Jack (at left) just minutes after moving in with Atty, his first roommate in several years. Now that’s a happy horse!

Photo: Michelle Anderson

A year ago I was ready to give up on my Quarter Horse

gelding, Jack.

But, first, it’s important to note that Jack isn’t just any

horse. I bred and raised him, and over the years he’s proven himself as smart and funny as he is beautiful and athletic. His rocking horse canter and smooth-as-glass jog are the kinds

you can ride all day. And as I am a 30-something childless woman, Jack has long

filled the role of my firstborn and the horsey love-of-my-life.

Yet, at 11 years old, he seemed to have completely lost his

mindÑlike the worst version of a horse midlife crisis. He started running

circles around our veterinarian during simple exams; continuously kicked at our

very patient farrier; and reared and spun, running backward when I asked him to

load into the trailer. Once he finally got in the trailer, he’d work himself

into an anxious lather, pawing the walls.

As one of three horses (my others include my upper-level

dressage horse, Marathon, and young prospect, Atty), Jack had the singular job

of walking, jogging, and loping down the trail on a loose rein while I chatted

with my friends and relaxed after a long day at my des