I really lucked out with King. I picked him off of a list because I liked his name (Genesis Danishking). The rescue was calling him Genesis but we’re calling him King. He certainly has a princely personality. He is the affable, cuddly type of horse that hangs out at the gate hoping for an ear rub or some scratches. My other horse, Baron, isn’t cuddly at all. He acts like humans exist to serve him, and we are lucky if he lets us pet his royal highness! Having a more affectionate sort of horse has been fun for me.
He was a bit anxious about certain things when he arrived, very brave in general, but would get nervous about leaving the other horses. He’s now able to go on walks with me without worrying. He’ll graze on the good grass in the yard instead of calling for his buddies.
He is very, very attached to Baron though. He wants to be wherever Baron is, and right now I’m okay with it because I feel like King needs some emotional support after what he’s been through. As long as he doesn’t freak out when he has to leave Baron, I don’t mind him being a little bit codependent. His confidence will continue to grow, and he’ll get over it.
Physically, King is making great strides of progress- literally. When he arrived, his whole back end was like a weeble wobble. He didn’t have the strength to stand normally and he tucked his back legs far up underneath his belly to support his own weight. Now he is able to stand like he should, and when I watch him walk, he isn’t weeble wobbling all over the place. He has gained a lot of weight (maybe 100 lbs?), but he still has a long way to go. It will be a good 6 months before he looks “normal.”
He has improved to the point that I feel comfortable taking him on walks with Baron at the beach. I ride Baron and pony King, and they both have been better than I could have hoped. The first trip out was a little rough with getting used to walking at the same pace and me getting a hang of holding onto reins and a lead rope, but our second attempt was near perfect. I was elated with how well they both did- hopping right in the trailer both ways, walking calmly and matching pace with each other. This is definitely a thing we can do that they both enjoy and allows me to exercise two horses at once!
Typically I do not get attached to horses I foster. I know coming in that they’re not here to stay. I keep an open mind; if they turn out to be perfect, I’d consider adopting them. But so far, I felt that the right situation for all of them was to move on to a new home, even the gorgeous Belgian that everyone said I should keep. I just knew he wasn’t for me, and he is LOVING his new home.
I’m getting a little attached to King, though. He checks a lot of the boxes for me- he’s huge which I love (I love big horses, don’t know why), I love his dark bay color (looks good with any color saddle pad), and I love his personality. He fills a spot that was previously missing. Baron is aloof, my donkey drives me up the wall with his antics, but King is just sweet. King is snuggly and emotional, and fulfills some little girl with a pony fantasy that is still lodged somewhere deep in my psyche. Plus, he’s super level headed. If he’s as chill to ride as he has been with everything else, I just might keep him. I adore Baron but he can be a hothead. If King is the type that is perfectly content to plod along like an old plow horse, then he just might secure himself a home for life.
It also breaks my heart a little to think about him leaving. He seems very happy here. He loves the beach, he loves Baron, and he seems to love me as well. He and Baron are like brothers and we have this sweet, happy family.
The downside is that King is 15, which usually wouldn’t be considered old for a horse, but King was used hard in his previous life with the Amish. He was basically used up and thrown away. He undoubtedly has some physical issues, and I need to decide if I’m okay with that. Baron is a delicate flower, and he is 18, so they would be old at the same time. Smart people have one older horse and one younger horse, so they can ride the young one when the one is retired. I’m not smart; I’m a sucker. I haven’t made up my mind yet, and I plan to do what feels right when the time comes. King may stay, or King may go. Whatever happens will be in his best interest, though.