The first week.


First order of business, besides feeding her and getting her checked by the vet, was cleaning her up. The first time I took her out to groom I was nervous – would she kick or bite? Was she sensitive to the touch? But like many Thoroughbreds she was used to being handled — and she seems to love being groomed.

It took three days to get much of the dirt out of her coat, and even then I wasn’t finished. But there was a horse under there, and a brown bay coat began to reveal itself as a reddish mahogany color, even if her fur was shaggy and her hips jutted out.

I had to go to the tack store with a list, too, of everything she needed. Heavy, medium, and light blankets. A “cooler” – a fleece for right after a workout on a cool day. Bridle and bit, saddle pads, groom box and grooming tools, fly spray, mane and tail detangler. Fortunately, I already had my saddle, which, even used, had cost more than she did.

A few hundred dollars later, plus anticipating the visits from the vet and the farrier, I called Kevin who was back at work in Washington, D.C., where he was commuting to at the time.

“I’m sorry I bought a horse,” I said.

“That’s okay,” he said. “It’s exciting. I told Ernie about it today.” (His boss.)

As a friend said, “It happens.”