Fergus died a week ago.
He colicked acutely and severely in the early hours of the morning. When surgeons opened him up a few hours later, they discovered that most of his small intestine was necrotic and entrapped. They euthanized on the table.
I didn’t write about Fergus as much as I could have. A combination of time and the weirdness of writing about a horse that isn’t your own. Thankfully, that is my only regret.
Fergus made it easy to love him. He was so genuine and honest, there wasn’t a deceitful bone in his body. You had treats? He wanted treats! You could be his new best friend.
He was just particular enough to make it feel special when it was apparent that he really liked you. TrJ topped the list, then me, then his real mommy, A. And I only came before A because I was a much more plentiful treat dispenser, and she was the Evil Needle Poker of Adequan Times.
But he was just fussy and zippy enough under saddle that it was really apparent when he was working with you or was doing his own thing, and you could tell from the rail who he appreciated riding him.
Fergus was the first horse I’ve known who really did enjoy a good cuddle. He wasn’t much of one for wither scratches — I only found a good itchy spot on him once — but he would happily stand there, resting his head on your shoulder, even taking a little nap if you’d allow it.
He was always tolerant of stupid human games. Go for a walk in the early morning with a coffee mug? Into it. Play unmounted games and fling yourself off his body? Into it. Canter bareback on the track and nearly fall off the side? Confused, but into it.
He was fun, and talented, and an excellent teacher. I could have enjoyed learning from Fergus for years to come.
I am so grateful that this little horse let me be his person. That he made me laugh and groan and smile and sigh exasperatedly and think and wonder and dream.