Cow doctor gift giving: take three

My oldest granddaughter, Clara, helped trail cattle to the mountains the last two summers and she is hooked on cowboy life. She wants to follow my footsteps to vet school before owning a ranch and she is driven and smart enough to get it done. Clara is 14.
A year ago, Clara became the owner of a gift horse, a 15-year-old Arab mare named Lacy, who had a love/hate relationship with her previous owner. Mostly hate, so I took the mare to the Breaks for test ride elk hunting. Lacy was tolerable for three days, but the fourth revealed her evil underbelly. While riding along a ridge, Lacy bowed her neck, chomped the bit and crow-hopped while galloping across the plateau, stopping only after I crashed ​her into a corner brace. She had two more fits that morning, with the third on top of a 200-foot clay bank overlooking the Missouri River. If Lacy was willing to tumble us both to the water below, she shouldn’t be carrying my grandkids, so in June, Lacy moved to France. Since then, Clara has been saving money for a real horse.
For her 14th birthday Clara requested a family weekend riding horses. Although, it doesn’t take much of an equine athlete to pack my mini-Kimmels, my cavy is aging and I have pondered whether I should buy in, or sell out of the horse business. Because my heart is bigger than my brain, I crafted a plan to buy myself a new horse, but birthday gift it to Clara for year-round feed and care. Clearly a win-win.
At dinner Friday night, I told Clara she needed her Muck Boots and slicker for an all-day appointment starting Saturday morning. She looked confused, so I tossed her the BLS Horse Sale Catalogue wrapped in a ribbon and bow. She glanced at the cover and tears streamed down her cheeks. Saturday morning, we hit the sale where we bid for five hours before scoring a nice seven-year-old paint gelding. I planned to take him to hunting camp and should he pass muster, he would winter at Clara’s in Great Falls.
Sunday morning, I saddled up and circled through the pasture before swapping horses with Clara. By Sunday afternoon, she was loping the paint through the hills bareback, so my ingenious scheme backfired as I owned my new horse less than 24 hours. It wasn’t a total loss, as I learned a birthday horse scores far above dog collars and blenders, which is a tidbit worth remembering.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961

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