This is our boy. Our big-hearted, mellow, full-of-personality-appaloosa.

There are many things I adore about Bud. In fact, a while back I made a list of ten. It could easily be a list of one hundred. He’s just that lovable.

This particular photo isn’t great – blurry and taken from too far away with my point and shoot camera, but I chose it because it shows Bud in his self-appointed role as the “food lookout.”

Every day, he’s at the front of the line, waiting for me to bring his grain. Most days when I drive up, the first horse I see is Bud. Even from a distance, he stands out because of his spots.

He positions himself at the gate, so hopeful, so confident, and so ready to eat. He seems completely comfortable waiting for one of our vehicles approach. He just knows we’re coming.

And he’s right.

I can’t bear the image of him waiting at the gate and me not showing up. We’ve trained our horses to this routine, and now the responsibility is mine to carry through.

I’ve said it before, but I think it bears repeating. Animals help us to be better humans.

My relationship with Bud and Pepper has given a structure to my day. An unbreakable routine, that honestly I haven’t had since my son was a baby. Other than going to work every day (when I was doing that,) I’ve found a way to weasel out of most of the routines I’ve tried to establish.

The funny thing is that I love having this routine. Knowing when I feed the horses helps me plan the rest of my day. “No I can’t schedule that appointment at noon. It’s when I feed the horses.”

Now, I’m trying to apply that same adherence to routine to some of the other parts of my life. Things like exercise, house cleaning, grocery shopping etc.

Wish me luck!

If you had to say, would you describe yourself as routinized or a free spirit?