WHAT HAVE I DONE?!
(I’m not really complaining…)
The last thing I needed was another horse.
TODAY I WENT TO THE PRISONER TRAINED MUSTANG AUCTION
Today I went to the Prisoner Trained Mustang Auction in Carson City, Nevada. If you’d like to read my original post about it, click here.
Anyway, we had some friends visiting this weekend so all 8 of us left the house at 6:30 this morning for our trek out East.
(The fact that 8 of us made it out of the house on time is a miracle in itself… an omen for a good day.)
We hit the road (and a Starbucks) at 6:45 ish and headed for the Correctional Institution in Carson City.
I had been to two auctions before and reported on them all… From my perspective, to have a Mustang that is handled 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 4 months – as these Prisoner Trained Mustangs are – is a GREAT thing.
As I’ve said before, I went to the first Auction with trepidation. However, I was quickly won over. The inmates covet this job of gentling the mustangs and it shows…
I think the program is a good one. Especially since the Mustangs in general have very little opportunity to become solid citizens when they are older than babies… With 30,000 adult Mustangs in pens, it is important to have a concentrated training program available for the Mustang and potential adopters.
THIS AUCTION WAS DIFFERENT…
But this auction was different.
Previously, the auctions I attended were in Reno at the Expo Center, not the prison. All the horses sold and most sold for at least $800 – $2000.
That wasn’t the case today…
I don’t know if it was because we were in the actual prison or what… but less people showed. And even though the BLM gave out the same number of bidder paddles, not many people were actually bidding.
There wasn’t a snap, crackle and pop in the air.
I hope the lull was just due to the recent storm or maybe some other unforeseen issues – because the horses were really fine. I mean, of the three auctions I’ve attended, this one was the best. Really. The horses were all awesome.
NO ONE WAS BIDDING…
OK, so the first horse came up for bid and no one bid. Well, I could maybe see why since that horse was a bit skitty.
Then, the second horse came up. No one bid.
OY. I was upset. These horses were NICE! All of them walked, trotted, cantered, side passed, lifted their feet… they did it all!
The third horse sold for an insanely low amount.
Now I was very upset. I mean, it was good for the buyer to win a great horse for little money, but I want the program to continue and if it has no buyers, then it won’t.
The next great horse went for a pittance. Ugh.
When Poco Rojo came into the ring, Hubby and I recognized his trainer as one of the best from the last few auctions. We knew that Poco Rojo would have been worked very well… and he was.
Poco went through all of his paces happily. He walked, trotted, cantered… Jesus (the trainer) slid off of his rump and walked underneath Rojo… he rode without a bridle. They played with a huge ball. Poco Rojo did it all – AND, he was little. I like the little ones.
When it was time to ‘find him a home’, no one bid.
I was irate. What??!! So, I threw up my paddle.
Another guy bid against me.
So, I bid against him.
So did I.
We went back and forth to get the bid up to $1000. HE had the $1000 bid.
Well, I was so into the excitement of finally having a highish bid – I felt this guy would go higher on such a nice horse. So, I bid again.
I WAS WRONG.
I was wrong about the stranger bidding next to me. $1000 seemed to have been his limit.
As if in a cone of silence, I listened to only the auctioneer as he kept asking for $1200… in his incredibly fast oration, he drove into my consciousness that no one else was responding to him and that I could possibly spend $1100 on a horse I had never intended to purchase.
$1200? Is there $1200…? All in, all done… SOLD for $1100.
I was in shock. OMG!
The crowd erupted! They all knew he was a great horse at an incredible price.
I felt a little sick and choked back a tear.
Hubby turned to me and said, “I think you found, finally, the horse to replace Aladdin.”
(Aladdin is my dearly departed, best ever, trail horse.)
Hubby probably could not have said anything better. It was the exact thing I needed to hear in that moment.
IN A DAZE
For the rest of the auction, I was in a daze. I noted all the prices for the remaining horses (4 didn’t sell – a first. Very sad) but all I could think about was getting into Rojo’s pen and meeting him face to face.
I stood up to see where he had gone but I couldn’t find him.
MAKING MY PAYMENT
The auction concluded and I motored over to the Payment Table. As I approached, the Brand Inspector (an old guy that fit the picture better than Central Casting could have supplied) pointed at me and said, “You got the best horse, little lady… I watched them all and he was the best one!!”
Music to my ears however, I think all of the horses were equally wonderful in unique ways (which I will write about later).
And, in addition to my purchase, I received a goodie bag!
MEETING POCO ROJO WITH JESUS
Immediately after paying, I went on a hunt for Rojo.
I couldn’t find him or any of the horses.
But, I did find an inmate who was holding Farm Boy for his new owner. I asked where I might find Rojo. He told me to go through another set of gates and I would find him. It was a bit scary to wander further into the yard. But, I did and realized that all the new buyers were now in the holding pens with their new mounts.
Jesus came up to me and asked if I had won his horse. I said that I had. He shook my hand.
Like a gentleman, Jesus showed me everything he could in the ’15 minute tour’. He told me how Rojo likes to be greeted, how to make sure he is listening, how Jesus trains him and then… Jesus introduced me to Rojo.
I was nervous.
What if he didn’t like me?
I decided to assuage my fears and greet Rojo as if it was ‘meant to be’. I decided to welcome him as if Aladdin had directed me.
I opened my arms and showed him my heart.
And he saw it.
I’m absolutely flabbergasted as I sit here tonight… but I think the hand of horsegod pushed up my paddle and secured the fate of a horse meant to be…
He smells as sweet as he is.
We both sighed.
–I cannot wait to go back and pick him up this week!
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