In my world May 1 has nothing to do with maypoles or the anthem of the workers’ collective. May Day is Ichobod’s birthday and this year he reaches a big milestone. Sort of. Probably.
There seem to be a number of ways to calculate the horse:human age ratio — even some that require considerably more math than one simple multiplication operation. (That’s not happening.)
For my very old and slightly senile but much-loved bay gelding, I picked the method that assigns an average of 3.33 human years to each horse year. So, on the strength of that random bit of cyber wisdom, I declare Ichobod to be 100 years old today. Roughly. Maybe. Close enough. (That’s 31 in horse years for those who don’t want to do the math backward.)
To celebrate this momentous occasion, there will be a party on Sunday, May 11. If you’re one of my Tucson friends and/or clients, you’ll get an invitation with more details in the next day or so. Just save the date and plan to come have some fun. If you’re one of Ichy’s many fans/students who don’t live near, consider yourself welcome should you plan to be in the area on that day. Just email me for details.
Also in honor of Ichy’s big day I am sharing a letter written to the woman who gave him to me way back in the spring of 1997, telling her about how much both she and this horse have shaped the horsewoman I have become. In it I share a bit of my history with Ich, as well as a bunch of pictures of him over the years. I’ll excerpt a bit here and provide a link for anyone who is interested in reading the rest:
I have been thinking for a long time of writing to thank you for inspiring me to become a better horsewoman, both by the knowledge you shared and most of all, bysending me Ichobod, who has been a great (and sometimes demanding) teacher. Finally, on the occasion of his 31st birthday, I’m doing just that.
Over the years I have thought of you often while working with horses and riders, helping them to move better together. You were one the people who first challenged me to think about horses in a different way and to keep learning about how they function. I was in awe of your knowledge and your insight, of the way you seemed to see inside horses both physically and emotionally and how you knew both what they had been through and how to help them. I felt the breadth and depth of what you knew about horses and I knew my knowledge was inadequate if I, too, wanted to develop the ability to see and understand. Your example helped to put me on the path I travel today, and your gift of Ichobod ensured that I wouldn’t be allowed to shirk my studies.
For many years, his job in my life was to get sick or injured in ways that traditional vets couldn’t address or didn’t even recognize, so that I would have to find and figure out new ways to help him feel better.”
(Read the rest of the letter here.)
Happy Birthday, Ichobod! I wish you 31 more years of health and bossing people around.