Funny You Should Ask

… is the name of the 9-year-old, blue roan mare we bought yesterday.

"Funny You Should Ask" aka Cleo

Her stable name is “Cleo” and she is a registered Tennessee Walking Horse, which is a peculiar, uniquely American breed. She is a very gentle, curious soul with an impressive pedigree.

We had planned to start building the fence yesterday, but there was a 1-inch downpour in the morning that turned the unfinished driveway into a muddy mess which made it near impossible to get any of the fence material and equipment to the pasture. Everything was soaked, and more rain was in the forecast, so we said, “let’s get the horse”! We called this guy in Selma, NC who rents horse trailers for $65/day and he said that we could have it if we get there by noon. That was at 10:30 and it’s an hour’s drive! So we grabbed the kids, ran to the bank and got the money for the horse and drove to Selma. We got there at noon, hooked up the trailer and continued to New Bern. Right before New Bern we had to drive through this furious thunderstorm with blinding rain and massive lightning.

When we got to the place where Cleo had lived for the last 4 years, we were past the thunderstorm, but just barely. You could see and hear it moving closer, and so we quickly did the transaction and proceeded to load the horse. I was REALLY nervous about that part. I knew I could back up a trailer safely, drive it down the highway … even in a thunderstorm. No problem. But I had never loaded a horse. And if the horse refuses, there is no way to make it. Laura, however, had loaded horses before, and she was calm and confident she could get Cleo to climb into the trailer.

We put a hay bag in and Cleo stuck her head in, and checked it out … she put her front feet in, and gave it a try … and backed out. Laura walked her around a bit, then tried again … and in she went. Climbed right in, I closed the “butt bar” and the gate and Laura praised her and told her what a good horse she is. And we were off … just as it started raining.

On the way back, the thunderstorm was not as bad, because it had moved east, and we were crossing it at it’s tail end, not right through it (I had checked the radar). Still, no fun for the horse, who had not been trailered in 4 years. We stopped to check on her, and she calmed down every time. She  was just really nervous about the thunderclaps and the semis roaring by, but she was brave and did not loose it and freak out.

After three hours, and two thunderstorms, we finally made it to the horse farm where she’ll spend the summer, while we get our place ready. She got out of the trailer fine and was very, very happy to be out;  proclaiming her delight with a big, excited whinny. All the other horses came over to check out the newcomer. Cleo will stay here where Jacob and Julia will do summer camp. She’ll get some training to get back in shape (she has not been ridden in a couple of years) and we’ll all get to know her. Once our place is ready, we’ll move her to her new home at the end of the  summer, when Julia goes back to school.

I was not quite done yet, though.  I had to turn right around and take the trailer back by 9PM because the owner was going to go on vacation the next day. But after 9 hours of driving and 492 miles on the road, we finally have our first horse. Funny You Should Ask.

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