My mother was afraid of horses, or maybe more accurately, uneasy around them. After all, they are large and my mother barely made it to five feet, so it seemed natural that she would avoid getting to close to Amigo. A safe distance was behind the closed porch door when Amigo was in the yard with me. I once got her to come out and offer him a carrot, which he promptly spit out; they were both offended. I guess carrots were not on his list of goodies. Mom promptly beat it back to the porch before he could inflict her with his displeasure. When this story unfolded, I could hardly believe it, considering her reticence to be around Amigo.
I walked into the house one afternoon after school. She called to me. “Billy, don’t you feed your horse in the morning before you leave for school.”
“Of course I do Mom. You know I always feed him after I get home from milking cows. Why?”
“Well, every morning after everybody is off to school, I always go out and look at my flowers. A few days ago, when I was outside, he came down to the gate and whinnied at me. I thought he wanted to get out so I ignored him but he kept calling. I finally went into the house and got a cube of sugar and walked down to the gate and gave it to him. He is really quite gentle isn’t he?”
“Every morning now, he is waiting at the gate for me. He calls as soon as he sees me and shakes his head and dances around. The way he was acting this morning, I thought you must have forgotten to feed him and that he was hungry. So I went to the barn and gave him a scoop of oats and some hay.”
I was flabbergasted. “You went into the pasture with him? You’re kidding, right.”
“No I’m not. He was so nice. He followed me to the barn and then into his stall. I didn’t have to do anything except give him some oats. He kept talking to me all the time I was getting them. He must have been starving, poor thing.”
“Mom! I feed him oats every morning. He is putting you on. He can’t be hungry; he has acres of grass to eat if he wants it.”
Mom and Amigo became really good friends. Every morning, he would wait for her at the gate and call when he saw her; sometimes he would call before she got outside. When she came out, she always walked down to the gate to talk to him, pet him and give him a goodie. Some days in the afternoon when he wasn’t in sight, she would walk down to the gate and call for him. In a few minutes he would come running and reach over the gate to nuzzle her and get his goodie.