Lost and Found
When Sugar was 13 years old, living in Texas, she got a yearling Appaloosa gelding which she named Apache.
She trained Apache and competed in barrel racing at local rodeos. She used him when she was a rodeo queen contestant and rode in parades. She taught him tricks — bowing, counting, smiling and more. She taught him to come when called by name. (This literary technique is called foreshadowing).
It was sad for Sugar to sell Apache when she was a freshman in college, but it was not practical to take Apache to school with her. Apache was four or five years old by then I calculate.
Years later, maybe six, when Sugar was out of college, she and her father drove past a place in Texas and she noticed an Appaloosa horse in the pasture. She told her Dad that she thought it was Apache. He doubted it, but stopped nevertheless.
Sugar got out of the car and walked to the fence. The horse was quite far from the fence. She called Apache by name, the way she had trained him to come, and he came running to the fence to greet her. (Remember the foreshadowing?) It was like a Disney movie.
Apache looked the worse for wear. His ribs showed. He no longer looked like the athlete he had formerly been.
Sugar and her father went to the house and offered to buy the horse. The owner agreed to sell him for $200.00. He commented that the dang horse kept getting out. Sugar knew better than to say it, but she thought, “He is trying to get out to get something to eat.”
There was no doubt the horse was indeed Apache.
When Sugar moved to Colorado from Texas, she brought Apache.
During the summers, when off duty from teaching school, Sugar gave horse-back riding lessons to children, accompanied by a little red-headed girl who called her “Mom.” Sugar and Apache (and Michelle) taught dozens of kids to ride each summer, teaching approximately three or four lessons a day, maybe eighteen lessons a week, for several summers.
Apache lived to be 32. Probably 150 or more children, now adults, remember learning to ride a horse named Apache.
Apache is in heaven now. No doubt about it.