Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I`ve never known a horse before. Sebastien is a 22 year old Quarterhorse, owned by my love S. He has a fine pedigree, descended from the proper families I`m told, and is a handsome chestnut, 16.2 hands, strong and proud.

I remember when I first met Sabi. Unknown to me, he had been drafted into the "Get V Healthy" campaign silently initiated by S following some hospitalizations of mine. I was still unable to walk very far and I sat in the open door of the horse trailer while S retrieved Sabi from his pasture. From my sitting position he seemed enormous and as S and he passed by closely she warned me to watch my feet to be sure they weren`t stepped on. There was just enough room between trailers to walk a horse and S led him behind the trailer where there was room to turn him around.

S smiled at me and said "Do you want to feed him?" I looked behind me and saw the pail with grain, intending to stand and get out of their way while he was fed. Before I could stand, S had brought Sabi to me and as I looked up I saw a very hungry animal. [I would soon learn that horses were always hungry and would graze for hours if given half the chance.] I followed S`s instruction and put the grain pail between my knees. Immediately, a large nose and mouth descended into the bucket and Sabi began to eat. He devoured his portion of grain in two minutes and continued to lick the sides of the pail, hoping to chance upon a stray grain. I looked at S and we both laughed as she started to tell me something. "After he eats grain, you have to watch out…….."

Before she could finish Sabi turned his face to me and I leaned in closer to him. Just as I began to lift my hand to rub his nose, Sabi raised his head six inches and proceeded to baptize me into his herd. A giant sneeze sprayed me from forehead to chest and I learned my first rule of feeding horses grain: Some of the grains will enter his nostrils when feeding and it`s prudent to turn his head away from you as he finishes!