Cousin Billy’s van pulled into the barn lane bright and early, at eight o’clock. Billy let down the ramp and led Sam out. Actually, Sam exploded out in one giant leap and never touched the ramp. He was quivering all over, bug-eyed, high-tailed and high-headed. He looked quite a bit uglier– and oranger– and wilder– than I remembered…
We led him out to the pasture, and in and out of his new stall a few times, and along all the fence lines, reading the how-to-settle-them-in-to-their-new-home instructions in “A Horse of Your Own” as we went.. .
Finally we turned Sam loose to investigate on his own. He did another complete tour of the pasture at a high-prancing trot, sometimes screeching to a halt, nostrils whiffing, eyes flashing blue, looking. He looked at the twelve Holsteins he shared his new home with; he looked at Connnor’s Holsteins in their pasture a half mile away; he looked at Byron mowing his hay, a little late in the season, down-hollow.
The only thing he ignored was us.
Pretty soon Byron chugged up on his tractor, parked it in the lane and walked out to meet us.
“Seen the van com up. Thought I’d take a look at your new pony. Built to last, ain’t he?”
I just nodded and watched my horse thundering around the pasture.
“You ride him over at Billy’s? How’s he go?”
“Goes good, Boy Jeez. Stops good too.”
“All you need.” Byron watched Sam some more, chuckled a few times, rubbed the back of his neck, then climbed up on his tractor and chugged back down to his haylot…
“When can I ride?” said Evvie.
“It says here we’re supposed to let him settle in for a day. Tomorrow. Or the day after. Then we’ll put the bridle on.”
How was I going to put the bridle on, was what I was thinking…
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