As we drove through St. Agatha, we went over a big bump. All of a sudden, there was drag on the trailer. It just didn't FEEL right. Heather jumped out and checked... nothing looked wrong. So we headed to the Canadian Tire gas bar, which just happened to be right beside a Starbucks.
Heather jumped out to pump gas, and a nice-looking gentleman came up to my window. "Do you realize that your back right trailer tire isn't turning? You're dragging it."
Sigh. I knew something was wrong. Nice mechanic at Canadian Tire confirmed it. They couldn't fix it, either... it would have to go to someone who specializes in trailer brakes.
We went into Starbucks to get our "Bold Pick of the Day" and have a bathroom break. Discussed our options. Towed the trailer to R.J.'s. Nice mechanic Mike had a look. He can fix it on Monday. Not only that, but he can weld a piece on to make the door hinge safer. All good!
Decided to go and have a look at the horses anyway. After all, it was Heather's birthday, and she loves horses (have I mentioned that?) and any chance to go to a farm and hang out with horses is good for her.
We didn't have any trouble finding the place. It was four hundred acres of rolling hills with a creek running through. There was a dilapidated old barn and plenty of electric fencing. No bathroom available, and you don't want to know how bad the outhouse was that Linda righted. Apparently it had been full when someone decided to knock it over. 'nuff said.
The woman that wanted us to take a couple of horses and give them a good home was off in the back field, looking for the thoroughbred. We wandered around, looking at the horses, wondering which ones were available. Some of them were in pretty bad shape. Split hooves, ribs protruding. Sunken eyes. Swollen ears and bellies.
Some of them weren't half bad. There was a lovely chestnut (almost orange) mare that came and stood by us, allowing all of us to pet her and coo over her and pick up her feet and do whatever we wanted to do. I would have taken her home in a heartbeat.
Others were lame. One dapple grey pony had a locked stifle, so he limped badly. Many of them had scars, either from fights with other horses or from catching skin on nails or branches. The place was a dump... boards with nails sticking up... plastic or bailer twine all over the place, bones from dead animals (horses?cows??) on the field.
Finally Jacqueline got back to the top of the hill where we were waiting. She pointed out the mare, Grace. She was a pleasant little mare, short enough to be a pony, but not healthy at all. She had a swollen belly, swollen ears, and a great bump on the spine of her back. She was almost lame when she walked... she'd never make a good horse for me or the girls.
Young Buck was supposed to be Friesian, but we couldn't figure out why she thought that. He had a narrow rear and white hair in the ears. He had very small eyes, and wasn't at all ready to be haltered or worked with.
The one we were most interested in was the older gelding, but he'd already been loaded onto the trailer (if you could call it that - it was the most unsafe trailer I'd ever seen) of the other guy. Even though the lady promised us first dibs on the horses, this fellow who was obviously going to sell the horses for meat got the best two of the bunch.
When we expressed our misgivings about taking a broken-down mare and an untrained, unco-operative 3 year old, Meat Guy said, "I'll take 'em." There was no doubt in our minds why he wanted them. It was sad, sad, sad.
All was not lost. We got to visit with Heather's friend Donna, who lives just past Pickering, where the horses were.
The trailer will be fixed properly, so we can haul our horses over to Hullett Marsh and ride on the trails.
We got to spend an entire day thinking about horses, petting and talking to horses, being sorry for some sad and decrepit horses, and loving on some beautiful horses at Donna's place. Any day that includes time spent with horses is a banner day for me. And Heather. And Linda.
The best thing about today is that 32 years ago God gave me a little brown-haired, blue-eyed horse-crazy-from-the-womb baby girl.
For that, I am very thankful.
Happy Birthday, Heather! Love ya, bunches.