“Of course, I’ll help your little sister, Lucas,” said Antonia.
“Thank you, Antonia. I knew I could count on you. Kobi will be so happy! She’s already in love with this horse. I know you’re not running a boarding facility, but I’ll pay any monthly fees you require.”
“Lucas, you’ve helped me on so many occasions, I owe you,” said a smiling Antonia face raised, looking into his hazel eyes. “I’ll expect some work out of her though,” Antonia continued, still smiling.
“Of course,” said Lucas looking down at her and smiling too.
Antonia reached out and took Lucas’s right hand in hers. There was a strong bond between the athletic, bronze-skinned deputy and the lovely dark-haired lady from Brazil. Antonia broke the moment by stepping back and asked, “So when can I expect my new border?”
Lucas cleared his throat and said, “I’ll call Strider and let him know you agreed, and they can go pick up the horse. They purchased him at the auction last night to save him from the “killer buyers.”
“What breed is the horse?” asked Antonia.
“He’s a thoroughbred. He apparently has a minor injury and was therefore deemed no longer useful by your neighbor, Kirk Robertson,” answered Lucas.
Antonia frowned and said, “Horses are a lifelong responsibility. Just because they can’t be ridden anymore is no excuse to betray and abandon them.” Antonia’s fists tightened as she said it.
“I knew you felt that way Antonia. You keep old Ambush around and even Timmy, who’s never been ridden. It’s one of the many things I admire about you,” he said smiling.
It was late evening when the truck and trailer pulled into Kuhaylah Arabians. School was out for the day, so Gina was at the ranch and standing next to Antonia as they watched the truck pull the trailer up the long drive.
“Let’s meet them at the small barn,” said Antonia as she started walking toward the small red barn on the corner of the property. There were no horses in it at the moment. They had just been using it to store hay.
Antonia and Gina arrived at the front of the barn just as the truck was reaching the bend in the driveway right in front of it. Antonia signaled to Strider to stop the truck. Strider had been driving the rig at a snail’s pace, but it was very dry and there was a slight breeze on this cool, crisp, autumn evening, so a little cloud of white dust wafted over them. Strider stepped out of the truck and was immediately joined by a slim, brown-skinned girl with black hair in braids as she slid out right behind him on the driver’s side, shutting the door behind her.
“Hey Antonia,” said Strider as the new girl looked on. “This is Kobi Remington, Lucas Remington’s younger sister.”
“Nice to meet you, Kobi,” said Antonia smiling.
Timmy, the ever-curious golden pony, came trotting up from the big pasture to check out the new arrival.
“Nice to meet you too,” answered Kobi. “And thank you so much for doing this. I really love this horse!”
“I’m always willing to help a fellow horse lover! We are kindred spirits.”
“Hi Kobi, nice to see you. How’s your friend, Bethany?” asked Gina.
“She’s fine, I guess, I’m not really speaking to her right now, but I don’t want to talk about it,” said Kobi looking toward Gina, but she then turned toward Timmy, “What a cute pony.”
“That’s Timmy, he’s the head of the welcoming committee at Kuhaylah Arabians,” laughed Antonia.
As if on cue, Timmy walked straight up to Kobi and nuzzled her neck as she giggled.
“He likes you,” said Antonia, “and he seems to like your charge too. Let’s get him out of the trailer.”
The trailer was a small, white, two-horse affair. The horse was on the left, so Kobi opened the right rear door after lowering the ramp and stepped inside. “It’s okay Charlie Brown, you’re safe now,” she said to the horse. He softly nickered to her as if he understood.
Strider opened the left rear door after she reached the head of the horse.
It was obvious Kobi had a bond with the horse because she just tugged back on the lead rope a little while lightly tapping on his chest and he began to slowly back out as she talked softly to him.
He was a sight to see as he stepped out of the trailer into the evening sunlight. He was a well built, bay thoroughbred with a blaze running down his entire face. Kobi turned him around to face the group and said, “His name is Charlie Brown.”
“Charlie Brown? What a weird name for a horse,” said Gina.
“His sire is Big Brown, the 2008 Kentucky Derby winner,” said Kobi.
“But unfortunately for him, he didn’t take after his sire. Too slow,” said Strider.
Timmy walked up to Charlie Brown and they touched noses. They immediately bonded, no squealing or pawing at each other.
“Looks like Timmy found himself a best friend. Let’s take him into the small barn and check him over,” said Antonia.
Kobi began to lead Charlie Brown toward the barn and he limped a little on his front right leg.
“Stop a moment, Kobi, so I can check out his leg,” said Antonia.
“He has a suspensory ligament injury,” said Strider.
Antonia walked up to the horse, bent down and placed her hand on his leg. “His leg does feel warm and there is a little swelling. It’s a common injury in horse racing, but it seems minor. Just a little stall rest, anti-inflammatories, and support bandages and he should be fine. Why was he sentenced to certain death?” asked Antonia.
“Like I said, too slow. Orion Racing Stables has no room for a slow racehorse,” said Strider.
Antonia’s body tensed with anger as she straightened back up. “Ridiculous! This horse would make an excellent dressage prospect. He’s young and healthy. Besides, animal ownership is a lifelong commitment!”
“We knew you would feel that way,” said Strider with a smile.
“What’s dressage?” asked Kobi.
“It’s an elegant style of riding that this beauty would be well suited for. I used to compete on horses like this when I lived in Paris,” said Antonia.
“Paris, Texas?” asked Kobi.
Antonia laughed, “Paris, France.”
“Paris, France?! Wow! Could you teach me dressage?” asked Kobi.
“I can,” said Antonia, smiling and continued, “Let’s take Charlie Brown into the barn and get him settled for the evening.”
Gina opened the white, metal gate to let Charlie and his entourage through to the small paddock area in front of the little, red barn. Timmy tried to bring up the rear, but Gina gently pushed him back and closed the gate. “Sorry buddy. You can see your new friend later,” she said as she rubbed his nose.
Timmy stood guard at the gate as they all went inside the barn to help their new resident settle into his forever home.
Pictures of Timmy and Charlie Brown: