This is my old rope horse Gus, an Appendix quarter horse. Not much in the name, but that's how I liked it, simple.... something he was not. He had no fear, and a free-spirited mind of his own, but because of his attachment to me, our minds melded and when riding, he was an extension of my body. When I asked something of him, he'd arch his glorious neck and give to the bit, working off my instructions. I can still feel the peace and serenity when riding, hearing nothing but his hoofbeats, the clip of a shoe on a rock, his bit chains jingling as he tasted the sweet metal, contentedly blowing through his nose, and with a distant rumbling thunderstorm.
Now I say "no fear" because anything I asked, he'd do it. Even if another horse around us balked at a task or was frightened of something, it didn't phase Gus one bit. While trail riding, a buddy's horse refused to go through a deep trench with a creek in front of us, so I'd pull Gus in front and he'd walk through without a second thought. The other horse would then soon follow. He didn't even put up a fuss, when one early morning as he was happily eating his breakfast, I snatched him out of the barn to rescue a wayward cow. A neighbor's longhorn got out on a road near my house, I saddled in record speed, galloped ol’ Gus down the road, roped and dallied the bellowing bovine, dragging him behind us back to his pasture with a herd of onlooking beefcakes.
We also blazed new trails. One time really sticks out in my mind when we went through some harsh thickets (Oregon’s snarly and prickly blackberry bushes which grow wild everywhere)and up a steep ridge until it just got too thick and deep, that I had to meander him "backwards" all the way back down through the trails we made. No refusal, just tucked in his chin and did as asked. Simple as that. He took his work seriously.
The stories are endless, and I'm blessed to have had him for a big part of my life. He'll never be forgotten, and the equine love of my life.
Where the wild winds blow,