As night turned to dawn, the snow capped mountains to the west began to glow, and in the passenger seat of a 1999 model Ford pickup truck a young girl began to wake. Her and her father had travelled for nearly two days from the heat of the Arizona desert to the cold of the Montana big sky country with one hope. As only horse loving people would understand, there are horses all over the world, but comparatively, there are few horses that spark something special inside you. The horse they were coming to see was one of those horses for her, hopefully.
Everything they'd seen so far on video and pictures spoke to the young girl in an almost spiritual way. Perhaps there were other horses, some even closer than a two day's drive, but this horse lingered on her mind and nothing could separate that emotional bond once it began. You could say, the hope was more in the father. Hope that the horse wouldn't disappoint his young horsewoman in the making.
The whistle of the diesel engine was quieter now they'd descended the last elevated pass where acceleration wasn't needed as often, and that quietness, plus the warm cab air, was inviting sleepiness more than waking. But the sunrise was unlike anything her father had ever seen and his daughter wouldn't want to miss it. With a nudge and whisper, he called and coaxed his daughter awake. "We're getting closer now, doll. You should see these mountains shining in the early sun."
The aches and tightness in the body as it wakes from sleeping in a truck cab can only be overcome with the anticipation of a destination on the horizon. In her case, that destination was the beating heart of a young, grey thoroughbred named Hope, somewhere near the end of the valley they now travelled through. Her fathers voice opened her eyes, but it was the anticipation of seeing her horse that truly woke her enough to lean forward and see the jagged mountains bathed in new sunlight. Her father was right, she didn't want to miss this. Every inch of this journey was a dream come true. The four-legged creature at the end was no doubt going to be the icing on the cake.
"First, let's stop for breakfast. Does that sound good to you?" The father asked, and with a nod of approval, they spent the next hour nearly speechless, consuming the best of Montana's farm raised eggs, grits, pancakes, hot chocolate, and coffee in a quaint little café, in a small town near their final stop. Being so close made her giddy and nervous. And again, perhaps the nervousness was more in the father than the daughter. The horse seemed perfect for her on video but nothing would spoil an adventure more than a poor prize wrapped in golden paper at the end. Anything could be off. The horse could be lame, or dangerously untrained, or emotionally damaged. Those thoughts kept cycling through his mind, and crossing his fingers only helped shift gears to more positive thoughts some of the time. He breathed deep and kept the spirits up. "Let's pack this up and go see our new horse, shall we?" And with an excited nod from his daughter, their journey of just a few more miles, resumed...
Author's note: For most of us, we remember the anticipation of that first horse. That special magic that's only happens once. Part two to this story will arrive in your inbox next week. Thanks for reading, as always feel free to comment below and don't hesitate to reach out if you and your horse need a helping hand. We are here for you.
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