Things I will miss about Jackson the horse as he enters his well-deserved retirement, a non-exhaustive list:
That he likes to shake his head when I take the headcollar off, and if I let him do that, he will stand quietly while I put his bridle on.
That he likes to stand for a moment when coming out of the shed row to let his eyes adjust to the sunlight.
The way he showed me how to sit in the saddle.
The way he talked to me through the reins.
The way he would reach forward with his outside hind to step forward in a perfect canter depart.
The way he would swagger when he’d jumped a perfect round, swinging his back and showing off. “I’m a good horse!”
The way he grew another four inches at the show, so proud and happy to be there.
The way he would turn around and put his nose on my boot when he needed reassurance.
The way he would neigh crossly if I stopped to pat Zelda the barn cat before paying attention to him.
The way he would press his nose into my back when I gave him cuddles, cuddling me back.