My wife and I were once invited to dinner at a friend’s home. We were joined in the elevator by another couple headed to the same place. All were fine company.
Upon entering the apartment it became instantly obvious that the hosts and the other guests shared the same passion; horses. There were paintings and statues all about the place and the guest wife, not mine, glowed with excitement as she went from piece to piece.
“Do you ride?” she asked the hosts. Both replied they had done so since birth.
“Me too! Do you still?”
I saw where this was headed, I could not stop it. I think it all fell apart somewhere around the word dressage or possibly saddle horn.
“Wait, do you ride English?”
“No, western.” Sad silence…
“This roast is fantastic!” I chimed in.
While driving through somewhere in New Jersey, the sort of somewhere you don’t pay attention to, I started passing signs that told me there would be no saddle horns here. I like this world, though I know little of it. Clean white rail fences and horses with wrapped tails have a sort of charm, but not enough to stop the car. Then I passed that one sign.
There was a large iron gate that inferred no entry, but the sign’s national nature emboldened me with a sense of entitlement. When I hit the call button a female voice asked if I was at the gate, I replied I was, and it opened.
Now I am not unaccustomed to barns, not even unfamiliar with living in one, but this was nothing like what I know. Built by Wall St. tycoon James Brady in 1911, this barn was bangin.
Not knowing what to expect, but assuming the worst, I found the women working here surprisingly friendly and unperturbed by my presence. With a smile and flip of the light switch, I was sent upstairs to the trophy room, while my host went back to work filing papers.
Ribbons, brass, wood paneling, silver, add in a green carpet, and the place had all the elements of a competitive while classy lounge. There were no saddle horns; there were not even any horses. There was plenty of history, the remnants of money, and fortunately no remnants of horses… if ya know what I mean.
I showed myself to the door, kicked dust off my boots, and went on my way… not really. There was no dust and I wore driving moccasins.