Our horses all have a story to tell. Sometimes they come to us with mysterious stories of their past... some we figure out... some we're still scratching our heads about. And some carry secrets so deep and dark that we know we'll never be able to unlock or understand them.
And then, some stories are created right here on our farm, unfolding day by day just like pages in a novel.
Here are some stories about life, love, and friendship, that our horses have shared with us...
The First Best Friend...
We all remember our first best friend. They set the standard so high for other friends... but no one could ever replace them. No matter how much time passed, how paths crossed and uncrossed over the years... a short visit now and then always takes us back in time... as though the clock has never moved.
And sometimes those first best friends aren't just reserved for us humans...
The decision to castrate Harlem was not an easy one. We loved his offspring, but knew that there were already enough horses in the world... and he needed to have the opportunity to simply "BE" a horse at this point in his life.
With that in mind, we looked forward to the day that we could introduce him into a herd.
Trouble was... we weren't quite sure to go about doing that.
We decided to try the "one at at time" approach and let him get to know one horse, see how that went, and then proceed further.
The second problem was... which horse was going to be the "Guinea Pig?"
It took us several days to figure out "who" was going to be Harlem's first friend... or at least who we HOPED would be his first friend.
We finally decided on Bi Mi Hollywood Premier ( aka "Hollywood" ), a large alpha gelding in the boys field.
Hollywood was by our wonderful mare, Mia's Time, who raised all her babies to be very much "in charge."
After Harlem's "procedure," we moved him to a much larger pasture where he could move around to hopefully help with any residual swelling. He healed very nicely and we decided to finally bring in Hollywood.
We made sure that Harlem was at the upper end of the pasture on the day that we quietly walked Hollywood over to the gate and snuck him inside.
When we took the halter off of Hollywood, he immediately called out to his buddies in the lower field... not yet realizing that the field he was in was already "occupied."
From over the hill, two black ears appeared on the horizon, followed by a big black head that clearly wore the expression of...
... What the... ????
Hollywood saw Harlem standing on the crest of the hill. He stood at attention, facing Harlem, and called out to him, never moving his feet.
Harlem's feet were moving, however... thundering over the pasture as he came to check out this strange, bold horse.
Frank and I scurried out through the gate, not knowing what might happen... and wondering just exactly what we would do IF something DID happen.
All the while, Hollywood never budged.
As Harlem drew closer, I could see him doing a mental checklist...
Harlem came to a halt right in front of Hollywood. They touched noses, and then proceeded to smell each other from head to toe.
There were no squeals. No pawing. No rearing. No kicking. And no biting.
As Harlem was standing beside Hollywood, he reached his neck over Hollywood's shoulders and pulled him close. They stood that way for what seemed forever... neither horse moving.
When I looked closer, Harlem's eyes were closed.
After ten years of being in seclusion, Harlem had made his very first friend.
From that day forward, the two horses were completely inseparable, shadowing each other no matter where they went.
We thought that Harlem would be the leader of the two. But they seemed to take turns with that role... never quarreling over whose turn it was to be the "Leader" on any given day.
Harlem is the oldest horse in the field. Hollywood is always on the lookout for any of the other young geldings that get "big idea" about picking on his friend.
Hollywood will put himself between Harlem and the other horse and shake his head. And that's all it takes to end the challenge.
Hollywood is Harlem's self-elected body-guard. On duty... 24/7... for his friend.
They eat together side by side, never once arguing over food... and usually sampling out of each others' buckets.
They nap together...
And when we finally reintroduced them to the large herd of geldings,
... well, they ALL napped together!
They even played together.
No matter how many horses were out in the field, Hollywood and Harlem could always be found side by side...