Not many kids think about horses that aren't the "Cream Of The Crop".
I went to an auction around my 11th birthday. I had gotten $75 to spend anyway I wanted. I spent all morning going to the bunnies, goats, pigs, and then a horse trailer pulled up to the back of the holding area. I waited then I saw him. A chestnut gelding with a black mane and tail. I fell in love. I felt bad for him at the same time. The poor thing was skin and bone but all I saw was his spirit. He reared up the instant he was out of the trailer. I ignored the advice of my Uncle Mike who had come down with us. I went in after the trailer left to go park. I went right in the stall which technically was dangerous if you ask the owner. The gelding just looked at me and huffed.
"Child he isn't one you'd like," the owner said as I held out my apple. Without much hesitation, the gelding took the apple and munched happily. I moved slowly forward and petted his neck in the stall.
"I like him very much," I said smiling. "He's perfect."
My uncle made me leave the stall and look at the other animals again. I couldn't help it. I wanted the gelding. Finally it was time for the auction to begin so I made sure I got a front row spot for when they brought my horse out. I was taking him home. First the cows went for about $1.23 per pound. Which isn't that bad. The sheep were next then the goats and finally it took 2 people to lead the big gelding out of the back to the stage.
The bidding began and I raised the number I had been given to use fast when he said who'd give $15. No one seemed to see the potential. I did and I was excited but panic set in when a man raised his number next. The bidding continued all the way to $75. I was terrified the man would raise the number again passed all that I had. The man didn't and the gelding became mine.
I was happy to take the gelding home and love him. He was unloaded at the farm into a corral. He was surrounded by the other horses we had at the time. 3 mares and 2 geldings. He took quickly to the black Arabian mare we had at the time called Midnight. I was excited when the first 24 hours went well and I was allowed to release him into the pasture to run with the other horses. He ran around like it was his job. He was fast to.
"You know he'll never be a show horse," my sister commented about the two lumps he had. One over his right eye and the other on the right side of his lip.
"I know but I don't care. He's perfect." I smiled as she returned to the house to watch tv. I sat on top of the crappy trailer in the pasture where I could watch and interact. He soon stopped to eat the round bale of hay we had just put out. I went over and sat on top the bale. He let me pet him and Midnight stayed beside him not eating.
Other the next couple weeks, I'd go out into the pasture and sit on the bale of hay or in the pile of hay just to let Wild Fire get used to me. I was surprised one morning when my Uncle Mike asked me to come in to the barn quietly. I went in slowly. Wild Fire was in the stall just standing there letting him sit on his back. I went over and petted Wild Fire's nose. My uncle Mike asked me to slowly climb the stall area and slid onto his back. A little nervous I went slowly. I sat there for a few minutes with Uncle Mike before he slid off and Wild Fire moved around slowly in the stall. His movements were so smooth and soft it was like he was being gentle on purpose. I loved it.
"He's careful," I said.
"He tried to buck me off at first but I knew he wouldn't you." He smiled as my mom came in the barn. She smiled as he stuck his head out the stall door and waited. My mom tried to pet him but he threw his head back. I petted his neck softly.
"It's okay boy," I said. "She was just saying hi." She stood beside my uncle till he opened the door slowly.
"Let him feel what you want. Don't be afraid." he said. I nodded.
For four years I was happy with him, but I soon realized he just needed a home where he could run free and happy. A man and woman came to look at him on a chilly rainy day. I was cold while I stood holding Wild Fire. He stood and let them pet him then freaked running between the hay bale and gate. The man and woman gasped as I held on. He soon stopped on the other side and lowered his head. I petted him while my mom explained why he did that to me. We talked for a good hour before deciding what they were going to do. They picked him up the next day with a mare in the trailer. They told me he was going run happily on their 40 acres and there he is to this day but instead of just the one mare they have adopted about 35 others.