The Ambassador and the Intern

Meet Deuce, the quarter horse James brought back from Road to the Horse.

Deuce (right) and Mystic

Deuce (right) and Mystic

Deuce is the new celebrity of Cooler Horsemanship: He’s the Wild Card colt. (It’s kind of a long story—click here to learn about the Wild Cards.)

Deuce ran quasi-wild on the 6666 Ranch in Texas for the first three years of his life.  Now he’s in training with James, learning a whole new way of being. When he arrived at Flintrock, he was wary of human touch. These days he crosses his paddock to nuzzle hello and accept a rub behind the ears.

Deuce’s pasture buddy is my horse, Mystic, whose ambassadorial powers are legendary. Kate swears that Mystic gets along with all horses—not by being a pushover, but by having a quiet strength that other horses respect. When I hear how affable Mystic is, I feel unaccountably proud, like the mother of a piano prodigy or an Olympic decathlete. I can’t take any credit for it, but I still puff up inside.

Deuce joined the Mystic Fan Club from the get-go, following him around like a pesky little brother. Mystic, however, has not always lived up to his Mr. Congeniality title. A couple of weeks ago he got miffed at being left behind with Deuce while his usual herd of geldings frolicked in the big pasture. Because he was in a temper, Mystic nipped Deuce.

“He was just being a horse,” Kate told me.  “I don’t blame him in the least.”

Still, I felt as though my child had fumbled the final notes of Fantasia in C Minor and then whacked the piano teacher.

Fortunately, Deuce forgave Mystic right away, because Deuce is a sweet fellow.  And Mystic is mighty good-natured too when he is getting his way—perhaps a little less so when he’s not. (Which may be something he and I have in common.)

I like to think that Mystic is bringing some gravitas to Deuce’s life, while Deuce keeps Mystic from getting too grandfatherly. A little coltishness, a little wisdom—put them together and it’s magic.




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