At 11:30 a white car pulled into our driveway. Out stepped a lady in breeches in boots, with an apple in her hand. She came up towards the barn and introduced herself. She was Becky, the lady from the farm where Linus worked as a beginner school horse not too long ago.
I led her into the arena, and when she saw him, her eyes immediately welled up with tears. She walked towards him and in an instant it was clear - he recognized her.
He walked towards her with an eager look on his face, glancing back at me a few times, but never skipped a stride. He dropped his head into her arms in a most comfortable way. She gave him the apple and told him how much she loved and missed him. He seemed to agree with her.
Becky was disgusted by his condition and saddened by the fact that it had happened to such a sweet horse. She apologized to him for allowing him to end up this way, although she and I both know that she couldn't have predicted the future two years ago.
Becky told me about his history with her. At his farm, he was known as "Cutter", but since he was a total baby doll he was frequently referred to as "Cutter Butter".
He taught beginner lessons and was a solid jumper. She said that he was the most bombproof, beginner friendly horse she had ever met. He was frequently seen packing 7-year-olds around a course of crossrails. They trail rode him frequently, and he would willingly and quietly lead or follow.
She also showed me one of his idiosyncrasies - Linus likes to have his butt scratched. Yes, you read that correctly. His butt. A few minutes after they were reunited, he took a few steps away from her, turned, and then began to back into her, stopping just before his tail hit her nose. She put her hands up and began scratching around his tail with her fingers, never missing a beat in our conversation, as though this was normal practice. I stopped and started laughing, and she said that "he just has a weird sweet spot." Apparently.
The more she scratched, the more he leaned. He stuck his upper lip out, and rolled his eyes back. He moved his hips so she hit the good spots, and when she found them, he leaned into her. He enjoys having his tail scratched, too, and would hold it away from his body to remind her that she had missed it. She spent the better half of the hour rubbing his butt while we talked. And he loved every bit of it...
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Tomorrow, Brad will be out to trim Linus's hooves around 4:30pm. I'll do my best to get pictures of the first hoofcare that this poor guy has received in the last 8 months.