15 August 2013

Danny Boy - Part 3 - Comin' Home

We were late.

Late getting up.

Late loading the truck.

Late getting there.

We were very late.

- - - - -

When we finally arrived, I handed over the loot and the the seller disappeared. She returned with a smile - it was good. We exchanged paperwork, Coggins for a Bill of Sale. Then we adjusted the ramp in the rutted driveway, hoping to make it solid. 

I gathered my rope halter and headed in the barn. She'd switched horses around, Danny Boy was in a different stall. I went in and moved to rub him, but he never gave me the chance. Danny Boy left his food to swing his head into the halter. She commented on that unusual behavior and I smiled when Mike looked over at me and crossed his arms. He'd seen it all before, a thousand times. One thousand and one wasn't any different. We both knew Danny Boy was ready to leave and I was his ticket out of there. I didn't feel this warranted explaining. 

Danny Boy had not trailered much and the ramp was a Boogie-M. I opened it wide and then settled in to allow Danny Boy a good look see. I wasn't going to rush him. Unfortunately, the seller did. She started poking and jabbing and pushing. I phrased my demand carefully.

"Back off!" Spoken with utmost love for the horse and loudness for the human and entirely without question regarding what I expected. 

She stopped.

I smiled and she stepped away.

We started over. "Do you need me to help?", she asked.

"No, I'm going to take my time with him, but thanks."

Danny Boy visibly relaxed.

I waited and he sniffed the ramp. He pawed it two seconds later and thirty seconds after that he stomped it with his left front. That got him a rub on his forehead.

I led him away and then right back. He followed me two footed onto the ramp and stopped. Another rub and another short bit of walking. She observed from the sidelines.

Back to the trailer and this time he went on. He didn't like it and I didn't ask him to stay. He backed out quietly for another rub. He was starting to look for those.

No walking this time, just back on. He felt easier, more confident. That rub thing again. He closed his eyes and really savored it. Licking, then yawning.

I asked him to back out, but he was content, out of the heat. I nodded to Mike and he went around and shook the butt bar. Danny Boy glanced back and wondered. Mike rubbed him and shook the bar again. No response. Mike plugged the pin and raised the ramp. Another look from Danny Boy, but mostly curiosity. We locked the rear double doors open for air flow on the interstate. Then I tied Danny Boy to the ring while he munched on the hay bag.

We three chatted briefly before the final close-up and when we were ready to go, I held the door and waited for Danny Boy to give me permission to close it. He eyeballed me, stuck his nose as far out of the trailer as he could and then swung his head to the center of the trailer and held it there.

Permission granted.

Danny Boy didn't move a muscle the entire way home.

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