Thursday, October 28, 2010
Here’s an update on the horses:
We’ll start with Bullet first. Last you heard, the Bad Boy fell at the first barrel. When he scrambled up, Kelly’s foot got stuck in the stirrup and she got dragged. I immediately went out and got her the Breakaway Stirrups. If a rider falls and gets her foot caught, they come apart and the rider can get free. So now she’s in a helmet and the emergency stirrups. I was thinking about bubble wrap next. Actually, someone tried to sell me some kind of newfangled vest-thing, not unlike bubble wrap, that inflates when the rider inadvertently disengages from the saddle. He zeroed right in on me when he saw the worried look on my face as I gave Kelly directions at a show and how I hovered and wrung my hands. He looked from me, to her helmet, to the Breakaway Stirrups, and then back to me again. He knows who his target customer is and so he came right over and demonstrated, pulling the cord on the vest, throwing himself in the dirt, and rolling like he just jumped out of a helicopter and was trying not to get shot in enemy territory. The vest popped and blew up. But I didn’t buy it. It was time for Kelly’s class so we left him there in the dirt, struggling like a turtle trying to right itself.
Even though the vest didn’t make the Bad Boy blink an eye when it exploded right in front of him, sometimes he forgets he’s twelve-years-old and still acts like he’s a colt, nearly jumping out of his skin at the mere mention of a Walmart bag. Kelly is planning to take him to a cowboy competition. So she’s been sacking him out—trying to get him desensitized to things. I think I’ve got a good little trainer on my hands.
Last week we went to a gymkhana where Kelly hit a barrel in the barrels class and also in Texas barrels. Bullet is good for this. It’s because he does a rollback. Kelly’s got to work on that. But she got a fourth place in Speed barrels and won the poles! I think it’s because of me. I’m good luck. As soon as I got there, she started kicking butt. I missed her first three classes because I had to stay home to wait for someone who was coming to look at the farm. I knew they were looky-lous when their real estate agent called and asked if she could bring them over. (We’re selling the place ourselves like we always do but we are willing to give an agent a small commission if she brings us a buyer.) I’d asked if the buyers had horses. Their agent said no. I asked if they were planning to get horses and she stammered, “Uh, uh, no, I don’t think so…” Somebody did not do their homework… hence the reason we always sell ourselves.
So I knew this was probably not a serious buyer but someone out for a weekend drive wanting to go and see the farms and look at the pretty horsies. A large part of the value of this place is the fact that it’s a turnkey horse farm. If you don’t need the horse farm part, the barns, the riding arena, the round pen, all of that, you could get a better house on a half acre lot for the same money. So I knew. But you never know. When you’re selling by-owner, you have to be on call whenever a potential buyer wants to come. Therefore, I missed Kelly’s first three classes. But that’s okay. I made her a nervous wreck anyway. “Here, let me check those stirrups… Is that strap adjusted correctly? Did you tighten your girth?” And the mother of all mothers, “Go slow. I don’t like the footing here.”
“It’s a race Mama!”
Kurt—“Leave her alone.”
Hey, at least I didn’t make her get the exploding vest.
Next week an update on the others.