Any Price a Bargain

It is a well-known fact that you always bargain when buying a horse, a car, or a knock-off Chinatown purse.

I don’t know why this rule exists, and it seems particularly cruel in the horse world, where nearly every sale is an act of desperation. Whether you are waiting for a high-dollar yearling to go through the ring at the Fasig-Tipton Select Sale, or selling off the pony you can’t afford to keep anymore, lacking a Blue Book means that the value of a horse resides solely in each individual’s imagination, and every horseman assumes every other horseman’s imagination to be wholly delusional and without scruple.

I never bargain for anything. If I want something, I buy it. If I can’t afford it, I don’t buy it. I think this is polite. It’s also easier, and makes it easier to plan your finances.

(Once I tried, on the advice of a Lonely Planet guide, to bargain on a taxi ride to Cable Beach, the ghost-town resort beach in Nassau that was made unfashionable by the Atlantis Resort. I failed miserably, but we still wanted to go to Cable Beach, so we ended up spending all of our money on the ride there, which made for a very adventurous walk back to the cruise ship later that afternoon. Did you know Nassau has wild dogs?)

So I’ve never made an offer on a horse. I think it’s just plain mean. “Well, your horse is pretty, and well-trained, and you’ve put a lot of work into him, but if you want me to take him, you’re going to have to lower your price five hundred dollars.” I can’t do that to a person.

Packin’ Six was neither pretty, nor well-trained. No one had put a lot of work into him. But galloping down that road, I knew I was going to give them what they were asking for him. He was worth it.

I brought him back down to a trot and we went jolting up the dirt road, back to the driveway where my Honda sat abandoned, with the bare-footed girl sitting on the trunk, swinging her dirty legs against the bumper. I can’t sit a trot or post a trot in a western saddle; it’s like I’ve never been on a horse before in my life when I’m in one, so I couldn’t have told you if he had a smooth trot or what. He had a nice canter. And like Rillo five years before, I tried him in a saddle I couldn’t ride in, fell in love with his gallop, and went from there. One dark bay OTTB is much like another, I suppose. They are easy to gallop, easy to fall head over heels for.

So instead of trying to post, I leaned my fists against his withers and stood in the flimsy plastic stirrups. He turned in the driveway of his own accord and came to a halt before the barefoot girl. She laughed. “Y’all had a good run!” she said. “Whatcha think?”

“I love him,” I said honestly. No games, no bargaining. “I want him. Can you guys deliver?”

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6 Comments

Filed under Rapidan, Thoroughbreds I've Known, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Any Price a Bargain

  1. I paid the asking price for my guy too… bargaining seemed like it would taint the transaction. Looking forward to the next installment 🙂

    • Calm, Forward, Straight! First off, I used your screenname in some of my writing today. It pleased me. Thanks for reminding me of such a great phrase. I don’t get to ride anymore, so I forget mantras like that from time to time.

      Second, I like the way you put that. “taint the transaction.” It would, wouldn’t it? “I LOVE YOU YOU’RE MY BABY AND I’M SO HAPPY I BARGAINED YOUR PRICE DOWN!!” It just doesn’t feel like true love.

  2. “One dark bay OTTB is much like another, I suppose. They are easy to gallop, easy to fall head over heels for.”

    Awwwww….you mean Miles isn’t one in a million?!

    Actually, I wanted to write and tell you you’ve totally made me rethink Miles name. I mean, I can’t change it now, and I won’t. But when I show him, it will be under his race name Masarin. And I kinda wish I hadn’t wussied out and changed it. Ah well. Hurrah for dark bay Thoroughbreds!!

  3. Oooh Masarin, what a dark-handsome-wicked name! I love it. Miles, you’re WELCOME!

    They are all one in a million, dark bay OTTBs, with the exception of those two factors: they are all easy to gallop and easy to love.

  4. OMG, me TOO. I think bargaining is rude. Why would I ask price A, if I would “settle” for price B. I’ll ask price B, if I want price B. We must be on the wrong planet or something.
    Love it, keep going!

  5. I’m not a bargainer and I can’t “go look at” horses or puppies. Generally, if I’m going, I’m getting! Seems like chestnuts are the ones for me though. Oh, who am I kidding- I’m a sucker for them in any color if they’ve got a nice eye and can walk! Happy Friday!!

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