A Story of a Girl and her Horse
Chapter One: Golden Hill Ranch
I pedalled my old bike down the gravel driveway on the way to the barn only half awake. The driveway was lined with trees and had an old rusted gate at the end. There was a tiny white ranch house were the owners Tim and Ellen Trevena lived as well as a small chicken coup across the yard. There was a tree surrounded by landscaped rocks and plants in the middle. At the opposite end of the yard there was a small eight stall barn with many small windows. It was a dark stained brown with a black roof. It was beside a large eighty by one hundred foot indoor arena that was made out of aluminum. Behind the barn and arena were horse pastures, a round pen and a large outdoor arena. The rest of the property was trails and fields that took up all the one hundred acres of land.
It was a very brisk morning in Southern Alberta during early spring and I could see my breath as I pushed the gate open and walked my bike through. The two barn dogs barked a hello to me and came over wagging their tails.
ďhellooo Skyler, hellooo Bendell!Ē I said to the dogs in that voice you use to talk to dogs who proceeded to follow at my side.
I leaned my bike against the barn on the opposite end of the yard and yawned. It was early in the morning, too early for me. I had to do all the barn chores five times per week to pay for my lessons and board for my horse. Luckily it was spring and most of the horses lived outside by now. I walked into the barn with cold fingers and toes. The smell of horses was home to me. What other life do I really have? I thought while laughing. Horses were my life. I wasnít one of those girls who wore designer cloths and did anything to fit in. Actually, I was quite the opposite; I just did my own thing. My hung out with the other people like me, mainly other animal lovers.
The three indoor horses whinnied and pounded on their stalls when they heard me enter the barn. I knew they were saying ďLET ME GO OUTSIDE!Ē or ďIíM HUUUUUNGRYĒ. People say that horses donít complain, but once you are the one taking care of them, it is very obvious that they do.
I flicked on the lights, even thought they didnít do much anyways; the barn was always dark. To the left were the eight stalls, four on each side. To the right was the boardersí tack room, a bathroom, and Timís private tack room. The main tack room was quite roomy for the twenty boarders with many saddle racks and bridle hooks on the walls. It was usually pretty organizedÖthanks to me.
I gave each horse a scoop of oats and I brought the two geldings out together to the smaller gelding pasture. The horses were in smaller pastures during the winter but they were in enormous fields in the summer. Right now we were letting the grass grow in the summer fields. I brought the mare out to the mare pasture, she was very angry that I had left her alone in the barn. She definitely made it clear. When I let her loose she went straight ahead and bit another mare.
ďDellia, you are suck a bully!Ē I yelled at her shutting the gate.
Farther away in a separate pen stood the stallion who seemed to watch over all the horses. He thought he was the king, and in my mind he was. He was a gorgeous Hanoverian dressage stallion named Ebony. I thought he should have had a more unique name. He was Timís show horse. I slowly walked back to the barn to muck the three stalls. I didnít have to feed hay every morning since the horses only ate hay from round bales.
I have to say, this was not a very fancy stable. The indoor arena wasnít super nice, but at least it was heated. The outdoor arena was nice too but a little narrow and the horseís didnít have big shelters in their pastures. Most of the jumps werenít painted either. Iíve been to the fancy barns and the only good thing about them is their fancy stuff. The people are all stuck up, the lessons suck and the horses are treated like machines. I wouldnít trade Golden Hill Ranch for anything.