06-30-2009, 05:01 PM
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Lacey knew she would never be the kind of girl that demanded attention from a guy like him anyway. Her hair was long and thick and it was even blonde, but it was that strawberry blonde that brought out the splash of freckles covering the bridge of her nose. Her eyes were blue but not an exceptional shade, just plain old blue. She was the girl next door that everyone sings about in the country songs. The one that is always begging the guy to notice her. What those songs never seemed to mention was the fact that the guy never notices the girl next door or in her case, the girl in the lesson barn that lived in the rental house on Main street, near the only stop light in town. The one she could see flashing red through her bedroom window the whole night through. She sighed and went back to cleaning stalls.
By lunch time Lacey had made up her mind that she hated working in the private barn. It had taken nearly two and a half hours to clean the fourteen stalls, add pine shavings, and fill water buckets. Fifteen minutes later she had swept the aisles. When she’d entered the barn that morning it had looked like too much work for just one person to handle when in fact, it really wasn’t nearly as bad as she’d expected. What was bad was that it was really quiet. And a little spooky with all of the horses turned out. The phone rang causing her to nearly jump out of her skin.
“Cutter Quarter Horses, Lacey speaking.” She answered as professionally as she could. It was a call ahead, Mrs. Stevenson and her twelve year old daughter were coming to ride. They were leaving their house and would be at the barn in approximately thirty minutes. It was one of the services provided by the Cutter Ranch. Grooms would catch the owners horse and tack it up so that it was ready to go when they arrived. Lacey did not agree with the idea and always wondered; how would they ever bond. The truth was they wouldn’t.
Grabbing a set of matching halters she headed out to the first paddock. Killian was a well built bay with long legs and a powerful hind end. He was built to perform at the higher levels of dressage and could soar over the highest jumps, a warmblood of sorts, Lacey didn’t know much about the breed, her interests had always fallen on the quarter horses, but this animal was magnificent by anyone horseman’s standards. She always figured the larger performance breeds were hot heads so she was careful when she entered the paddock, having never handled this particular horse before she was expecting him to be a handful and was surprised when he dropped his head and allowed her to fit the halter on him. He was an enormous beast, she found herself in awe over his size. Even at a walk he exuded power. She led him into the barn and left him standing in cross-ties while she headed off to get Chilly, a large dapple gray pony trained in hunt. He was a very showy pony, well built and flashy.
The Cutter Ranch focused on breeding and training quarter horses but all breeds and disciplines were welcome. It wasn’t a large facility but it was well managed and had an indoor riding arena large enough for local the level hunt shows to place entire jump courses in it. There were three barns. A lesson barn, a training barn, and the private owners barn. There were also three outdoor arenas and a round pen. This wasn’t the average horse owners barn. It was very pricey. John Cutter had worked hard to build this place. The barns and the house had been there when he purchased it fresh out of high school, using an inheritance. The original owner had been involved in a scandal, something to do with the use of illegal substances. Lacey had heard the story several times but it was constantly changing. What she did know was that a simple change in ownership and a new name had not been enough to bring in the clients. Mr. Cutter had several world championship titles under his belt before he was able to bring in the clients.