Monday, March 16

The loner

So many acres—so few horses

Many years ago we had a horse named Chet. Her (yes, her) full name, as registered with the American Quarter Horse Association, was Good Night Chet. Only the ancient among us knows what that means—it was always followed by “Good night, David,” and was the signoff of the team of TV news broadcasters, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. Although we never found out exactly how Chet got her name, it was probably inspired by her being born right after one of those weekday evening newscasts. One of Chet’s offspring, known to most of us as Snip, is registered with AQHA as Good Night David so that completes the cycle. Chet was a loner, mostly because she was afraid of horses.

The lone horse shown here taking a late morning siesta is Geronimo, also known as The World’s Greatest Horse. Horses are so gregarious it’s rare to find a loner. Herd animals find safety in large groups, so if Ger is by himself he’s obviously not afraid of becoming a meal to some predator. He’s also a loner mainly because he doesn’t think he’s a horse, so why mingle with them?

Every once in a while we ask Ger to act as a welcoming ambassador to new horses joining our herd. He plays the role of Uncle Ger and helps them get used to new surroundings, new companions, and the rules of the road. Once the lessons end, the new horse joins one of the five or so groups and leaves with them. We thank Geronimo, and he reverts to being a loner.

Counting the neighbors’ Dryad Ranch, our horses have well over 700 acres to roam and find food. They rarely come up to our corral area, which is in the middle of the property. And that suits Ger just fine! He has grass, water, a salt lick, and Karla, who feeds him lots of easy-to-chew healthful goodies every day to mitigate the problem of his diminishing supply of good teeth. Such a deal.

1 comment:

Hhhorses said...

You think Good Night Chet is bad—we just looked at some AQHA papers and Rose, Butter and Isadora, respectively, are Annas Marie, GR VDSilvermist II, and Sugs Bita Charge. Where the names Rose, Butter and Isadora came out of those scrambled word piles we can only guess.

In the meantime, I'm going to go take Sugs Bita Charge for a ride.