My friend is looking for a horse. Naturally, as a horse-lover, I offered to tag along when she went to see a potential purchase.
Polly found P.T. online and spent two weeks revisiting his ad. She pored over the pictures of the sleek Thoroughbred, leaping athletically over sparkling white fences with colorful silk floral bouquets arranged artfully beneath him. She memorized his pedigree.
Stop me, if you’ve heard this one.
Grinning like a kid about to open a Christmas stocking, Polly steered the car through the entrance of the stables. I glanced at the hand-carved sign, which sported this tag-line:
“Where humans and horses learn to fly together.”
At that moment, I had no idea how true that slogan really was.
My eager equestrian friend parked by the barn aisle entry, and we stepped out into the sun. Peeking into the barn, we spotted a tall young lady, wearing a sleeveless polo shirt over tan knee-patch breeches.
“Can I help you?” she asked.
We introduced ourselves, and the girl said she was the assistant trainer. (Let’s call her Alex, although that’s not her real name.) Polly explained that we wanted to see P.T.
Alex guided us to his stall, where she haltered the 16-hand horse.
“He’s a retired racehorse,” she recounted, as she led him into the aisle. “He belongs to the barn owner, but I can longe him for you. You can watch, but I can’t let you ride him.”
As Alex curried P.T. and picked out his hooves, I asked her why the horse was for sale.
“He’s a great horse,” Alex said. “But he’s bucked off everyone in the barn. We cannot use him for lessons. And the one time we took him to a show, he tried to climb the trailer. We tied him outside of it to groom him, and he nearly tipped the whole rig over.”
“Isn’t he gorgeous?” Polly gushed, elbowing me.
“He’s a really nice horse,” Alex said.
“What’s the owner asking for this horse, again?” I asked.
“Just $3,500,” the young equestrian replied.
Alex bent down to strap splint boots on P.T.’s front legs.
“How did he get that nasty scar on his right front?” I queried.
“We dunno,” she confessed. “He sort of came that way.”
Gee, where do we sign? I said to myself.
Did I mention my friend Polly is still looking for a horse?
Thoroughbred Horse by Linda Ann Nickerson/Nickers and Ink
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