It's been a little difficult to get enthusiastic about going to the barn the last couple days. On Wednesday, I lost Smarty to a freak reaction to his yearly immunizations. It's funny the little things that trip sadness. Things that might have been a pain in the past are now reasons to miss him. I had gotten completely used to having to feed him "soup" at his meals. When I got Smarty, I was told that he loved his grain served "soupy", not moist, but really soupy. So I complied and it was actually a pleasure to watch him eat. The look on his face was pure bliss as his eyes would half close and he'd just slowly suck up his soup. If you neglected to add water, he'd bang and crash his feed tub around as he ate. Of course, it was best to stay out of the way until he was all done or he'd happily drizzle soup all over you. I learned that lesson the hard way and many many times.
In the summer, I just added water from the hydrant to his meals. But in colder temperatures, I would always fill a cider jug in the house with hot water to carry out to add to his food so he'd have a warm soup. This is what trips me up now. I habitually reach for the cider jug each chore time after I have dressed to go out- and then I remember. It's not like I've forgotten about it all day- but just something about not having to do that little piece of my day brings back all the memories of Smarty and his unique self.
I'm trying to use his memory as a good reason to be more consistent in my training practices...to give others the opportunity to express themselves the way he so uniquely could.