It’s the little things in life that continue to amaze me. One of those little things is my almost four-year-old stepdaughter. Her grasp on this world and her relationship with everything in it are astonishing. Animals love her and search her out to play. People adore her. It seems as if she’s got a magnetic aura surrounding her.
About a year ago, I introduced her to my then-stud-colt, Bo. They hit it off right away. Her smile lit up her face and everything around her. Not long after that, I let her give Bo his first ride. As she laughed and giggled, he gingerly took a couple of baby steps, one ear cocked back, paying close attention to his young rider.
Since then, Bo’s grown up a little and so has she. That has only strengthened their bond. She rides him bareback (under CLOSE supervision, of course) and he takes care of her. They spend countless amounts of time, each on their own side of the fence, talking and playing with each other. I can only imagine what depths their conversations go to.
Just the other day, I looked out and spotted Bo with his head lowered, ears cocked off, half-asleep while he received a jaw rub from his favorite little person. Ever so gently, she moved her hand up along his neck, rubbing slightly. Bo never moved as she climbed the fence to lean over and rub his back. If anything, I think he stood even more still.
I made my way out to them, camera in hand, to try to capture their youthful innocence on film. Seeing me, they stopped and looked up. My stepdaughter had an arm draped over Bo’s neck, and as if on cue, she laid her head between his ears, gave him a hug, and I swear, they both smiled at the camera.
It wasn’t long before I’d finished off a roll of film and left two of my favorite buddies alone, again. Glancing back over my shoulder as I walked off, the sight of that colt giving that little girl the best hug a horse can and her returning it warmed my heart.
Yep. It’s the little things that make me smile.
Jori Butler (New Mexico, USA)