I've heard so many people say that they do not think that horses have the capacity to feel love, or care about humans the way humans care for their horses (or at least like some of us care for our horses) ...but Siaga melted me entirely today.
I have a story.
I am not the worlds best horse mom. Siaga has a muddy paddock and gets grass only when I bring him down to the yard and hand graze him or let him in the back paddock, which due to summer grazing, doesn't have a lot of grass in it at the moment. His stall is tiny. His only stable mates are a couple of tom cats and some mice, and whatever other wildlife (racoons and possums) that make their homes there.
The barn does not have plumbing or heating, and is a more of a metal shack. It was made by the Amish, does not have a front door, and the roof on the other side had a branch go through it last winter and has a hole. It's cold in the winter and hot in the summer.
I had just mucked his stall and given him hay, which he was busily munching, and leaning on the gate and making little sad sounds, and telling him I wish I were better horse mom, wish I could afford a big rolling pasture and other horses as stable mates and a good trainer and a safe, warm, well plumbed barn, and Siaga lifted his head from his hay and turned to look at me, and I kept talking, then he turned entirely around, came over, hung his head over my shoulder, and pressed his jaw and chin into my back and I put my arms around his neck and said I'm sorry and... and... silly horse pinned me closer and then I did start crying, because it was emotionally overwhelming.
My heart is still having trouble processing it, that he did that, but it's saying, this is why.
This is why I muck his stall and carry buckets of water in the winter and stack hay. This is why I fret over the quality of hay and whether or not to give grain and what supplements. This is why I want a career with horses. This is why I can't go to school unless he goes with me. This is why.
One muddy, bay, 14.1 or 14.2 hh, 7 year old, Quarter Horse gelding with attitude problems is why.