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Begonia V

Posted by greygelding , 27 September 2017 · 748 views

Sidelined in bed with the broken hip, on disability pay, and bored already with daytime TV, I turned my attention to finding another horse. While not really a problem horse, Tess required full attention on a trail ride and Mayo had spoiled us with easy going rides. I started scouring the Internet for prospects. Pam would leave for work and I worked on finding the perfect horse for her. Sweet, broke to ride, good trail horse, wIth style and class, that shouldn't be too hard to find. In my present financial condition it was a bit of a challenge. About the time I was starting to tire of the hunt, one horse caught my eye. A 14 year old grey mare named Begonia V located in Texas. I looked at her pictures and videos and liked what I saw. After a phone call I liked her even more. Not being much on pedigrees but more into the horse itself I was unprepared for Pam's reaction. She was happy with my selection but when I told her the name she started to glow.
"Begonia V? That's a Varian horse."
"She was bred and started by Sheila Varian."
Now it dawned on me. Even I knew Sheila was one of the top breeders of Arabian horses in the country if not the world. OK, now I was impressed.
"I'll call again today and get more information."
I called again about the horse and was informed that the horse was still owned by Sheila and I would have to contact her. I hung up the phone, looked at myself in the mirror, and said "I've got to talk the THE Sheila Varian?"
Pam was excited when she came home. "We'll? What's up with the horse?"
"It turns out that Sheila still owns her and I'll have to deal with her."
"So? Did you call?"
"No. I wanted to make sure you wanted her." was my lame answer.
"Of course I want her. Please call tomorrow."
The next morning I waited until I thought she was done with horse chores and training, in other words, until I could put it off no longer. I called and was informed that she was busy but would return my call later. With the feeling of what in the world am I doing, I waited for the call. In the middle of the afternoon the phone rang, my mouth went dry, I took a sip of water and answered. They next half hour was one of the most enjoyable phone calls of my life. I explained my interest in Begonia , my current status both financial and physical. We chatted about horses I've owned and my experiences with them. She told stories of some of her horses and it was like two old friends chatting. At the end of the conversation I explained that I just wanted to let her know that I was interested and when I was back on my feet, literally, I would be in contact with her and see what we could be worked out.
"I'll have my barn manager, Angela, call you tomorrow."
I hung up the phone with a mixture of relief and joy. Pam eagerly came home and inquired about the days events learning that I would know more tomorrow.
The next morning the phone rang. "Hello, is this Mike? This is Angela. Boy, Sheila must really like you!"
A very reasonable purchase price was agreed on , a good price for her, nothing down and very low monthly payments until paid in full. Of course I jumped on that deal, made the shipping, insurance, and vet inspection arrangements with the assistance of the lady who had her currently. She passed the inspection with flying colors and all that was left was the waiting. About two weeks later a horse van pulled into the boarding stable after dark. They unloaded her and she was exactly as advertised. I was on crutches so she was Pam's to handle. Easily handled, Pam turned her loose in the arena to stretch her legs and she put on quite a show. With a trot that exuded power and energy to spare she made several circuits around the arena calling out for all to hear. Her loud neigh was not like any I had heard before. It seemed to be a cross between a neigh and a bray.
After a couple of days I wanted to see Pam ride her. Pam, on the other hand, was not to keen in climbing aboard that fireball. In a small round pen she climbed aboard and Begonia turned into a perfect lady. Next I wanted Pam to take her into the large arena but there was one horse in there already so Pam used it as an excuse to decline. Unfortunately for her the rider picked that time to exit the arena, but Pam was still reluctant. I'm usually the first one to ride a new horse but that was impossible this time. Frustrated that I couldn't get on her and I really wanted to see what we've got I said, "I'm spending a lot of money, time, and trouble to get you a nice riding horse and you're going to ride her!"
With her heart in her throat Pam and Begonia entered the arena. Much to her surprise she found a fully under control mount under her, one that was willing to please her rider. A nightmare turned into a dream rapidly and I was thrilled for both of them.
The next week we went up after dark to turn the kids out in the lighted indoor arena which none of them had ever been in before. Pam brought them up one at a time and the herd raced around the arena not sure whether they were enjoying themselves or worried about the new place. We decided that it was time to put them away before they worked up a sweat. Pam took both Tess and Begonia back to their corrals at the same time leaving Mayo alone in the arena. He decided he didn't like being alone in that enclosed strange place so he started to speed around and around the arena. I decided to stop him and try to lead him back home on crutches. Nobody has ever accused me of being overly smart and on the surface this looked to be one of the dumbest things I've ever done. One slip and I might be looking at a hip replacement. I'm pretty sure my doctor doesn't recommend leading an excited horse while on crutches. I slipped the halter on him and we started the trip down one small hill and up another to his corral. As I slowly made my way down the path Mayo, on a long loose lead, kept perfect pace next to me. Every time I stopped to rest, he stopped and patiently waited with me. He never pulled on the rope or stepped on me. We were really a bonded team for sure.
Begonia came in with the attitude that she was dominate mare but she had never run into anything like Tess. It had been a short swift confrontation but a shocked Begonia got the message quickly, she was number 2. Tess was a benevolent ruler. Give way to me and leave me alone and we'll get along just fine. Begonia learned that lesson well and became a wonderful second in command and all was peaceful.
The time came for my final X-rays and doctor visit. I had been not using my crutches for a week now and couldn't wait to get back in the saddle. Of course this was too good an opportunity for my sense of humor to display itself. When I entered the doctors exam room on crutches he looked a little surprised.
"Let's see if you can walk now unaided."
"You mean without the crutches?"
"Yes, you should have been able to start to walk without them by now. Lets try a couple of steps."
Gingerly I handed the crutches to Pam. "I don't know if I can walk but I can dance a little jig for you". Which I did. The relief showed briefly on his face then he broke into a laugh.
"I should have known! Look at the X-rays. You've healed perfectly."
At that moment I knew that I was headed straight up to the stable and the first horse I would ride would be Tess.

September 2020

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