“YOU READY FOR THIS, today?” said Smokey as he gave Hunter a slap on the back.
Hunter made a face that reflected his doubts.
“Ah, you’ll be fine, Pachelbel! It ain’t too far to the ground!” shouted Julius from where he stood by Sally’s pen. He followed this with a loud chortle.
“Thanks a lot, Julius,” responded Hunter.
Hunter entered Sally’s pen and slipped the rope halter over her head, rewarding her obedience with a slice of apple provided by Mrs. Fowler. He turned and led her into the round pen where Smokey was waiting with the saddle pad and saddle.
The mare stood quietly with Hunter at her head as Smokey calmly placed the thick pad over her back. Hunter watched her eyes and ears for a response. Sally’s ears twitched back and her eyes rolled a bit but she didn’t move. When Smokey lifted the saddle and gently lowered it onto her back, Hunter felt her body tense and her muscles quiver. But her feet remained still.
“She’s using her thinking side of the brain right well,” said Smokey as he stroked her neck, shoulder and rump.
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