His name is Roany, but the word usually leaves my mouth as Rowan. Short and stocky, his coat consists of mostly reddish-brown hairs and a few white ones mixed in, that give him the appearance of being rather orange. His coat is smooth and soft, except when he has had a jolly roll in the mud and it becomes chunky, just like a jar of super chunky Jif peanut butter, and just as fun to clean off. His head is compact and chiseled to symmetrical perfection; beginning with his alert, pricked forward ears, down past his deep brown eyes where his face broadens, only to be drawn together at his wide nostrils, with whiskers sticking out like a Japanese beetle’s long antennae. My favorite spot to rub is his muzzle, just between and below his nose; it is the touch of fine cashmere on my fingertips.
I bury my nose in his long mane, and inhale fresh hay and of course the pungent and ever-present recycled hay, also known as manure. I breathe deeply and know the high mountain winds, crisp and clean, and when I ride, that wind washes over me, coming into every pore, sometimes grabbing the hat off my head. The brush flicks over his coat, swooshing all of his smell into mine, bringing the dry taste of dirt into my mouth. It grinds around in my teeth. The brush works back from his head; his short, thick neck, to his powerful shoulder, muscles defined like a weight lifter, and on down strong, fine boned legs, to his hard, shiny horseshoe shaped hooves.
As I brush his flat back and round barrel, he looks around, makes a soft-wuffling sound, hot moist breath moving the hair on my arms. The vibration moves through my hands. His hip is slightly higher than his shoulder, blending into powerful hindquarters, a long wispy tail, and legs muscled and fine. There is a flick of that long tail swiping across me, his muscles ripple and roll, and the ground shakes a bit as he stamps his feet.