It was the last horse sale we went to this summer, Farmmom and I, and we were just seeing if anything spectacular jumped out at us, pretty much.
We had some cash laid by, in case, but not a lot, and we were half looking for a horse for Farmmom, so that we could ride together. I'd already bought my mare, and Mamaw had bought her filly, but the filly wasn't broke so we needed another horse.
We were walking the pens, looking around, watching what was coming in, when we came upon a corner pen, where two bays and a paint were hitched to the fence, and one of the bays was being saddled.
Instantly, Farmmom went "ohhhhhh pretty" at the bay as he stood, head up and looking around, a sheen of red to his coat that made him stand out.
We talked to the owner for a few minutes, watched him take the gelding out to warm him up before going in the ring, and as he performed a few roll backs.
We both chalked him up as going to cost too much for us, sighed a bit, and moved on.
But somehow, we kept wandering back to that pen. I was half in love with the little paint gelding, sweet disposition, but extremely green for all of his calmness. I felt I couldn't afford a horse that green at the time, he only had twenty five rides on him.
The tall, leggy bay had forty five, more workable, and in spite of our misgivings we noted his number so that we could see what he went for.
When he came into the ring, he was beautiful, moving lithely and responding well to his rider, considering it was his first trip to town.
Somehow, though, the bids were staying low. Farmmom elbowed me and muttered "I'll go to six hundred on him, but I can't afford any more."
So, I began bidding. The bid price slowly climbed, and Farmmom was fidgeting in her seat beside me. Something about this horse had captivated her, and I resolved to throw in some of my own cash if I couldn't get him for under the six hundred dollar limit.
I glanced at Farmmom to see her glaring at the guy bidding against me. If looks could have killed, that dude would have been a smoking puddle.
Five fifty, and it's my bid. On a hunch I hesitated, thinking about it. The auctioneer was pointing at me and rattling off his numbers and gibberish, the owner was watching me, the entire sale barn was eyeballing the little skinny chick.
Finally, I raised the hand holding the pen. Five seventy five.
I turned to look at the guy who had been bidding against me, who was now staring at me as well. I cocked one eyebrow, thinking "Go ahead, mister. Make me embarrass you in public. Farmmom wants this horse, and she's gonna get it, if I have to kill you after the sale to do it."
"Going once! Going twice! SOLD!"
Farmmom squealed like a little girl, and did a little happy dance right there in her seat, sticking her tongue out at the other guy, while I sat there calmly and wrote down the price, and collected his papers and the signed transfer of ownership form.
And thus, did Bubbah the Big Bay Wonder Horse come to us. And they all lived horsey-ly ever after.
* The main points of this story are true, we did find Bubbah at the sale, and Farmmom did instantly fall in love with him, we did bring him home for five hundred and seventy five dollars. The rest of it, I might have embellished a bit on. My memory is a little fuzzy on the subject, probably due to the beating I got when Farmmom was talking about "her" horse and I piped up with "Hey! Who's name is on the receipt?? Mine, that's right, my name, my horse! But if you're nice to me I'll let you ride him once in a while."
You'd think, living around me for so long, she'd be able to take a joke better than that.....