Sometimes, a horse is just special.

It’s not because they did anything particularly notable as a show horse, or because they had champion bloodlines, or became notable breeding stock. They’re just gifted at being around, and make you happy to be around them.

Adam was that horse.

Adam didn’t have a particularly glorious show career. He was diagnosed with an untreatable neurological deficit, and retired at the age of eight. He was fortunate enough to find his way to my mother’s house, and shortly thereafter, her heart.

But my mother wasn’t Adam’s only fan. Adam just had a way of making you like him.

He came running every time you called him, whinnying like he was starring in some 1940s Spaghetti Western. He was never disappointed if you didn’t have a treat for him, because he just liked to hang out with you.

Photo by Kris Nixon

He met his best friend at my mom’s, a very un-horsey man who does all our electrical work, and also comes out to fish at the lake. Adam and Jeff met over carrots, but their friendship was not just vegetables. Adam would run as fast as his fat body would go every time he saw Jeff’s truck come in the driveway.

He didn’t do that for anyone but Jeff, and Jeff never disappointed him. There were always treats and pets for his special friend.

Adam was also a guardian of sorts. Once, he refused to come eat his breakfast, standing and staring at his water tank, and occasionally poking his nose down towards the water. When my mother got worried about him and walked over to the tank, she discovered a rabbit treading water, about to drown. Adam the horse, bunny rescuer!

Another time, Adam stood by the fence, whinnying and staring into the distance, and refused to come to his dinner. He’d walk over near his feeder, then go back to the fence line, and whinny a little, and stare. I decided to feed a few more horses, then go check on him again. I went around the side of the barn, well away from where Adam lived, or could see, but in the direction he was staring, and there was a horse terribly sick, and cast in her barn. Not even her direct next door neighbors cared one bit, but Adam did!

As soon as I got her up and moving, I looked across the property, and he was happily eating his dinner. Adam saves the day!

Adam got older, had a few health problems, but I just kinda thought he’d stick around forever somehow.

Sadly, he had to be euthanized last Monday. I was still on my way home from a horse show, and my mom had to deal with it by herself. I’m heartbroken that she had to do that, and I’m heartbroken I didn’t get to say goodbye to that goofy old furball.

He will be so missed.

I miss him every time I get out of my car, and don’t hear his little whinny. I’m sure I’ll cry the first time I see Jeff’s truck come up the driveway, and don’t see Adam galloping after him.

Before you count a horse out, because it can’t do a job anymore, just remember Adam. They still mean something, these horses. Sometimes they mean a lot to somebody…

This post originally appeared on Kris Nixon’s Facebook page and is republished here with permission.