The first time I saw Sally, she was only three years old. Her halter had been snubbed up tight. She was shivering from the cold.
“She isn’t mean, just not too bright.” That’s what her owner said. I wondered how she stayed alive. That horse had not been fed.
She hopped up in the trailer and she didn’t even balk. That horse just needed someone with a nice and easy talk.
My father named her Sally. He wasn’t quite sure why. I wonder if he knew someone who seemed to be that shy.
Well Sally fit right in and didn’t cause us any fuss. I sure was glad she had a home away from that old cuss.
We fed that filly grain and hay. She filled out really fast. I wondered how much animals remember of their past.
Some horses take some extra work to get them fit to ride. But Sally was a natural. She had a perfect stride.
We rode that horse ‘bout every day. Hers was a household name. My kids would ride three at a time, ‘cuz Sally was so tame.
One day my younger children didn’t cinch the saddle tight, and it slipped down underneath the horse. My kids screamed out with fright.
But Sally knew just what to do. She didn’t move at all. My kids climbed out from under. Good thing she wasn’t tall.
As years went by, each child of ours grew up and left the fold. Old Sally, we all called her then, now twenty-two years old.
I didn’t have the time to ride Old Sally every day. So she’d whinny and she’d whimper in the very saddest way.
Old Sally must have felt alone when good times didn’t last. Maybe horses do remember just a little of their past.
When our kids come home to visit, they bring children of their own. And all those grandkids tell me, “She’s the best horse ever known.”
They ride her every day until they’ve said all their goodbyes. Old Sally really loves our kids. I see it in her eyes.
Will Sally be around much longer? None of us can say. But this will always be her home until her dying day.