He was just a horse

Pictured is Spot. He was a vital part of the Haynes family as a rodeo competitor, horse and friend. (Photo courtesy of Ddee Custer-Haynes)

By Ddee Custer-Haynes

How many times have horse owners heard this from a non-horse owner? “Yes, speaking for myself, I truly get it; a human’s life is more important than an animal’s life.” However, that does not stop the heartache and tears when a good horse has to be put down due to age, illness or poor health.

To put it into perspective, have you ever lost a best friend—a friend who was your closest confidant, gave you unconditional love, and confidence, but yet could make you cuss in one breath and laugh in the other? If you have ever had that, then you may just understand a little better this story of a one-of-a-kind horse named Spot.

It all started about 28 years ago when I received a call from my brother-in-law Terry. He knew I was looking for a horse for my daughter who was 10 at the time. “He’s nothing special,” Terry told me. “He’s just a solid ranch horse. I’m not sure what he knows, but I have rode him a time or two and worked some cattle on him, seems pretty solid.” Taking his advice, I made the trip out to try this horse.

I will never forget the day I laid eyes on him. It was a chilly mid-October day when I pulled up and saw a tall sorrel paint standing with his head held high looking my way. As I stepped from my truck, a slim cowboy with welcoming eyes and a broad smile looking close to my dad’s age greeted me. “You must be Ddee,” he said. “Terry told me you were coming.” As he gestured toward the horse in the pen, he said, “I just call him Spot. Did you bring your saddle? Take him for a ride if you want. I left a bridle on the post.” To read more pick up a copy of the June 2016 NTFR issue.