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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Free Horse

This past spring we bought an old farmstead about an hour east of Dallas. On a narrow, dirt road, our 51 acres boasts two ponds (with fish), a creek, meadows and loads of trees. It seemed a paradise --- an escape from the city. And it is. But we ran into one problem. The farm came with an old horse. He's a friendly old chap, with the name of "Magic." He follows you around like a dog. We quickly came to understand that spending time at the farm made us sad for this old horse. He was l-o-n-e-l-y.

We looked at getting rid of him, but there was no answer for that. So I started shopping around for horses or donkeys -- figuring I'd get him a buddy to hang out with. I was seeing horses run in the price range of $800, $1,500, $2,800 and up. Clearly this looked like an expensive proposition. So remembering that we'd found this farm on, I returned to to see what I might do about my horse dilemma.

Wanted: Old Nag (Horse). That was the headline for my advertisement on CraigsList last month. I explained that we had an old horse who needed a friend. I stated that we weren't prepared to pay anything for this, but would pay someone to haul the horse. Now my wife said I was a little loco about this. Horses were listed for sale on CraigsList. Who would give one away?

To date, we have received 21 responses ... and 19 of them have been offers to give us their horse. As you might imagine, these horses often come with a story. In some cases, there's a reason they are free. One had its front teeth knocked out in a "freak accident." Another had been a "rescue horse" and recovered from gross neglect a few years ago. One horse was too big and scared the children. The horses offered were of varying ages. One offer simply asked us to promise not to eat the horse!

I asked my wife to wade through these offers. I was off to Uganda for a couple of weeks, so told her to see what made sense and go ahead with it. To my delight, when I got back, she had arranged to take on another older horse. We are now the proud owners of a Tennessee Walking Horse named "Black." I know, it's not a very creative name, but that's the one he came with. He looks a little more brown to me than he is black too. Anyway, Magic and Black have become best buds now. We were at the farm yesterday and they barely paid us any attention. No horse was lonely there!

So what's this blog about? Maybe you think it's about the horse. I think it's about human nature and the power of the Internet. How is it that people selling horses on CraigsList also will give horses away. Nineteen of them! Perhaps the lesson is that one should never under estimate the power of the Internet to help you accomplish even the ridiculous. So - free horse anyone?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:50 PM

    we love 2 take your horse is he/she good with kids by