A Horse, Of Course

foalThere are certain combinations that are irresistible.
German chocolate cake and mocha ice cream.
Staying in bed 15 minutes longer on a cold, rainy morning.
Horses at auction and your daughter.
Because I am older and wiser now, I can tell you with certainty, “Never go to an auction with your daughter.” (My father told me many times: “Do as Daddy says, not as Daddy does, and be the man Daddy should of was.”)
You will say to her, “There is no way we’re going to buy another horse. We have too many now. We don’t have the room, and we don’t have the extra money.”
She will look at you with complete understanding. At 16, a daughter can look at you with complete understanding and you’re still not sure she understands what you said the way you understand what you said. So you’ll say, “No more horses.”
And she’ll say, “I agree…I just want to see a couple of these horses…just to see what the competition is going to look like. It’s good business to know what the competition is.”
So you’ll look at the catalog and you’ll find some horses which interest you, and you’ll want to know how they sell, so you’ll jump in the truck and off you’ll go—just to look!
Walking down a shed row looking at horses is great. I like talking with the owners or grooms or bloodstock agents. They tell great stories about their horse and by the time they get done telling you how this horse is a member of the family, you’ll have a hard time understanding how they can possibly part with him or her. But they’ll assure you, “This horse is going to sell.”
Within a couple of hours you will have eliminated three-quarters of the horses you selected in the catalog. The problem is, you’ve added about half as many new ones.
Wander into the sales complex and listen to the auctioneers describe the horse in the ring. Then listen to him work the crowd getting the bid higher and higher. Auctioneers are paid to get you excited about the horse and get you into the bidding. They are good at what they do. Most people get excited, but I sit stoically.
A filly is led into the ring. You looked at her outside and liked her. And your daughter likes her. But you aren’t going to buy another horse.
The bidding gets started and then gets stuck. A couple of new prospective buyers enter the bidding, and then it stops again. Just to help the auctioneers, you’ll bid on the filly. Your daughter will look at you with surprise, excitement and approval.
The bidding starts again, stops, goes up and you bid one more time.
Suddenly it’s over…you’re signing the sales slip and your daughter has a new horse.
You’re going to ask me how this happens. And because I am older and wiser and have been there and done that, I’m supposed to give you good advice.
I can’t. I haven’t got a clue as to how.
I know why. Stop and have some German chocolate cake and mocha ice cream. Stay in bed an extra 15 minutes the next time it’s a cold, rainy morning.
Watch your daughter with her new horse, or her old horse, or her first horse.
Some combinations are irresistible.

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