As much as my heart sank and my stomach rolled at the woman's choices, I was still putty in her hands. Believing I must immediately get my numbers down to help my horses, I did not fight. She was clear these two were the only ones she wanted so I acquiesced in the only way I could.
I have an arrangement with the breeder of Lucy. She never thought when she sold her to R O Lervick Arabians that they would ever sell her. She expected she could visit the mare who had saved her right down the street anytime she wanted. Only after they sold her to me did the breeder realize she'd lost Lucy. To ease her heartbreak I had promised her I would not part with the mare without giving her the option to buy her back. I would not dishonor this commitment.
Now as this woman sat in my living room, I told her that I was bound by that agreement. I don't think she was happy about this but she could not push me to give her the horse without exposing the true nature of her motivation to my friend. She had to be content to allow me to contact the breeder but she told me she would be back in a couple weeks to pick Lucy up.
In hindsight I realize this was another of several small discrepancies that I missed on that day. Had I been more alert at the time, those things might have helped me to challenge the brain washing that happened to me but it would literally be months before I understood the true intentions of the woman, Kelly Correa Panowicz.
With that all settled I pulled Doc's registration papers out of my file and signed them over to this charlatan. My hands trembled and my heart broke but I did what I thought was right for my herd. Then we went outside and loaded up my horse.
Doc had never been in a horse trailer but with all his handling he only briefly hesitated. Then he stepped on up into the trailer. I was proud of him and the trust he had in me. Then I handed his lead over to this woman who was claiming she was my friend helping my horses when on fact she was a horse thief exploiting a seriously ill old woman.
My real friend knew my heart was breaking. She was there to hug me as the trailer pulled away. I think she believed under the circumstances having one less horse was a good thing but she knew it was hard for me to part with this horse. She assurred me he was going to a great home which was of some comfort until I learned otherwise. Neither my friend nor I had any idea the harm this woman would do once she left my farm.
I choked back my true feelings until my friend was also gone. Then I sank to my knees sobbing hysterically. How could I have allowed my horses to suffer because I was sick? I wanted answers and I wanted all of my horses to be safe but I doubted my ability to fix this. It was an impossible situation no one should have to endure such pain.
I have no idea how long I cried. My clothes were drenched with tears all the way to my knees. Everything I believed about my horse-keeping skills was shaken right down to my core.
My cancer diagnosis was not as devastating as this day had been. For the first time since my treatment for severe depression over a quarter of a century ago.......I wanted to be dead.
To be continued........