As I was cleaning and sterilizing from the auction today, I dug this out of my pocket; my bidding sheet. This is how you keep track of the horses as you walk through the aisles and try to choose the one to bid on. He was the first one that caught my eye. It was his sadness. It was like he was frozen in fear and disbelief. I spent a few minutes with him and wrote down "286 - SAD" because that is how I would remember him.
We continued through the aisles looking at other horses, taking down their numbers and writing a word or two to give me something to remember them by. Then we made our way back to where we started to look at #286 again. It was then I noticed he was standing so close to the horse next to him; their heads practically touching, neither of them paying any attention to the hay in front of them, just seeking comfort from each other. I wrote down "287 - buddies".
Once the bidding began, it was decision time. #286 was my top choice, but if one of the others went through before him, I would have to decide whether or not to bid and potentially lose my chance to save him. As fate would have it, NONE of the horses on my list went through before him. All of them were going for pretty high prices which meant most were going to a home, not a killbuyer.
About an hour into the bidding, #286 and #287 were ridden into the auction area together. They usually come through one at a time, so this was a little bit unusual. The auctioneer described them as a bonded pair, and the bidding started. It was just me and the killbuyer. No one else wanted them. The killbuyer stopped bidding pretty early (meaning he didn't even really want them). With my last bid I won #286. Then the auctioneer looked at me and said "Both?" All eyes on me, heart was racing, I had to make a split second decision. As I looked at two horses I knew nothing about and thought of all the reasons to say NO, I felt myself nodding YES.
I heard the auctioneer say "Good Girl" and felt everyone exhale along with me. I knew immediately without hesitation that it was the right decision. And as we loaded them side by side into the trailer to head to quarantine, and they put their heads together, I thanked God and the universe that I was there to make that moment happen.