It was a beautiful day to trailer him 30 miles to his winter home. My reject jouster is used to being hauled in a slant livestock trailer, so a simple two-horse looks strange to him. But all it took was several tries, front hooves stepping up the ramp, then stepping back down.
He's barely vocal. He didn't call out. He never looked back at the spartan paddock pockmarked with deep, dry mudholes.
HG and I followed behind the trailer, and as we drove, I realized that I've decided to keep this horse. I could have given him back, because that's the arrangement that was made. I had nine months to decide, enough time to discover what in him isn't right for me, enough time to become intimidated by him. But the moment you start making choices for a horse -- what food, what vet, what stable -- you own him. When I backed him out of the trailer at the best horse bed & breakfast in the state, I felt...such a smile.