Below is a short excerpt from the standalone novel, B and B by Christine Meunier.
Ben was almost tempted to ask Jake if he was ready to be a father figure if Brooke returned his interest. Almost. Thankfully they were so busy that morning that there wasn’t much time for conversation outside of what needed to be done.
One of the part-timers had called in sick and they had a lame horse to deal with. As Murphy’s Law would have it, it was one they were planning to use for the 10am ride. While Jake prepared another horse, Ben cleaned out Kindon’s feet and ran his hands down his legs.
There was swelling and heat in the near side cannon and fetlock. Ben checked for a digital pulse, wondering if an abscess was festering or something worse. He noted that the pastern wasn’t swollen however and the horse’s hoof didn’t appear to be hot.
Ben couldn’t see any sign of broken skin on the horse, but wondered if the gelding had knocked it just the same. He hosed down the leg with cold water before drying it off and wrapping it.
The gelding was then led into a holding yard where he would be able to be watched whilst also having his movement restricted. Ben gave him some bute orally, knowing it would help with the discomfort and the swelling.
“You’ll live, old man. But I don’t want you racing around because you feel better with that anti-inflammatory in your system,” he informed the gelding before giving him a pat on the neck and checking to see how Jake was going.
Half an hour later six clients were sitting on their assigned horses and heading down the laneway with Jake leading. Ben was relieved to find that this group was more experienced than the last and that they could do a lot of trotting and cantering.
The riders seemed more interested in their mounts and taking in their surrounds than general conversation. Ben found himself grinning as he enjoyed the warm spring day and the feeling of a sound horse cantering easily below him.
Before he knew it they were returning, dealing with the horses and then stopping for lunch before getting the next lot of horses ready. Ben checked on the old gelding Kindon after lunch. He was relieved to see the swelling had gone down and that the horse was walking a bit better.
“Some more bute tonight and we’ll see how you look in the morning,” he said to the horse, scratching him behind his ears.
Kindon curled his top lip back, enjoying the scratch. Ben laughed.
“If only people were as easy to read as horses,” he mused to himself.
Like what you’ve read? You can purchase B and B at Amazon.