She arrived in the long fancy horse trailer driven by her owner's grandparents. I couldn't help but think of how different this was compared to Misty's when she drove up in the rickety old hillbilly cattle trailer. I could see through the window that she indeed looked a lot like Violet, but was surprised when she backed off the trailer that she was a bit taller than both Misty and Violet.. My guess was 15.2 hands. Her coat was shiny, black and perfect... her tail was properly braided up, and her mane was evenly cut and very short so it could be neatly plaited for shows. Before I took her lead rope, I looked into her eyes. They were big and round and brown. And deep. I got that feeling in the bottom of my stomach... butterflies. As I slowly lowered my face to exchange breaths with her, I whispered "Hello sweet girl... welcome home". And I kissed her soft nose. As we all talked, I led her over to the front lawn so she could eat some grass. What a treat for her, as the man explained... she never got to eat grass... Only grain and hay in her stall. He told us that she was always kept in her stall, unless she was working or showing. Like many show horses, they wanted her to avoid any injuries or cuts/scrapes... and they wanted her coat to be shiny and black and perfect for shows. Boy, was her life about to change.
I already knew I was keeping her. But I indulged the man who was insisting that we tack her up and take her for a ride. Normally, my fear would set in... horse I don't know, just coming off 3 1/2 hour trailer ride, new place, no other horses, yummy grass she'd rather eat, new rider, new tack, etc. etc. But I rode her...right there on our front lawn. And he was right- she was perfect. I hopped up on the big western saddle and even attempted to neck rein her. She was so slow and smooth and easy. Her trot was amazing... a dream really. And Michael rode her too. The man told Michael "lope her off" (that saying still cracks me up), and I could see Michael trying not to let me see him smile as he cantered her all around the front of our property. I could tell he liked her.
After they left, we walked our new sweet girl back to the mares' pastures. I had taken Paloma, Misty, Violet and Mirabella to the back pasture and closed off half the barn. We needed to keep them away from our new mare until they had gotten to know each other a bit from over the fence. I made sure that she had fresh water and hay, loved on her for a bit, and then walked back to the house. I turned around and looked back at her grazing in the warm sun and thought of how ironic it was that her registered name was Sunshine... as she was never allowed to be outside in the sun. I wondered how it must have felt for her to feel the sun on her back as she grazed on the sweet grass.
I still had butterflies... and as I walked, it started to rain. It was so sunny, and the rain took me by surprise. It was a beautiful rain, and it felt so good- I had to smile trying to remember the last time I walked in the rain without an umbrella. I couldn't see her any more, but I wondered what my sweet new mare thought of the cool raindrops landing on her warm back.
And then I thought of something I once wrote in a poem long ago: "Sometimes the sun shines through the rain". (How fitting for my life since Willow died...)
Rain. Yes, I will call her Rain. It's absolutely perfect... just like her. ♥