I tickle her nose and she exhales all over my arms and face. Her soft, persistent nose rubs against me asking to be petted a bit longer. We are in one of the few places where you can be yourself - a horse’s stall. Here, there is no danger that your companion will spread gossip about you or laugh if you look goofy. Goldy simply provides constant love.
I take a hard brush and rub it along her stomach. She used to flinch, but now it feels as though we have a special connection. Goldy, my chubby, white Quarter Horse, has many secrets that only I know. She lost her best friend, Windy, and together we coped. Her face was so sad then, her spirit had disappeared.
We are stronger than ever now that we have recovered. As I brush her neck, her head gets heavier and soon she is resting it on my shoulders and I can hardly bear all that weight. I scratch her and the only sign of her being awake is her upper lip swiveling back and forth on my back, scratching me as I did her.
After our little break and rubs, we begin our daily walk. Goldy knows and understands how to be gentle around people, and I believe that she would never hurt anyone without good reason. She is not completely trained so I am always careful with her. When I stare into her eyes, I know she is ready and willing to move on. She listens well and I love it when we are together with an audience so she can show off and let everyone know that we do well together.
When riding her, she is as gentle as a mother with her newborn in her arms. Goldy makes it easy for me to ride knowing that she is always there; it feels as though we are flying together. She is my strong wings that will take me wherever I wish to go. We are one on our rides and never take each other for granted.
She loves me and I love her. I am lucky to have her watching over me. She is a responsibility, a friend, and a family member. She is there to tell secrets to and take care of. Through the good and bad times, we grow stronger. We are inseparable, invincible, and irreplaceable.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.