The little bay colt….


Once, not so very long ago there was a beautiful pasture, full of the most glorious flowers, and sweet summer grass. The pasture belonged to farmer John and every day he and his daughter Lucy would walk out to the pasture to go and see the the old mare, Ruby and her rapidly growing young foal Spanner. Spanner wasn’t the foals real name. His real name was Spanish Blue, named after his father, the famous stallion True Blue, but the shortening of Spanish and the shape of the blaze on his face meant that the only name he ever heard was Spanner. He didn’t mind at all, happy running around his pasture, playing with his mother, chasing butterflies through the flowers. Farmer John had already promised Lucy that Spanner would be her first horse when he was old enough to be ridden and that together father and daughter would train him to be the finest horse there had ever been. Each day farmer John and Lucy would walk up the track to the pasture and lean on the gate together as Ruby slowly wandered over to greet them, Spanner running around her, excited by everything around him. He seemed to grow stronger and bolder with each visit, moving further and further from his mothers side, his long legs gaining better proportion as his body grew to match them. He was a strong colt, clean limbed and graceful when he moved, soft eyed and content, his placid temperament taken from his mother.

As time went on Spanner grew into a fine young colt, full of life and always pleased to see farmer John and Lucy each day as they came to the gate. It wasn’t so very long before the day arrived when farmer John decided that he was ready to begin his training and on that day, instead of walking straight up the track to the pasture he led Lucy to the barn behind the farmouse, and reaching up to the hook on the wall, took down a headcollar and rope, and without another word, handed them to her. Lucy smiled, knowing what was to come as together they walked up to the gate, but instead of leaning on it, farmer John pulled back the catch and opened it, leading Lucy into the pasture, just as Ruby began to wander over with Spanner running around her as he always did. Farmer John and Lucy stood together as the mare and colt approached, the old mare nickering softly to the colt reassuring him that all was well. She led him over to the farmer and his daughter, and as she approached farmer John held out his hand, palm up, fingers extended and Ruby gently placed her muzzle on his hand in greeting. Watching her father carefully Lucy slowly extended her own hand in the same way, and as she did so Spanner tentatively leaned his head and neck forward and, copying his mother, rested his own muzzle in her hand. Lucy smiled, her eyes shining with joy as she turned her head to look into her fathers kindly eyes. Farmer John nodded and Lucy slowly reached out her other hand slipping the headcollar over Spanners head, fastening it in place as the youngster accepted her as his owner……

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