My sweet Harley is an 18yo quarterhorse that I brought home to be a companion for Shandoka. Talk about a love affair. Those two hated to be apart from one another. If I went for a trail ride without Harley, Shandoka would call for him constantly. If I left Harley alone, he would get so stressed he would begin to get colicy.
When I brought Chaco home, Harley resented him so much that he tried to attack him twice. Chaco was too fast for him though. I did a lot of work to bring those three together as a group, and when they did, it was awesome.
Harley is my rock. He got Chaco and I through this summer. When I need to, he lets me drape my body across his withers resting my head on his shoulder as he reaches around with his nose to hug me.
Every single night he sleeps next to Shandoka’s grave. He never slept there until Shandoka died.
When Chaco came up lame, even though they were separated, Harley stayed by him throughout it. When I took Chaco to the vet for his first exam, Harley went with us and nickered to him throughout the exam.
When it was time to take Chaco to Glenwood Springs for the surgery, I brought Harley. I did this for Chaco, but I also did it for Harley. Harley doesn’t do alone well. I wanted him to understand that Chaco wasn’t coming back with us. Harley doesn’t like to travel far either, and the poor guy had sweat up a storm on the way there, and on the way back.
When we got home, Bill and I dried him off, put a blanket on him, and we took turns spending time with him. He handled being alone pretty well. There were a couple of times during the night he woke me up with his nickers. I went out both times, and herds of deer were moving through our neighbor’s field; they made him nervous. I sat with him in the barn admiring the stars with him. He is a star gazer……honestly.
During the day of the surgery, he had the most difficult time without Chaco, and he had some bad moments. I spent a lot of time with him. In turn he helped me get through the long surgery and wait. My friend Andrea asked me if I had anyone with me when we were entering the third hour of no news. I told her I had Harley. When the surgery was over and he was out of Recovery, I ran outside to hug on Harley.
When I left the next morning to pick up Chaco, I decided to leave Harley at home. When I started to drive out, he galloped up to the fence. I hopped out of the truck, hugged on him. told him I was going to get him, and all would be good. He went back to grazing, and I kept an eye on him the whole time with the remote cameras linked to my phone.
When I drove back in with Chaco, he galloped up to us. They touched noses, and then Harley acted a little bit like, “So what you were gone. I’m cool. No big deal.”
However, when we went through this bad reaction to the antibiotic shot, he never left Chaco’s side. When I walked Chaco back from the pasture to his stall, Harley came running after us. Usually, he waits for me to get him, because he wants as much pasture time as possible. He did this again today, and it tells me how off Chaco was. Now I think these two finally bonded, and I don’t think I can leave either one behind. They are finally best friends; just took a year and six weeks.
Harley is my hero, my bff, my pain in the neck, and Bill refers to him as his horse. I let Bill think that, but he’s my lovable goofball.