Bud at two weeks.

Bud at two weeks.

For the first five years of his life, Bud lived with a buffalo. He actually thought he was a buffalo, though it was more like the children’s story, The Ugly Duckling.

You see Bud wasn’t a very good buffalo.

He was built wrong. He had no huge shaggy head, no massive coat of fur, no barrel-chested physique. He wasn’t the right color either. And then there were those spots. There was no such thing as an Appaloosa buffalo.

He didn’t fit in, and yet, in his horse way, he thought this was who he was.


So when Rick adopted him, beginning a friendship that lasted a quarter of a century, Bud had some hard lessons. He was put into a small herd of horses.

Friendly horses really, but horses all the same.

And there are rules about herd behavior – dominance and survival of the fittest and all that.

In the beginning, Bud got the you-know-what kicked out of him. The current herd boss ran him around until he was exhausted and wishing he could go back to his buffalo friends.

A handsome five-year-old.

A handsome five-year-old.


Then something happened.

Bud figured out that he was bigger, younger and stronger than the horse that was chasing him.

Big lightbulb moment for Bud and not such a great moment for the other horse.

All of a sudden, the tables were turned.

While I wasn’t there, (this was BJ in Rick’s life – Before Jean) I can imagine it was quite a sight – our Bud coming into the fullness of who he was. He quickly established dominance and led that small herd. He went on to be the herd leader in several other places where he lived. He and Pepper made quite the royal pair as the two dominant horses.


There is something important here for me, a lesson I sometimes forget.

Grab onto life with everything you’ve got.

And remember that the people (or horses) you surround yourself with will influence you. So we better pick the good ones; the ones that help us be gloriously who we are.

There’s so little time to waste trying to be a buffalo, when what you are is one big-hearted, strong, amazing Appaloosa.


Be you. It’s the only one there is in this world. And we need you!