Remember when we wrote about our neighbor’s three lucky horses a couple of years ago? Their luck continues… and that is perhaps Lila’s luck, now, too.
The oldest two horses are now 32 and 28, respectively, and will probably never wear a saddle again. They have crossed that boundary into old age, but they continue to have a home and, eventually, they will join my neighbor’s beloved old mare in the horse cemetery out back.
The younger horse, however, still has a lot of life ahead of him, and a lot of spunk. Maybe a little too much spunk, at times. Lila has been riding this little Arabian, who we will hereafter refer to as Mr. Crazy Pants, for four years now… off and on. Sometimes off. All the way off. He has a very nice personality, but can be a little spooky and occasionally cantankerous. This sometimes makes for some misadventures, as several riders have discovered (including Lila, who once left a Lila-shaped imprint on a tree… well, not really, but it was quite an impact, courtesy Mr. Crazy Pants). I must say, though, this little horse has taught me a lot and has made me a better rider than I was before; just don’t expect me to turn up at the Olympics or anything.
No one wants misadventures on horseback, but a serious misadventure this past spring may have a silver lining for Mr. Crazy Pants’ future. He pulled one of his stunts, and his owner… my friend… ended up with a badly broken ankle (this sort of thing is why he has a bit of a reputation in his old neighborhood). The summer passed in idleness, never a good thing for spunky Arabians. My friend worried about his lack of exercise, but I was far away now, in our new retirement home. She actually cast about among her friends to see if anyone might be interested in riding him there locally, whether that meant borrowing, leasing, or buying him outright (choosing carefully on that last option). No takers. Did I mention the reputation?
Then – a set of circumstances aligned perfectly: a local friend wanted to add another horse to her barn and to have someone to ride with; I wanted to keep riding as I had been previously; and my old neighbor wanted Mr. Crazy Pants to be employed over the winter. Soon, Mr. Crazy Pants had his invitation to his new winter retreat. After an initial adjustment – a day of panic after seeing his horse trailer drive off without him – he has settled in well. And with the regular exercise, he is – I dare not say this too loudly – actually not quite as crazy as before.
He might even get an offer of permanent residence here!
Oh… did I really just say that? Am I really a budding horse owner? And… of Mr. Crazy Pants, of all horses?
… and suddenly, all Lila’s time and discretionary income are drained away… but it’s worth it! And whether he goes home as planned in the spring, or stays on at his new winter home… his retirement is assured!