On this Thanksgiving day, I am profoundly, desperately thankful for Tristan.
I am thankful that he is my best friend and that he carries my heart with him.
I am thankful that the incredibly stupid gamble I took eight years ago, of adopting a horse on a minimum wage salary, has paid off and while I am not and never will be rich, I can give him everything he needs.
I am thankful that his shoulder is the perfect height to cry on.
I am thankful for the soft, fuzzy absurdity of his winter coat, that I can sink my hand into it and lose my fingers.
I am thankful for the thick tangle of his mane, in which I can twist my fingers and make a fist and just hold on.
I am thankful for the soft sweet grass scent of his nose.
I am thankful for the moment of fear and joy combined that rises in me when he finds another gear in his gallop as we head up the hill.
I am thankful for his expressive eyes, which so often look at me dubiously, and tell me that I really should just chill out and go for a hack instead.
I am most of all thankful that one year ago I didn’t know if I would ever ride him again – and it has been such a long year – but last night I pressed my knuckles down into his neck and stood in the stirrups while he bucked and cavorted underneath me for a few seconds in the canter.