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Beloved Horse With Tons of Spunk is Celebrating His 40th Birthday

by Amber King
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Every horse lover has a heart horse, and for Roberta Moore, that horse is 40-year-old Whiskey. Through three decade’s worth of good and bad, Whiskey and Roberta have always been together. With each passing year, their bond grew stronger. They trained together and rode trails together, and through everything, they’re still the best of friends.

At 40 years old, Whiskey is included among some of the oldest horses to ever live. Roberta has stood by his side as he has aged, and even though he is older than most horses will ever be, his personality and love for life has never waned. His routine has changed over the years, and his age has slowed him down, but Roberta loves him as much today as she did the first day she rode him. When asked what her horse’s secret is to living such a long life, she told iHeartHorses,

“Because he has heart! He’s a fighter as well as a lover.”

The following is a short story written by Roberta about her beloved senior horse. 

I have two horses which take up a great deal of my time. The oldest, Whiskey, has been my best buddy for more than 30 years. Due to his age, he has no teeth for chewing. So I have to give him soft feed, and my last feeding is usually about 9 pm. On this night last week it happened to be 14 degrees out, and to say I was dragging my feet about going out is an understatement. Well, at 9 o’clock, a really good Christmas movie came on, and I decided that I would go feed the horses after the movie. Not a good move, but I’ve done worse in my life. At about 11 just as my movie was finishing, the dogs started barking and going crazy. I assumed that it was our usual nightly visitor, either Mr. Coon or Mr. Possum. After threatening the dog’s life, I picked up my weapon of choice, a flyswatter, and went out to do battle with the intruder.

I charged out the door yelling and waving the fly swatter. I didn’t hear anyone hit the ground, so I just assumed that whoever it was had jumped down when I opened the door. I turned around to go back in the house and get the horse feed when I saw it! I could only see the shadow, but I knew it was huge! I knew it was too big to be a man. There was only ONE thing it could be! Big Foot! He was real, alive and well, and living in West Central IL and was here to kill me!

Backing around the deck, I thought I would try to get to the door and jump in before he could grab me. To my amazement, I made it! I turned on the porch light and carefully looked out the window. There standing on the top step of the deck was Whiskey! His back feet on the ground and his front feet on the deck! I got my coat and gloves on and went out to back him down, but no deal! He refused to move one inch. I pushed and shoved, but he wouldn’t move. After checking further, I saw his blanket was caught on the stair post, and he couldn’t move. There was no way for me to get past him to undo his blanket so he could back down.

I decided that the only thing I could do was to spread his front legs apart, crawl between them and undo the buckles from there. At the time, the thought never occurred to me that if he panicked or a foot slipped, I was a goner! Well, he didn’t move an inch so I got the buckles under his stomach undone and then realized I had to get the ones around his back legs undone. The only way to get to them was through his back legs! I finally got the back legs far enough apart to squeeze through, all the time praying that Mother Nature didn’t call on him at that minute. I got those undone and pulled the blanket off, and he very quietly backed down the stairs. Did I mention that he is also deaf as a post? I put the blanket back on and gave him the signal to go to his stall. We’ve also invented our own sign language that seems to work pretty good for us.

He headed to the barn at a dead gallop, so I got in the truck and followed him. When I got there, he was standing in his stall waiting for his overdue dinner. I locked him in and then started to panic about where my other horse, Lillibet, was. I called and called and couldn’t find her. She ALWAYS comes when I call, so I figured she has wandered off somewhere. Finally I looked in her stall, and there she was. She was knee deep in new bedding, had her blanket on and plenty of fresh hay. She had no intention of leaving that stall for anybody!

Seems that Whiskey had gotten tired of waiting for supper and decided to take matters into his own hands. He had unlocked and opened the gate and headed for the house. I fed them, found a second hook for the gate and went home. Had to apologize to the dogs for yelling at them, then it hit me at just what a stupid stunt I had just pulled! One slip and the horse could have slipped a leg through the steps, broken a leg or been badly hurt, and he would have landed on top of me! I did learn a lesson though, Whiskey’s dinner is now on time, every night!

All images provided by Roberta Moore

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