Well, today was the day. It’s not actually Kim’s birthday today, but it’s close enough.

Kelsey was a superstar today, and so was Bob. Kelsey played her part well, giving Kim the story starting last night via text that she had a new lesson horse that she wanted to try out on Kim during her regular lesson on Tuesday (today). Bob was renamed to Spanky for the day, as Kim had briefly seen the craigslist ad for Bob a few weeks earlier (and remarked on what a nice horse he was). I also figured that a nickname of Spanky would make his actual stable name of Bob a bit more palatable—after all, the name “Bob” conjures up images of a farm horse rather than a sweet little Arabian.

To quote Theron McGarry, “She didn’t suspicion nuthin’. Nope.”

Kim immediately liked Bob, asking lots of questions about him and generally cooing over him. The lesson went well, too. I arrived about 15 minutes before the end of her lesson with the excuse that I was curious about this new lesson horse, too. So, I got to watch the last part of the lesson, including Kelsey feeding Kim straight lines like, “So, do you think you could work with this horse on a regular basis?”

Kim was all smiles at the end of the lesson, talking about what a sweet little horse he was, just her size, etc. Kelsey led Bob down to his stall and I stalled Kim around the corner for a minute before we walked down the aisle to leave. As we got to Bob’s stall, I stopped and asked, “So you really liked him, huh?” Yup! “Good, because he’s yours! Happy birthday!” Kelsey opened the stall door to reveal Bob standing there with a huge bow stuck to his butt (how she persuaded Bob to put up with that, I still do not know).

It isn’t often that Kim looks stunned.

This was one of those moments. She thought I was joking. Then, “Really? Really?”

It was a good day.

About Mike

Michael Heggen is a horseman, maker, and thinker who lives in Salem, Oregon with his wife, Kim, and "three to eight cats". He stays quite busy riding, driving, and caring for their three horses, Boulder, Shasta, and Bob. Among other things, Mike has been a fencing coach, police chaplain, computer consultant, aspirant to the diaconate, computer salesman, box boy, carpenter, computer technician, typesetter, church youth leader, copy machine operator, and network administrator. His other interests include juggling, reading voraciously, and (pretty occasionally these days) cycling.
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