---------------a few months later----------------
It was early fall now and the barn, indoor arena and paddocks were all made. Amy had hired a fifteen-year-old girl to help her who she also gave free board for her thoroughbred. Her name was Alice Lehman and she rode her horse in the jumpers. Amy was now ready to buy a horse that needed a new home, or a horse that had an owner that really needed to sell it. She would probably go to the auctions. She was also thinking about buying a retired horse that could live out their days at her nice stable.
The stable had eight large stalls; Amy’s parents wanted to be able to sell it as a stable if they ever decided to move. The stalls were wood with green bars. They had windows with bars over them in the back of their stalls and there was one run-in stall. Half of the barn was the eight stalls and the other half consisted of two cross ties, a wash rack, a tack room, a feed room, an office and an indoor holding pen. Attached to the stable there was a sixty by one hundred and twenty-five foot riding arena. Amy had bought some jumps and caveletti to put into the ring as well as all the other barn equipment she needed. Outside the barn and arena there were a few small, dirt paddocks with dark brown wooden fences. Beside the barn, there was a large outdoor arena beside and outdoor round pen. There were also enormous, grassy fields fenced with dark brown fences for the horses to run in. Behind the big fields were trails that went though the forest, through meadows and over creeks.
Elara was doing very well in her training. Amy read many classical dressage books and doma vaquera books. She bought Spanish tack for Elara and started doing classical dressage. In the past few months she had not worked on any specific movements. She worked only on collection, suppleness, balance and impulsion. She really worked on having her sit on her haunches and bring her neck up more. She could do small five metre circles at the canter. She had already been working on lateral movements so she did lots of leg yielding too. Amy wasn’t going to work on any new movements until a little later. Amy started everything in a rawhide bosal so she could focus on controlling the mare with her seat and leg aids and get a high amount of collection without the bit. Then she moved her back into a snaffle and was now riding her in a Pelham.
Although they were doing classical dressage, Amy knew she could always move back to doing competitive dressage, the goals in both types are the same. They are pretty much the same and Amy wouldn’t be able to achieve full collection and piaffe for many years. She could still prove Sandra wrong. What Amy really wanted most was just to enjoy what she was doing, and she was.
Amy woke up early on a crisp autumn morning exited to have a morning ride in the open fields. She grabbed an apple for breakfast and went to the barn to do chores. It was Sunday and Amy had to do all the morning barn chores on the weekend. She mucked out both the horses stalls and put them in the indoor holding pen-she would turn them out after her ride. She gave them some hay and their morning grain. Then she grabbed her grooming tools and tack from the tack room and got her mare ready for a ride.
The sun was still low in the sky and the sky was light pink. The trees were yellow and red and the crisp air smelt like fall. It was Amy’s favourite season. Elara was perky and fresh but very controllable. Today’s ride was an easy hack, both of them were looking forward to it. Rides like this made Amy happy and stress –free. Tall grass brushed against Elara’s legs and the light breeze blew through the mare’s mane and Amy’s long light brown hair. Amy let Elara up into a canter and then a slow gallop. They went through the fields, Elara on a long rein. It was freedom. It was perfect.
After the ride, Amy walked into her house with red cheeks and smelt like the barn. She took off her boots and made herself a hot chocolate. It was now late morning and her family was up and about. The phone rang and Amy picked up the kitchen phone.
“Hello?” she said.
“Hello” said a deep male voice with an accent, “Is this Amy Martin?”
“Uhhh ya?” replied Amy who was now very confused, “why?”.
“Do you own a grey Spanish mare with a crown brand?” said the man, with what Amy thought was some sort of European accent.
“Yeeees” Amy replied. Who the hell is this?
“Ah”. The man sounded relieved.
“Is there a problem?”, Amy asked.
“I’m afraid she doesn’t belong to you.” He said.
“She belongs to me, I have the bill of sale and her papers” Amy said confidently.
“She was stolen from me and sent to the United States by the black market and I’ve finally tracked her down. I’ll be at your house in two days to pick her up”. The man said. Amy gasped. She now knew that he was the breeder from Spain. It was a Spanish accent.
“NO, but she’s my horse!” Amy yelled and her mom ran into the room.
“I’m sorry” said the man and he hung up.
“Nooooo” Amy sobbed. “Mom”
“What’s wrong?” he mom asked.
“Elli was a stolen horse, she’s not mine. What do I do? Mom, I can’t live without her!” Amy shouted with tears streaming down her face.
“Whoa, whoa slow down Amy, please explain” her mom said.
Amy explained everything, how John got her and what the man on the phone said.
“Oh, Amy, if this is true than we can do nothing if he won’t sell her. I’ll call up our lawyer to come on Tuesday morning. Get the bill of sale and her papers. If he has proof of ownership then she belongs to him Amy.” Her mom said sympathetically.
“MOM THAT’S NOT FAIR!” yelled Amy.
“I’m sorry Amy, it’s out of out control” her mom replied.
“Can’t we offer them a lot of money?” asked Amy.
“Only what’s reasonable Amy. You know there are a lot of other horses out there” she replied. “I’ll buy you another Spanish horse. We can import it from Spain”
“NO MOM! I WANT ELARA!!!” Amy ran out of the house.
“Jeffrey! Go stop Amy!” Amy’s mom called out. Her husband had heard the whole thing.