Scenes From the Ranch: My Not-Dead Horse

“Maybe next time you could sleep with your eyes closed?”

Photo by Amanda Ward

Dylan is a 26 year old quarter horse that I’ve owned since he was 9. Being 26, I know every day he’s still around is a blessing. Thankfully he’s still healthy and rideable.

Last week I walked out to feed lunch to the herd. Dylan normally greets me with a whinny, especially at feeding time. This day he was laying down in the upper corral. I thought he was sleeping, until I realized his eyes were open. So, I thought to myself, he must have died, but at least he lived a great life and passed peacefully.

I walk closer to him and he starts twitching. Oh no, he must have had a stroke. I call his name, I tap on him and no response. I pick up his legs, shake his head… nothing. His whole body is spasming, so I call my boyfriend to bring me my gun so I can humanely euthanize him.

The phone rings once… twice… and on the third ring Terry picks up.

“You OK?” Terry asks.

At that exact moment Dylan jumps up and starts stretching.

“Yep,” I reply. “I was calling to tell you to bring me my gun because I thought Dylan had a stroke and was paralyzed. But never mind. He must have been in a REAL deep sleep, with his eyes open. Thanks, hon.”

(I always carry a gun with me when I ride in case God forbid my horse gets injured and I have to put him out of his suffering. Now, up until today I never knew if I could actually put my own horse down, but when I saw that he needed to be put down, I know I would have had no problem going through with it.)

“Well, Dylan, I’m glad you’re alive, and I’m glad I didn’t shoot you. Maybe next time, you could sleep with your eyes closed? Thanks. Now, go eat your lunch.”

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