The sun just hit the horizon when our car skidded to the stop in the driveway of Cadgewood Stables. My body filled with joy but I tried to hide it. My grandmother would get upset. I have lived with my grandmother for three years, ever since my parents died. They were driving to Pittsburgh and crashed into a dairy truck when I was a mere 5 year old. I have learned to get over the despair and sadness of my parent’s death. My grandmother doesn’t even speak of my mother or my father. A month after the accident I was living in a big house with my grandmother. I was lucky my grandmother let me be around horses. I pulled my messy blonde hair into a ponytail. “Okay, I should go” I said. My grandmother nodded “Of course, 5 o’clock sharp” she said.
I walked swiftly up the driveway.
My body filled with excitement. A neigh escaped one of the pinto saddlebreds that stuck his head out of the spacious stalls. I smiled at the cute saddlebred, not recognizing him. “Hi, beautiful” I said opening the gate. I walked inside and closed it. I walked over to the saddlebred’s stall. I saw the brass name plates. Royal Bucks. None of the other horses have name plates. Probably a boarder’s I thought. I stood up straighter and stepped into the barn. “Hello, Jace” said Kate, my best barn bud. “HI” I exclaimed. I smiled. Marcus stepped out of the stall “Jay, Linda wants you to ride Ted today” he said.
“Ok” I said, questionably.
Ted is a large thoroughbred that is very dark. He has long strides and a very smooth canter. He loves to jump and is for advanced riders. He is 3 years old. I am not that advanced. I walked to his stall and walked inside. My heart pounded slightly. I brushed him down and put a saddle on. Finally, he was ready.
Linda stood at Ted’s door. I looked up and nearly screamed. I smiled “O.M.G. You scared me” I said. She smiled “He looks GREAT” I said. I smiled gently and led Ted out. We walked to the ring. I put my foot and the stirrup and failed at getting on. I tapped Ted with my leg and Ted trotted off. “Ok, slow down” said Linda. I changed directions and tightened my reins. I adjusted my heels and fixed my stirrups.
Linda asked for a fast trot. I posted on the right diagonal. “Ok, extend from K to H” said Linda. Ted created a springy, beautiful trot. I smiled. “Nice springy trot but I want an extended trot, try again” she said. I kicked him and he extended his trot. I smiled and did a half-halt. “Good!” she said. “Ok, ready to canter” she asked. I gulped. “Yes” I nearly whispered. My body rocked with his. “Okay, well, pick a canter and ask” she said. I nodded and picked a nearby corner. He did an spectacular transition. I felt great cantering him! YAY! I screamed in my head.
I cantered him the whole arena and slowed him down. “Turn and do the other way!” she said. I did the same thing the other way. “Great lesson! We will work on jumping next lesson” she said. I smiled. She was giving me free lessons for work. She never tells my grandmother. I rode Ted up the path. I smiled. Horses released my tension of my grandmother. She expected me not to even speak of my father or mother. How is that even possible? I hugged Ted and Linda stared at me. She understood me more than anyone. “We will get you back on your baby next week” she teased. My baby, Dream, she makes me smile just thinking about her.