…”Eating Horses Don’t Die.” The title of a book Scott was writing. Wish he’d lived to finish it. Would love to read the manuscript. My interest? I hope there are many horse and Scott lovers reading this because I’d like to write about an ‘eating horse’–my beloved Aristotle–who Scott operated on several years ago. I could write about that time, that incredible surgery, that experience–Ari’s life and times– but I’ll try to stick to the subject.
Ari was bon on Kauai in September, 1987, which makes him 88 and a half horse years old in people years, three years older than I. As a colt he was sent to Honolulu where he was badly abused. A very proud horse, but spooky, he hated everyone. He was rescued by a lady and her family who loved horses–Scott would’ve loved that story–and I first met him, bought him for a song, at her barn in May, 1993. There was something about that big roan– the way we looked at each other–that touched my heart. I brought him home.
The first ‘eating horse’ story: he came at me striking. A big horse coming at you, walking on his hind legs, forelegs boxing the air, is a formidable sight. Taught by a Canadian Mountie, ‘always ‘leave ’em laughing’, I calmed him down, fixed him a bucket of food and walked over the hill. Sadly. My horses always have full run of the land and I could not live with a horse that might attack me. Several minutes later–I’d left Ari with a full bucket–I heard hooves clopping behind me. I didn’t know what to expect. I turned. We met eye ball to eye ball. Face to face,
The look in his eyes said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” We bonded.
Fast forward to his homecoming after the surgery. Scott had put him on antibiotics, which Ari hated. He fought me. Came at me striking. I took him off the drug and offered him Vitamin C. He loved it and healed quickly. I gave Scott the drugs and told him the story. “He even ate oranges,” I said.
“Horses don’t eat oranges.”
“Don’t tell Ari,” I replied, “he hasn’t read that part of the book.”
Today my long- in- the- tooth beloved friend, eats like a horse. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I cook for him in the barn. He watches, making sure I do it right. No skimping. He counts: one large measuring bowl of oat alfalfa soaked in warm water, sprinkled with salt and tossed in his bucket. Another bowl of same dimpled with raw carrots. And one more bowl flavored with bran and laced with molasses on the top. He licks the bucket. Scott would have loved the sight, but he would have said, as he always did, “Horses have no sense of taste.”
And, once again, I’d have replied, “Don’t tell Ari.”
I hope Scott’s right and Ari never dies.