Howling at the Moon – My babies are seniors

Filed under: Opinion |

by Sylene Argent

I knew the day would come, but it seemed so far off. It is official, my horses are getting older.

It is hard to believe how quickly time passes.

I got both of them when I was 14-years old. And now, they are 21 and 18-years of age. That’s 18 years together and counting.

My mare, Finesse, still acts like a two-year old. She has always had more energy than needed and had a quick pace, too. She loved to run full-tilt when let out to pasture in her adolescence, bucking and kicking up a storm. My gelding, Flame, always followed her influence when he was a youngster, but he’s a pretty laid-back dude now, though sometimes he can still be mischievous. They still run and buck when they feel the urge, just not for as long as they used to.

Now, I have them on supplements to combat their age and the conditions, like arthritis, that come with that.

I have never had senior horses, so this is a new adventure for us all. I keep reminding Finesse to slow down, but she still thinks she is a spring chicken. She still looks that way, too. But, her movement is a little different than it used to be.

All this recent humidity has made the ground slick in some places, and I try to keep them away from slippery areas or clean up potential hazards before they become a problem.

Having horses has always been a lot of work. But, there is also a lot of reward to it, too. It taught me about responsibility as their needs always had to come first. And, trust me, there have been many nights over those years where I had to sleep out in the barn on a couple bags of shavings or in a chair in the corner of a stall when one of them was not feeling quite right.

Sometimes, those long nights were in the dead of winter. I remember one-night years ago when my former pony had a touch of colic and I had a terrible cold. All I wanted to do was wrap up in my bed and sleep, but when I did my night check, my plans got altered. His needs came first. I was just relieved when he started to feel better in the wee hours of the early morning.

I used to show my mare at the Harrow Fair, and getting out to that annual festival always brings back great memories. It also allows me to re-connect with many individuals who still show their horses locally.

One year at the Harrow Fair, I had only showed my mare in showmanship and halter, which are morning classes. While we waited, she tried to snag a bit of food from passersby, who were enjoying the festivities. That was one of many times she had me laughing pretty hard.