In 1995 around the month of July, I had missed my horses and was determined to buy another. Kelvin always read the paper and he looked in the want ads under horses for sale and said there was one in Savannah about 10 miles to the north of us. Anytime there was money to spend he didn’t want to spend it unless it was something for himself. When I got back from
Savannah with a broad grin on my face he knew it happened. I had borrowed the money from the Credit Union, 1500.00 and used my credit card to buy tack at UPCO, a saddle, bridle, long lead and a halter. I also brought brushes and other accessories. I had made arrangements with a boarder in Savannah to keep him there. The cost was 75.00 a month, he would feed, take care of his hooves etc… All I had to do was call him the night before I was going to come down and ride and he would catch him and put him in his own stall, a stall just for him.
He was a big horse, about 15 hands, sorrel with a big blaze down his face reminding me of Stony. It had been so long since I had ridden I was a little nervous about the height. The man saddled up the two horses and away we went. We walked at first but I told him I liked to gallop so when we had gotten to an area that it would be safe along the country road, he said for me to give him a little kick and without much coaxing he picked up speed. I noticed the saddle was getting loose so we headed back to his place so he could tighten it. When I started to get off the saddle came with me. He helped me down, walked the big gelding around in a circle so he would have to breathe and not “blow out” his barrel to keep the saddle from tightening as horses will do. I rode along a little longer and the saddle started to loosen again. He said the man he had bought him from kept him as a pet for the kids. He could do tricks i.e. if you dropped your baseball cap on the ground in front of him he would pick it up and hand it to you! He was very smart and knew it too, which isn’t always good, he knew he was bigger and stronger than me and had the saddle thing down to a science.
The man who agreed to board the horse came with a trailer and I wondered how well he would go into a trailer. He walked right up in there without much protest and we were on our way to his place in the heart of Savannah.
A few times a week I would call and say I was coming to ride the next day, but the man was always so busy he was hard to get a hold of sometimes. When I did, I would go the ten miles north and park the car. The horse would be waiting in his stall for me. I had blankets and the saddle and all the tack stored in a small shed, along with the tack for other horses he boarded. I’d put the halter on and clip the lead to the halter and lead him out of the barn fastening the lead to the gate. There I would brush him clean and comb out his long red mane and tail. After the blankets were placed behind the withers and the saddle was on, I would walk him in a circle the way Ann Morrow had told me to do when I bought Terre before tightening the girth. I couldn’t believe I still remembered how to tie a cinch knot but it all came back to me as if no time had passed. I was on my way across the yard and down the steep hill to an old railroad track that had since grown up in weeds and became a great place to ride until the path turned to gravel. He had his shoes on and I tried to get as far off the path as possible to keep a stone from being lodged around the frog of the foot. We never had too much trouble. We’d walk and listen to the birds and hope one wouldn’t fly out of the bushes suddenly and spook the horse. The path would eventually turn into dirt and then I could gallop a little. The saddle would always come loose but now I had gotten back into the rhythm of horse ownership and the needs that come with it. I would get off after about five minutes and tighten the saddle. He stayed long and lean. I didn’t have too much trouble with the saddle as long as he stayed lean. I rode all the way to the end of the dirt path which led to a big dirt road. There I could gallop as much as I wanted always keeping an eye for trees or bushes or hills that might cause him to spook. I decided to name him Bullet. The boarding facility was surrounded by “hot wire”, an electric fence, and every time he heard a small crackle he would jump and almost turn completely around under the saddle. He usually did this when we were at the boarding site before we left for the old railroad tracks. I mentioned to Kelvin one day that he had “shot out from under me like a bullet”.
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