When I bought Frostie, I used to daydream about having her in my backyard. I even used to look at equestrian homes for sale in our area. She would have an in-and-out, like Mr. Ed, and a turnout area, and we'd wander around on the trails together.
Then, little by little, I began to understand two things: I didn't have enough information, and I didn't know enough people.
One day, Hilde the groom brought Snowy the pony out of his paddock, down to a stall. He told me Snowy wasn't feeling well. I looked at the pony and thought... really?
"Look at his sides, how hard he is breathing," Hilde said. Snowy was trying to colic a little, but we took his food away and stuck him where we could watch him, and by the next day he was better.
This was a perfect example of how limited my knowledge of horses was. If I didn't recognize colic in Snowy, what if something happened to Frost?
Then I began to read the stories of backyard horse owners who went on vacation and paid someone to watch their horses. They came home to filthy stalls and skinny horses because their paid help didn't do the job. And then there was getting a good farrier to come out to do a single horse, and not being able to share a vet call, and the complete ease of paying someone else to feed every morning and evening and clean and blanket, not because I am lazy, but because some days, if I have to put one more thing on my to-do list, I shall certainly start screaming.
And I'm not certain when I shall stop.
Still... the idea of having them with me clings like a romantic notion. So I've been having fun with my pocket Snoopy. It was given to me by a darling young girl who attends Breyerfest every year. This year, she went to one of their crafty-shops and bought a small horse, then painted him to look just like Snoopy, down to the freckles on his legs.
It is a thrill to have Snoopy as a Breyer horse, even if it's not official - yet.
Snoopy has been helping me around the house. He makes certain the dishes are clean.
Helps make coffee in the morning.
Reminds me to unwind with a nice red in the evening.
He even updates his Facebook page.
Maybe real-life Snoopy can't go to book festivals or hang his head in my kitchen window, but pocket Snoopy can even visit Marcus at college.
I might end up with a horse in a backyard someday. But for now, I've got a little reminder of that big goofball waiting for me at the ranch.