Here is my Gracie. A real beauty. Very large as far as horses go. Must have been all those graham crackers, apples and carrots (her favorite treats).
Her story began out back on the other side of the fence. No one took care of her. She had a black mane and tail and was a darker gray color and about 1 1/2 - 2 years old. I started feeding her. I shant go on about the lowly neighbors, but I continued to feed her for years, medicating etc. at enormous expense I might add.
One day an old nag appeared, named Brownie. Came from a farm up the road. They didn't feed her either. Being the alpha female, she'd eat Gracie's food and bite her, so I started feeding 'Brownie' too. For years I might add. I found out during that period she was 28 years old. I wormed and medicated her too; took care of her abdominal abscess. Unlike Gracie, Brownie is very skittish and has been on her own for a long time, though now I can pet her and apply fly repellent.
A divorce was occurring at the farm on the other side of the fence, so they asked if I wanted to buy Gracie. I thought and thought; we'd have to fence off some acreage and build a stall and tack room. But, at the time you couldn't give horses away around here and I didn't want her packed up in a trailer and shipped to Mexico, where they cruelly and gruesomely kill horses and send the meat to places that eat horses.
So, I bought her. She came alone and missed Brownie terribly. Can't imagine why, but they called to each other all the time. Gracie was so lonely. Nearly tore down the new fencing we put up, slashed herself on it etc. If you look back to the first picture, I went around the new barbwire fence with a pair of pliers and pinched each barb so she wouldn't hurt herself again. I could go on and on and on about my time with Gracie. I'd tell you about the time she was pissed at me for trying to push her back so I could get through the gate to feed her. She bit the soft, fleshy upper part of my arm and I believe the pain was worse than childbirth.
Meanwhile, Brownie found her way over to Gracie's pasture and I let her in. Still feeding them both. I talked to Brownie's owner and he said, "Oh, you can have her." Now, who wants a semi-wild horse that is about to kick the bucket? More on this in a minute.
Here is the serendipitous part of the story. I got this print years before Gracie or Brownie came into my life. They look exactly like this, down to the star on Brownie's head.
I made this life-sized paper mache horse before I met the mares. As I said, when Gracie first came, she was a darker dapple gray, with dark mane and tail.
The time has come though. Carrying heavy feed bags and bales of hay are too burdensome and backbreaking and did I mention very expensive? This old gray mare definitely ain't what she used to be. I am trying to find a forever home for Gracie. Don't want her passed around or mistreated and ending up in a slaughter house. Though I want Brownie's owner to be responsible for her, he will probably drive her straight to the place where they dispose of old horses. I fear it will be like signing her death warrant.
I am trying to make my life less complicated. A move to the city - yes, leaving my farm after more than 30 years - is in the offing. Hard choices and decisions lie ahead.
This weekend, though, I am going to my little home in the city to rest and relax, to see my children and grandchildren and friends; to eat out and see a movie, go to Whole Foods and Barnes and Noble, Hobby Lobby and other city things I love to do.