Star in My Barn

A Star fell on me.  A September day in 2002, the paint horse named Star ran into my life.  His mother, Lilly, accompanied him, but he pranced with an independent bounce and cocked his head towards me when I first saw him, a knowing look in his dark eyes that he was coming, full gallop, into my circle of kin.  Did I like him, he asked?  Oh, yes, I liked him and as our friendship endured, Star has become my companion of heart.

Star is a big paint horse, standing sixteen-plus hands, weighing about 1,300 lbs.  I describe him, jokingly, as the beer wagon horse.  His full name is Star Bars Moore, each name carrying champions in his blood.  He is gelded and the emasculation probably gentled him, but I sense that even if he had been kept intact, he would have been mostly mannerly towards his keepers and offspring.

He baby-sits.  He watched two foals (Fanny and Shiney) grow into yearlings and kept them safe and out of harm.  Star would stay with the foals in the pasture and the brushy creek areas, keeping them company on the first weeks of their weaning.  The foals grew and challenged him.  Star never fought them, but would walk away from their threats, knowing the antics of growing teenagers.  I sensed a sadness in Star that his charges went against him when he had protected them.

Star is quiet.  It’s natural to be so.  I stood in the corral one winter day, looking at horses in the field, when Star walked up quietly behind me and put his head on my shoulder, peering in the same direction.  His heavy head fell so lightly on my shoulder it was like the embrace of a friend.  We stood there, as young boys often do, chatting about this, about that.  I talk to him:  Good horse, strong horse, courageous horse.  I move away after awhile and he follows me to the gate and when I look back, Star has put his head over the gate and looks at me get in the pickup and drive up the hill to the house.  I know in truth that a star is in my barn.

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14 Comments

Filed under Horses, Star

14 responses to “Star in My Barn

  1. Jack, I am moved to happy tears reading this description of your friendship with Star. Beautifully written, with the feelings right there, held up for us to see and understand. “A knowing look in his dark eyes,” is a nice acknowledgment that animals always Know when they’ve arrived at the Right Place. I love paints. They seem to have a certain spirit. What a thoughtful, gentle way to go into the morning. Thank You. Teresa

    • I am so glad you like it, Teresa. I worked fast and hard on this composition as I had to go into Fort Worth. I’ve shed a few tears lately over animals and I’m not through yet…never will be. Thank you for saying they are in the Right Place.

  2. Wow. I have not been acquainted with horses much (tho I did read a lot of Marquerite Henry books as a girl). Your writing really helps me appreciate this species!
    Yay for Star! Yay for friendship cross-species! You both come from the same stock.

  3. And have to add that he is a beaut.

  4. A star falls on us now and then in this lifetime…and we are transformed from being just human to something bigger in this universe. To love an animal and be loved back, is a bond: of complete trust and a ‘knowing’. Our soul expands. We become better people. May stars always fall upon you, Jack! Thank you for writing this eloquent, poignant tale.

    • Bonnie, you are so poetic and talented. I think we become better people by opening up and getting to know other species. Thank you for you utterance: “May stars always fall upon you.” I hope they do and fall about your countenance as well. Thank you, thank you, Bonnie.

  5. Jack
    We have not met online-Bonnie Joy Bardos mentions your writing on Facebook and I followed her lead. I’m so glad! People who have never had a bond with animals aren’t finished. My life has been graced with love from those who never judge. One day I hope to finish out my life somewhere in the area you are lucky enough to call home.
    Thanks for posting such a poetic comment on your star.
    Kathleen

    • Hi Katie: Bonnie Joy Bardos is so talented. You are correct. To have a bond with an animal is a grace. I hope you can make it out in the western parts someday. Thank you for your comments. I want to see your work more in detail. I had a quick look this morning and want to get back to your art soon.

  6. He’s absolutely gorgeous Jack. I’d probably want to have him in my room. Do you ride him?

  7. You are fortunate to have such a friend…

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