle. He’s worked a lot of cows. He’s been my favorite mount and posed for my engagement photos. Most recently, he has served as horse, hero, and best friend to my kiddos.
Not long ago, after a particularly stressful day, everyone at our house was on edge. I know in that scenario, the best thing to do is to get outside. So we did. And, I saddled Lou and we set out on a ride.
In this time filled with so much uncertainty and unknown, so much hatred and division, I’m not sure there is a more calming thing than to spend some time with Lou. He never changes. He is strong and steady. He is relaxed and quiet…so long as you aren’t too slow with the grain.
By the time we were done with that ride, everyone was different. The kids were laughing, and I was smiling and, Lou was the reason. A sunny evening, a leather saddle, and that bay gelding moved us to a better place.
I wish the rest of the world was lucky enough to have an old horse like Lou to carry life’s burdens. And, to remind us just how easy love can be.