The dapple grey's muscles rippled beneath a shiny coat and long, dark mane. He pawed at the ground impatiently, but stood still as he felt the light pressure of the reins. He was huge, 17 hands at the very least. Finally, the dark-haired girl holding him back eased up on the reins by thrusting them forward. She gave a short squeeze with her legs and practically leaned forward as the huge Thoroughbred picked up a frighteningly fast gallop. But the girl wasn't frightened. She trusted this horse with her life. Him and her were one. Suddenly, an obstacle came into the pairs view. The girl narrowed her eyes, but without hesitation she tightened one rein and steered her horse to the jump. One, two, three...she counted the strides, and before she knew it, they were flying, defying gravity. But that's when I woke up.
I blinked a couple times. The dream had felt so real; I rarely had those moments. I remained on my back, staring wistfully at the ceiling fan as it whirred around and around. I sighed. Why couldn't the dream be reality? Then I froze. But it could! How could I have forgotten? Just then I could have slapped myself. Today was the day I was getting my own horse! I quickly looked at the clock. Six-thirty, no matter, the early bird gets the worm! After changing I raced out of the room, Wally hot on my heels. I had to stop myself from racing down the stairs, because my parents were still sleeping, and there were several floor boards that creaked. I was to excited to sit down and eat, so I grabbed an apple from the kitchen and called Wally to me. Together we made it out the door. The cool, early morning air blasted me in the face and made me shiver, but I loved it. I was so excited I launched myself off our porch onto our driveway and went into a full run. Wally gave a high-pitched squeak of excitement and barreled after me.
We made our way down the smooth, dirt road. Wally was panting heavily as we came to a halt when we reached a fork in the road. I was breathing heavily as well, and my sides hurt. I turned around and we inched our way home, Wally dragging his paws on the ground. I felt hot as I plopped onto the couch back at home. Wally looked at me pleadingly, once again alert. I sighed. "Alright, alright, you'll get your food!" I poured some kibble into Wally's food bowl, and checked on the cats food bowls outside as well, and refilled them as needed. Suddenly, my dad appeared in the kitchen and looked at me with surprise.
"What are you doing up at 7:30 in the morning?" My dad asked, shocked.
"I'm just so excited, I couldn't sleep! I'll just go change into my riding clothes now and then I'll be ready. Eat breakfast quickly, I can't wait!" Without giving my dad a chance to reply, I dashed upstairs and chose my newest pair of riding pants which I had gotten for Christmas. They felt and looked like jeans, except for the leather patches on the back and on my legs.
As I raced back down stairs my dad was leisurely sipping his coffee. After staring at him for a while I asked,"How much do you have left?" He gave me one of those stares. "Okay, okay," I said quickly. It felt like forever until he finally set his coffee mug down in the sink and started putting his shoes on. Once he appeared on our front porch, I was already in our black SUV with my seat belt on.
The drive only took about 30 minutes, but it felt like eternity. When our car finally pulled over at Corazon Stables I shoved the car door open and leaped out, then waited as the owner, a burly looking old man marched over to us. I had been to Corazon Stables once, to help out with stable chores in exchange for a chance to ride one of their sales horses. That was how long ago, though? Impatiently I watched as my dad and Dave shook hands and shared a few words. I was overjoyed when Dave finally clapped his hands together and announced,"Well, why don't we have a look at the horses? I have several that might be suitable for your daughter." We were led into a neat barn with a center aisle and about 10 stalls on either side, plus a bathroom, wash stall and tack room. There were so many horses, and they all looked absolutely stunning. "If it pleases the young lady she can choose a horse to test ride. I can tell you a little something about each of these horses." I nodded. I halted in front of a stall door where friendly-looking bay with one blue eye looked at me, then stretched his neck out to see if I had brought carrots. When he found none, he drew his head back and stared at me. Hesitantly I pointed at the bay. "Who's this little guy?"
"He's a 9 year old gelding who used to be owned by this little girl who showed him a lot. Showjumping, I think. She quickly lost interest though and sold him. He's a really sweet guy though, and has very good basic training. Would you like to ride him?" Somehow it just didn't click, but I politely obliged. Who knew what would happen once I rode the horse?
He wasn't the tallest horse, below 16 hands was my guess. He had a smooth trot which was lovely to sit to, and his canter was much like a rocking horses. I even popped over a few jumps with him, and he listened to me perfectly. Dave looked pleased, and as I rode over I heard him and my dad discussing. "I think the horse will do nicely, how much do you ask for him?"
"I think $5000 would be adequate," Dave said and clapped his hands together, a habit he had.
"Wait, I didn't say I wanted him yet," I pointed out and stopped their scheming. Dave looked at me, flabbergasted. "Didn't you like him? He's one of our best horses."
"Oh, I loved him. But I'm looking for more of a challenge. Something big and powerful." Suddenly, feeling brave I blurted,"Do you have any Thoroughbreds?"
Dave looked surprised. "Um...we do have one, but he's much too wild for a girl like you," he insisted.
"Could you show him to me?" I questioned as I hopped off of the horse I had named Fudge, not knowing his real name. Hesitantly, Dave nodded. I gave Fudge to a stable worker and gave him a piece of carrot, then watched him being led to the cross ties. I felt a little sad to see him go. A good horse like that deserved a home. I followed Dave and my dad to a round pen, where I saw a stunning dapple grey Thoroughbred, who stood tall and proud, head high, nostrils flared. "Oh, what's his name? How tall is he? He's so pretty!"
"His name's Defying Gravity. We measured him to be exactly 17 hands, and I must admit, he is a beauty. However, I don't recommend him for you. He is much to wild, a Thoroughbred straight off the track. He's a little hot head, this one."
I sighed. "Don't worry, I've dealt with several difficult horses in my life. I've been riding for eight years now."
"Young lady, have you ever ridden a Thoroughbred?" Dave asked, a serious expression on his face. I shook my head.
"Well I have, and trust me, sometimes it's not pretty," he confessed, and just then I realized his missing hand, cut off at the wrist. The sight sent chills down my spine, and I hoped my dad hadn't noticed. I glanced at him nervously and was relieved that my dad looked as clueless as ever when horses were involved.
"I want him," I stated, so determined that Dave didn't argue anymore.
"You can have him for a $1000. Just a weight off my back."