It was already late in the afternoon when Tim crossed the big ol' entry sign to the ranch. He hadn't planned on being this late but the new arrival was farther away than google maps had initially predicted. Useless technology. He backed up the truck and turned around, angling the trailer so it would be easy to unload the mare. She'd been an absolute doll the whole way there, hadn't made a peep. He was excited to introduce her to the team, and hoped like hell Felix was where he was supposed to be. The damn kid was always gettin' on his nerves, complaining and slacking off. He hoped this new mare would re connect him with his work. After all, he bought 'er with him in mind. He was once a real talented young man and worked harder than plow horse at tilling time but he hasn't been the same since the accident. He's lost his passion and was hittin' the booze pretty hard lately. Tim hopped out of the truck, making his way around to the trailer door and fiddled with the latch. The darn thing was always getting stuck, which caused a disaster when they hauled in Tuff Boy who wasn't very familiar with trailers. Poor boy was stuck in there for a good hour panicking relentlessly. Damn near ruined the horse on his first day, he didn't wanna go anywhere near a trailer for months. Thankfully this mare was relaxed and nothing seemed to stir her much. Finally the stubborn thing came loose and he lowered the door down, revealing a fancy red and white butt and two toned tail swishing lightly. The pretty girl swung her head around to get a better a look and let out a small nicker of greeting. What a sweetheart. Hardly knowin' me at all and she's already makin' sure to say Hi. Time to go find Felix. He made his way to the mare's barn. He usually took naps in the hay loft 'round this time of day. Sure 'nuff he was sittin' on a hay bale with his hat pulled over his face.
"Felix, wake up, the new mare is here"
He stirred a bit and uttered something incoherent. Tim got louder.
He jerked awake almost falling off the bale
"Yes sir, sorry sir. No need for the rude awakening" he said hoarsely, regaining his bearings. He stood up and dusted off his jeans and cleared his throat.
"So where is she?"
Tim studied him for a moment. He looked pale and tired but otherwise sober.
"In the trailer by the foaling barn waiting to be unloaded. Figured I'd leave that to you" He said, giving Felix a pat on the shoulder as he lead them down the stairs and towards the trailer.
The mare came lumbering out of the trailer and into the warm afternoon light. Her coat glowed with a rich shine, the loud white markings creating a crisp contrast. Damn she was stunning. He noticed a gleam in Felix's eye as he checked her out, stroking her coat softly and mumbling things to 'er. The mare responded well to him, loving the attention. That's a good sign.
"Wow Tim you got a beauty here, and such a sweet girl. Where did you get her?" He asked, eyes not leaving the horse.
"I got her from a nice young woman named Francesca Diaz ( @Frankie ) said she was practically a dream horse, meetin' her myself I can't really argue. Her name is DZ Pepper's Classic Royal, they've been callin' her Pepper" He said, moving in to give her a pat.
"Why don't you lead her to one of the east paddocks, there's nobody there right now so she can get used to the place without any of the other girls gettin' all up in her business" he said with a slight chuckle, thinking specifically of Delilah "the boss mare".
"Alright that sounds like a good idea" He said walking off with the mare, clearly infatuated. He watched them make their way toward the paddock with a growing feeling deep in his stomach. A good feeling. She walked lazily with him, head turning to the side as the other mares came to the gates with perked ears and curious eyes. She let out small snorts and friendly nickers, all the mares returning the greeting.
It was about time for afternoon feedings. Yay.
About an hour passed since Tim had left to finish up the barn chores and he decided to check up on Felix and Pepper once more. He made his way back to the mares side and saw Felix kneeling down and talking to the mare, who seemed to be listening intently. He stopped in his tracks as to not interrupt the moment. He could barely make out what he was saying but strained a little harder.
"I won't let anything happen to you, girl. You've got my word."
Tim felt his heart swell and knew he was referring to what happened last summer. Felix had been involved in a riding accident with his personal mare who had to be put down from the injuries, although it was a freak accident he knew Felix blamed himself. As sad as this was he realized this was a big step forward for him, he was allowing himself to connect with another horse, and she already adored him... Thanks Pepper. Thanks for saving my nephew.