Dukers when he first came to the barn. So effing red!
Duke has been my beloved horse since April 2008. He started out as a lease because the lady who owned him was trying to sell him and everyone at our barn hated him for the the following reasons: he was mean, fast, stubborn and mostly turned up lame. I got stuck with him in a lesson one day and we’ve been two peas in a pod ever since. Now, when I first started working with Duke, he looked unhealthy and most of all he looked like he had all of his spirit drained from him. It’s amazing how far he has come. He’s trusted me and through trusting me, he has trusted others. I no longer have a fast, out of control horse but a multi-purpose one. Now, I am just about the only one he allows on his back without being tested and that can do certain things with him but for the most part, Duke has done a 360 in his personality and behavior. I made a commitment to Duke when we bought him. I would never, ever sell him. If I out grew him or he had to retire, he will always be mine.
After my 2nd procedure
Duke proved last year that he made that same commentment to me. You see, I was kicked by one of Duke’s pasture mates last year, and while I was waiting for the ambulance surrounded by 6 horses and alone, Dukie was in the farthest corner but never kept his eyes off me. When the paramedics came and cleared the horses away from me, Duke came and stood over me, protecting me. The kick sent me in and out of the hospital for 44 days with injuries of a grade 4 liver laceration, bruised right lung and a heavily leaking bile duct. But inbetween hospital visits, it was a priority to see Duke. While I was gone, he refused to visit with other people and horses, he either stood in the back of the field alone or ate his heart out. The first time I was released from the hospital, I was unable to halter or lead horses but I pulled up a chair by Duke on cross ties and he put his head in my lap and never moved a muscle until it was time to leave. That right there proved to me, this horse loves me as much as I love him.
I don’t think people really understand my relationship with any horse, let alone mine. Duke is my number one priority in life. He makes me who I am every day. He gives me that sense of joy, of love that I loath for. I love this horse. He may be small and have an attitude. He may not be able to jump like he used to or win several first place ribbons. But he is my horse. He will always be my horse. and most of all I will never leave The Duke of Hazard’s side, ever.