When I met Hustler my junior year of high school, I knew he was one of a kind. He was by far the most beautiful horse I had ever seen. His mane reached down to his shoulder and there was just something special about him; something I cannot explain.
When I bought him, I not only needed a horse, but I needed a friend; and that is exactly what I got. Hustler soon became my best friend. Together we went to barrel races, rodeos, and on trail rides. We made quite a team. He knew what I wanted him to do even before I knew.
Everyday after school I would go out and ride him. As I drove up he would run towards the gate of his pen and wait for me, ears forward. When I would go in his stall he would rest his nose against my neck almost as if to say, "I missed you.". I would spend hours washing and brushing his long beautiful mane and he would stand and simply enjoy the attention. Hustler was the kind of horse that just wanted to please you and be with you. A professor once told me that horses don't have feelings or emotions. I believe a lot of things that the professor told me, but I believe with all of my heart that horses do have emotions. I know that Hustler loved me. Beyond any doubt, I know that for some reason, he loved me with all of my quirks and imperfections: He loved me for who I am. And I loved him for who he was.
When I went away to college in September, I whispered in his ear that I loved him and that I would see him soon. I pet his face and I hugged his neck. He walked me to the gate of his pen and as I left him, tears ran down my face. I thought I would see him in a couple weeks, but I knew I would miss him. It was November 1st when I got the call that he was sick. They thought it was colic and rushed him to UC Davis. I immediately made plans to come home that same day and be with him. When I spoke with the doctor, she was hopeful he would make it through. However, about 4 hours after he arrived at Davis I got the call I had been dreading. It turns out, it was not colic. It was actually an ulcer that had ruptured in his cecum and there was nothing that could be done for him. I collapsed on the sidewalk unable to believe my ears. That November day was the worst day of my life thus far.
If I had just one wish, I would wish to have just one more day with my friend. I wish I could wash his mane just one last time. I think of him daily and I wear a necklace with some of his mane in it everyday. He truly was the best friend I could have asked for, and I know I will see him again one day... I love you and miss you everyday, Hussy.