When my wife said that we were getting a "free" pony I had no idea what her definition of "free" meant. I should have known better. After all, I am married to a long time equestrian and when you marry a woman who loves horses, well, the cash register stays open. In the literal sense, however, she was truthful about the cost of acquiring him. The problem came with the cost of keeping him in the manner she envisioned. And the "cha-ching" sound hasn't stopped since.
Upon arrival she noted that winter's coming and Angus needed a nice warm blanket and sheet to keep him warm. It was ordered and delivered and the first "cha-ching" was heard. Almost concurrently she decided that he needed a cart, so while waiting for me to reach the same conclusion (not that I had a vote anyway) she ordered the harness and supporting items, "cha-ching" number two.
Next we noticed his undivided attention was directed to our mares. Since all of our horses are mares but one, Angus was acting like a teenage boy in the springtime. Oh, we kept him apart from them and a cursory inspection showed no evidence of him being a fully equipped model, but we decided we'd better get the vet to come out to be sure. When she came she found that his testicles had not dropped but she could only find one, which was surgically removed, "cha-ching" number three She suggested we wait a couple of weeks, then she could test him and we'd know if in fact more surgery was required.
We got a call a few days ago telling us that, yes, he was still fully capable and that meant that another medical procedure would be required soon, "cha-ching" number four, and this was only the beginning. Finally giving her my blessing on the cart, she ordered an Amish two person cart to be built, paying for it at the time of the order bringing "cha-ching" number five.
Whew, I thought we were done but, oh no, there was something else. Since he would be housed in the side yard and since he didn't have a shelter she designed an enclosed and covered paddock stall, complete with an attached garage for the car(t). Lumber, roofing materials, screws and more, a big "cha-ching number six. I must confess, however, that since my wife is quite handy with a hammer and saw, she put it together practically by herself. The only thing I had to do was stand by in "step and fetch it" mode for assistance. Now complete, it looks quite professional and our little "free" pony may very well end up living better than we do. He's got his private yard with a view and a house and attached garage.
And I guess I have to admit that I really didn't get the shaft, because I love my wife dearly and I've grown quite fond of our little Angus. But Honey, can't we slow things down just a little, please. She tells me yes but I know as clearly as the sun will shine again that sometime down the road her horse sense will come up with another project for the herd. So if you love an equestrian, you just learn to roll with the punches, because you won't change them and it's you that must change. And I guess it's change I've done.
Now all I need to do is learn how to "whinny" when I need her attention. But, really, my life is rich in many ways other than money and money, well, it's gone to the bottomless pit known as horses. Oh, well, we can't take it with us anyway.
Have a wonderful day and be careful in the Christmas rush. God bless you all. I'll provide pics of the final product once the cart arrives.
By James Dick
Author of Honey, We Shoulda' Bought the Ark. Now available on line through www.outskirtspress.com/honeyweshouldaboughttheark and amazon.com/author/jamesdick. ANIMALS: A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM GOD