Horsey Rides

Back in the day, the Mooney children all had horses at one time or another, but that was thirty-plus years ago, and the works were showing signs of age. The horse pasture was ringed with sagging, rusted barbed wire and the old tack shed was filled not with saddles and bridles, but packed to the brim with random yard sale finds and old feed bags full of used baling twine. New energy and fresh blood were needed.

It all started with Randy and Susan’s first horse, Leroy. As soon as Randy was seen trotting around the Farm on Leroy, looking like a real cowboy with his Wranglers and checkered neck kerchief, Geoffrey just had to outdo him. Though Geoffrey normally went about his days wearing a weathered Stetson, a long leather duster, and spurs on his boots, he hadn’t ridden or been around horses in over twenty years.

Once upon a time, he’d owned a few fancy Arabians expressly for the clout of entering them in shows and yucking it up with the other well-to-dos who had entered their horses as well. His actual experience in hands-on horse handling was virtually nil. But that was in a previous life, before he became fond of the drink. Now Geoffrey didn’t have the time, the resources, or the sobriety needed to care for a horse, but this was of no concern to him.

Recently, he’d been wooing one of the lady drunks over at Buffy’s Bar and found out she had a horse for sale just down the road. The woman boasted that she used to go out drunk-riding on Lola all the time, and that the horse was not only bomb-proof but drunk-proof as well. She said once she had fallen off Lola and ended up spending the night alone out in the woods. The next day, after hitching a ride with a hunter on his four-wheeler, she got back home several miles and found Lola happily munching away on the grass beside her corral. Geoffrey said that sounded like the perfect horse for him, a sale was made, and later that day he walked Lola back to the Farm.

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