I got Hobo when he was only a 6-8 month old colt. We went through all kinds of highs and lows during the next 22 years.
I was just starting high school when Hobo came home from the auction house with no paperwork, just a plain old grade dun colt with no name. I named him Hobo in honor of another horse named Hobo owned by a famous wild horse advocate named “Wild Horse Annie”.
Hobo came to stay with us and not long afterward he crushed the side of his face breaking multiple bones in his head. His life almost ended before it had really begun. My mom and her business partner who’d bought him at the auction were talking about putting him down right then and there. Bill had said, “Well we should just put him down because he’s not worth more than a dollar to me any more”. So I got mad and stormed off to my room and gathered up a dollar’s worth of change. I stormed back into the kitchen, slammed the change on the table and told Bill, “ Well here’s your Damned dollar, he’s mine now and he’s not getting put to sleep”
So that is how I came to have a wonderful horse named Hobo. I had to pay the vet bill for the surgery that removed all the broken bones and reset the bones in his head.
Hobo and I grew up together. I’d learned to ride and train horses with Hobo. Then I went away to college and left him behind for my younger sister to ride. He was trained both English and western. My younger sister won a year-end award for High point in her age group riding Hobo in hunter-jumper classes. After college I joined the Army and took Hobo to Ft. Huachuca, AZ with me. There we learned how to ride sidesaddle.
Hobo also loved all kinds of “ people” food. One day at the base riding stable, a young boy was walking around the horses carrying a bag of Doritos chips. Hobo untied himself and chased the boy back into the stable office trying to get some chips. One of the other boarders at the stable had a little girl who would drop a piece of her treat daily just so she could feed it to him. Hobo had such a gentle soul and was loved by almost everyone.
In his later years, Hobo was the baby sitter horse. You could put kids on his back and he would just plod along like very carefully. If you were good at riding, he would still spark up. We worked with Hobo in practice for Mounted Shooting events. He was also a great trail horse and an all around do what ever you asked of him type of horse.
I leased him out to a local girl two years in a row for a Queens Competition. He was also leased out to a family who had small children who wanted to learn how to ride.
In the pasture, Hobo was pretty much the “Boss Hoss”. He had one companion, Shy Ann the mule, who had been with him for all of her life. She was “allowed” to share his feed on rare occasions, but all the others were given stern warnings to stay away from his tub.
Today it has been three years since I lost my best friend. He’s been a bright spot in my life for 22 ½ years. He twisted his intestines during a bout of colic and it was decided that he was not a very good candidate for surgery. He spent two days in intensive care with IV drips and medication. I finally had to make that final extremely hard decision to end his life.
I saved hair from his mane and tail to have a keepsake bracelet made from the hair, but I’ve been so torn up about his loss that I’ve not been willing to send off the hair to an artist for the work. It’s been three years, but the loss is still there. I miss walking out the back door and hearing him call out to me. I miss my friend.