KIND EYES
by Judy Wilson

    Red Dove's story begins in 1991.
    I was boarding a horse at Rocking J Ranch.  My daughter wanted to
ride with me, so I decided to buy another horse.  You could rent horses for
trail riding and those same horses were also for sale.
    The owner of the barn did some work for a friend.  His friend couldn't
pay him in cash, but he did have an 11 year old spotted walking horse.  The
arrangement was made to give the barn owner the horse, instead of cash.
    She was lame with arthritis in her left knee.  She was in poor
condition due to lack of care from her previous owners -- she was thin,
dirty and had girth sores that had gotten infected.  She lost all the hair
in that area and could not be ridden.
    I spotted her shortly after her arrival.  She looked scared and you
could tell nobody had done anything with her in a very long time.  She did
have kind eyes and when I would approach her she would come to me as if to
say please take care of me.
    She had a sweet disposition and good ground manners.  I found out she
was for sale for $700 so I bought her for my daughter, and boy, did we have
a lot to do to get this mare rideable.
    We had a farrier that specialized in corrective shoeing to trim and
shoe her the proper way.  It was another two months of bathing her with
iodine scrub to heal the girth sores before we could put a saddle on her.
We did ride her bareback in the indoor arena until we could get a saddle on
her.
    She was very spirited and always wanting to be the lead horse.  She
was and is still a fast walker, hard for other horses to keep up with her.
She was not for the novice rider -- she was fast and there was no lagging
behind.
    She has been a great trail horse.  Not much she wouldn't do for you.
    In 1995, I moved her to Crescent Valley Stables, where she resides to
this day.  Red Dove is now 31 years old.  I consider it a privilege to have
owned own her for the past 19 years.  She is truly a gift from God.
    She is in good health.  Her teeth are not the best anymore and she she
has to have a soft and easy-to-digest diet.  She gets her favorite grain
with a little bit of beet pulp.
    She still has plenty of spirit left in her and we still go for short
rides on occasion.  I don't know how much more time God is going to give me
with her.  I just take one day at a time and enjoy the journey.
    Whatever time we have left together will be treasured.  So until then,
Happy Trails!

                    -- Judy Wilson   <reddove99 at hotmail.com>

__________________________________________________
Judy says, "I live in High Ridge, MO.  I work at Dierbergs part time and I
also clean houses.  I have owned horses for about 20 years and have two
dogs and two cats.  I have always loved animials and I have adopted several
from the local shelters in my area.  I have also rescued a couple of stray
kitties."
__________________________________________________

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